India is a secular country with people of all community and religion presiding peacefully. Different communities make India rich culturally as well as traditionally. These different traditions beckon large tourists throughout the world to visit the churches, mosques, temples and many other pilgrimages which represent the cultural beauty of our country. Millions of devotees visit India every year to gain spiritual enlightenment and purify their soul and become more faithful. There are many popular spiritual sites in India and the topmost in the list are:-
1. PURI JAGANNATH TEMPLE:-
This is a very old, finest and most important temple located about 60km away from Bhubaneshwar in Puri, Odisha. This popular temple was built in the 12th century and is believed to be made from the ruins of the ancient temple preserving ancient paintings and archaeology. The main deities presiding in this temple are goddess Subhadra, Jagannatha along with Balabhadra. The temple is entirely made up of granite stone with 21 shrines and 6 gopurams which makes it a site of spectacular beauty.
2. BODH GAYA:-
Bodh Gaya with many popular Buddhist monuments is a district located in Bihar. The Mahabodhi temple is the most famous and oldest temple prevailing in eastern India. Not only Buddhist but Hindus, as well as people of other communities, also visit this area. The peaceful environment and faithfulness towards God are what draws tourists here.
It is one of India’s most famous pilgrimage center in India. The dargah of Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti is located in Ajmer which is visited by not only Muslims but Sikhs as well. It is a very holy and most visited Islamic pilgrimage in the country. It is believed that the place is captivating because of the peaceful environment. People whoever comes here gets their wishes fulfilled. The dargah is always crowded at any time of the year, however, the best time to visit is during the Urs festival when this place comes to life.
– Goa is popular for tourist destination for all but by no means is a cliché religious destination in India. The Basilica of Bom Jesus located in old Goa is a part of UNESCO world heritage site. This church with its iconic beauty is one of the oldest churches in India. This indicated the landmark of Christianity in India as it was built by the Europeans when India was under their influence. It is the most popular church not only in India but in abroad making it a hub for tourists every year.
– Varanasi located in Uttar Pradesh is the most popular pilgrimage site in India dotted with numerous temples of ancient times with great archaeological beauty. There are more than 88 ghats surrounding the temples. The ghats have holy water Ganga meandering through the city where various rituals are performed. it is believed that these rituals frees a person from their sins and enlightens their soul. The kasha Vishwanath temple located on the banks of river Ganga is the most popular Hindu temple situated here. Along with Hindu temples, many Buddhist pilgrimages, as well as mosques, are also present. Some of them are The Durga temple, Sankat Mohchan temple, tulsi manas temple, Bibi Razia, Abdul Razzaq which are namely few amongst many others.
Konark is popular for its Sun Temple. The sun temple was built in honor of king Narsimhadeva 1 who like the sun god is sitting on a majestic chariot. Located in Konark, Odisha this temple is an example of unmatched beauty in terms of architecture. It has 12 pairs of carved wheels, prayer halls for offerings, and pyramidal roof. The most key driving part is the art carved in almost the entire Temple making it an adventurous tour along with being religious.
7. VAISHNO DEVI:-
This popular cave temple at an elevation of about 5,200 ft is located in the glorious state of Jammu and Kashmir. it is one of the most popular sites in India which is visited by every Hindu once in their lifetime. A 13 km expedition has to made by foot to reach this shrine which is difficult to access. Hence many helicopter services have also been started. In spite of the difficulties, millions of devotees visit this holy destination every year.
Apart from this, many other places like Badrinath, Mumbai, Delhi, Kedarnath, Somnath, etc attract a huge crowd every year. India being a secular country has temples and holy places throughout the map making it remarkable and secular and each being unique on its own. Each temple has its own religious aura which makes it different from the rest. No matter where if one decides to come for a religious tour in India will never be disappointed.