Top 19 Most Popular Pilgrimage Places in India

India is rightly known as the “land of faith” with millions of gods and goddesses and uncountable places of worship. The subcontinent is well known for its peaceful co-existence of different cultures, heritages and traditions making it one of the most popular destinations for people seeking spirituality.

Given below are the top 15 popular pilgrimage destinations in India which will evoke immense devotion within you:

1. Vaishno Devi Temple, Jammu and Kashmir

way to bhawan vaishno devi katra travelmywayforless
way to Bhawan Vaishno Devi Katra

Known for being the earthly home of Goddess Shakti, Vaishno Devi is one of the most important and significant hubs for devotees of Goddess Durga and most popular pilgrimage sites in India. Located among the Trikuta Hills, the temple is a long walk up to the holy cave (although there are alternative methods of transport available). This journey will definitely be etched into your memory due to its pure divinity, surrounding thick forests and picturesque valley.

2. Sun Temple, Konark

Sun Temple, Konark
Sun Temple, Konark Antoniraj [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Considered as being one of the masterpieces in Indian architecture, the sun temple is a significant destination for individuals who are religiously inclined. Along with being the epitome of brilliant architecture the temple structure remains unmatched in spirituality. Every nook and corner of this temple is engraved with fine carvings making it an enchanting experience along with being drenched in the divinity of the sun Lord.

3. Somnath Temple, Gujarat

Somnath Temple, Gujarat
Somnath Temple, Gujarat Image Source

Dedicated to the moon god and is one of the 12 jyotirlingas, Somnath temple complex is counted among one of the most important and relevant Hindu pilgrimage centres in the world. Located comfortably on the Arabian Sea shore the temple is open for visitation from devotees and devout Hindus from far and wide. It is one of the holiest places in India and caters to numerous pilgrims on a daily basis.

4. Ranakpur Temple, Rajasthan

Ranakpur Jain Temple
Ranakpur Jain Temple

One of the most auspicious Indian pilgrimage destinations in India, Ranakpur is one of the oldest and the most significant Jain temple which is located within beautiful surroundings and provides its visitors with an overall tranquil ambience caused due to immense spirituality. Adorned with impressive carvings you will be allowed to drench yourself in deep devotion of the lord and take away with you a lifetime worth of memories.

5. Tirumala Venkateswara Temple, Tirupati

Lord Venkateshwara's Temple
Lord Venkateshwara’s Temple Image Source

This temple is the earthly home of Lord Venkateswara, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu, making a visit here filled with divinity and spirituality. Just like every temple of South India this temple is also known for its magnificent architecture tastefully done engravings. The temple is a towering structure that attracts almost 70,000 devotees and pilgrims on a daily basis making it one of the most visited Hindu temples in India.

6. Hemkund Sahib, Uttarakhand

Hemkund Sahib Gurudwara
Hemkund Sahib Gurudwara Japleenpasricha [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Located at one of the most peaceful places in Chamoli district at an elevation of 4,633 metres, Hemkund Sahib is dedicated to the 1oth Sikh guru, Guru Gobind Singh, making it one of the most highly revered places of worship for Sikh pilgrims and devotees. The journey here commences from Govindghat and the final pilgrimage site is surrounded by snow-capped mountains and the temple requires pilgrims to walk up to it crossing the Hemkund glacier.

7. Ajmer Sharif, Ajmer

Dargah Sharif Ajmer
Dargah Sharif Ajmer User: Shaane Khan [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

This is the resting place of Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti and is flocked by pilgrims and devotees in millions from different parts of India and the world, throughout the year. The sacred shrine is not just limited for Muslim visitors but the gates are open for people from different faiths as well, Ajmer Sharif is the most famous sacred sites in India for Muslims. This heart captivating and calming shrine guarantees you an experience filled with extreme spirituality and deep devotion.

8. Amarnath Cave, Jammu and Kashmir

Amarnath Cave
Amarnath Cave image Source

Situated in the magnificent state of Jammu and Kashmir, pilgrims and devotees trek up to this shrine to offer their prayers. This cave has always been extremely significant as a part of Hindu pilgrimage site in India since the ancient times because it is believed that this is the same cave where Lord Shiva gave the secret of immortality to his wife, Goddess Parvati. The naturally created ice Linga is the presiding deity here making it one of the most spiritual locations in India.

9. Kashi Vishwanath Temple, Varanasi

kashi vishwanath temple varanasi
Kashi Vishwanath Temple Varanasi Image Source

Dedicated to Lord Shiva and home to one of the 12 Jyotirlingas, this temple stands on the bank of the holy Ganga River. The name of the temple has been mentioned several times in a lot of ancient Hindu scriptures. It has been destroyed and reconstructed a number of times in the past and it sees numerous visitors from across the subcontinent as well as the globe on a daily basis.

10. Vrindavan, Uttar Pradesh

Vrindavan, India
Vrindavan, India Image Source

This is the place where Lord Krishna had spent his childhood days making it one of the most important pilgrimage sites for Hindu devotees of Lord Krishna. Every alleyway, monument and structure present here has the hint of the Lord present in it. The extreme spirituality of this place sets it on a higher pedestal of pilgrimage as compared to other pilgrimage destinations. You will not only witness the miraculous place but you will also have a soul-enriching experience here.

11. Haridwar, Uttarakhand

Haridwar India
Haridwar India

The enchanting land of Haridwar, Uttarakhand is filled with numerous temples dedicated to the presiding deity of the town, Lord Shiva. It is considered as one of the holiest towns in India for its strategic location by the shore of the holy Ganga River. The famous Ganga aarti here is witnessed by devotees from far and wide who gather here to feel the presence and blessings of the Lord.

12. Mahabodhi Temple, Bodhgaya

Mahabodhi Temple
Mahabodhi Temple Abhishek.venkitaraman [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Housing the bodhi tree under which Lord Buddha had achieved his enlightenment, this temple is the centre of attraction for Buddhists from far and wide. They make it a point to visit this place at least once in a lifetime as a part of their Buddhist pilgrimage circuit.  The entire temple premise has a calming effect on the visitors who come here to pay their respects to their one true spiritual leader.

13. Shirdi, Maharashtra

Shirdi Sai Baba Temple Darshan
Shirdi Sai Baba Temple Darshan Image Source

Sai baba followers from all over the world visit this holy temple once, to witness the glorious and majestic spirituality. The whole temple is filled with a blissful wonder of divinity and deep devotion making every visit here one of its kinds. Flocked by people from varied class, religions, creed and castes, the temple opens its arms to everyone and anyone who wants to pay their respects to the Lord. The vibe of this place is unmatched for and still remains one of the holiest pilgrimage destinations in India.

14. Madurai, Tamil Nadu

Madurai, Sri Meenakshi Temple
Madurai, Sri Meenakshi Temple Image Source

Commonly referred to as the temple town, Madurai is home to some of the most magnificent, colorful and splendid temples in India. With the central deity being Lord Vishnu these temples dictate power, enigma along with equal piety and spiritualism. With millions showing up for the Chithirai festival in April, this temple town remains crowded throughout the year with devotees, pilgrims, and visitors.

15. Badrinath, Uttarakhand

Badrinath Temple
Badrinath Temple (Neilsatyam [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons )

Nestled away comfortably in the lap of the majestic Himalayas, Badrinath’s spiritual pilgrimage still remains unmatched. Believed to be the home of Lord Vishnu, who is said to have meditated here for hundreds of years, makes this place stand among one of the top religious pilgrimage places of India. It is included in the extremely holy char Dham yatra pilgrimage tour which is a perilous journey done by Hindu devotees as a part of their belief.

16. Golden Temple, Amritsar

This place is a home of the beautiful Golden Temple.It is one of the popular pilgrimage center of Sikhs. The peaceful environment at this place will surely soothe your spirit and will calm you down. Here you can observe the some glitter shinning in the water and intonations of Granth Sahib can be heard in the aura of this charismatic Gurudwara. If you are planning to visit here get ready for some soothing and wonderful experience which you might have not experienced yet and don’t forget to miss the 24*7 langar where regularly thousands of pilgrims are fed. Sikh festivals are celebrated here with great joy and fun.

17. Rameshwaram

Ramanathaswamy temple is located on the Rameshwaram Island in Tamil Nadu. This temple is reputed as one of the 12 jyotirlinga shrines where Shiva is worshipped in the form of a jyotirlinga. Each pillar in this temple is sculpted as it is sculpted in Madurai Meenakshi. Rameshwaram is one of the Char Dham and is a holy place, according to Hindu mythology as the pilgrimage of Varanasi is incomplete without a pilgrimage of Rameshwaram. Mahashivratri and Navratri are celebrated with enthusiasm and happiness.

18. Mathura

This place is popular because it is a birth place of Lord Krishna. This area is famous for several beautiful temples of Lord Krishna and some of the famous temples are Keshav Dev Temple and Banke Bihari Temple. Holi and Janmastami are major festivals which are celebrated with joy, fun and energy.

19- Jagannath Temple – Puri

It is believed that the Hindu Char Dham Yatra is incomplete without visiting the holy city of Puri. An important cultural hub in the Eastern India’s state of Odisha, Puri is home to the most celebrated and popular temple of Lord Jagannath. The city of Puri witnesses a marvellous spectacle of the Rath Yatra annually and the number of people that pour in from around the country to witness this event is just another wonder.

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