Best pilgrimage destinations to visit in India

Mar 5, 2024

By: BI India Bureau

Varanasi (Kashi)

One of the oldest inhabited cities in the world, Varanasi is considered the holiest city in Hinduism. Situated on the banks of the Ganges River, it is famous for its ghats where pilgrims perform ritual bathing and cremation ceremonies.

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Rishikesh and Haridwar

Located in the foothills of the Himalayas in Uttarakhand, these twin cities are important pilgrimage destinations for Hindus. Rishikesh is renowned as the Yoga Capital of the World, while Haridwar is famous for the Ganga Aarti ceremony.

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Home to the Golden Temple (Harmandir Sahib), the holiest shrine of Sikhism, Amritsar is a significant pilgrimage destination for Sikhs. The temple is open to people of all faiths and serves free meals to thousands of visitors every day.

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Bodh Gaya

This is the place where Lord Buddha attained enlightenment under the Bodhi tree. The Mahabodhi Temple, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the Bodhi tree are major attractions for Buddhist pilgrims from around the world.

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Located in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh, Tirupati is famous for the Sri Venkateswara Temple, dedicated to Lord Venkateswara (a form of Vishnu). It is one of the wealthiest and most visited temples in India.

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Vaishno Devi

Situated in the Trikuta Mountains of Jammu and Kashmir, the Vaishno Devi Temple is dedicated to the Hindu goddess Vaishno Devi. Pilgrims undertake a challenging trek to reach the temple, which is believed to fulfill the wishes of devotees.

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Ajmer Sharif

Located in the city of Ajmer, Rajasthan, Ajmer Sharif is the shrine of Moinuddin Chishti, a revered Sufi saint. The Dargah Sharif, as it is commonly known, is one of the most important pilgrimage destinations for Muslims in India.

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Kedarnath and Badrinath

These are two of the most important pilgrimage sites in the Char Dham circuit of Uttarakhand. Kedarnath is dedicated to Lord Shiva, while Badrinath is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. Both are located amidst breathtaking Himalayan scenery.

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Dwarka, situated in Gujarat, is one of the seven ancient towns (Sapta Puri) mentioned in Hindu scriptures. It is believed to be the kingdom of Lord Krishna and is home to the Dwarkadhish Temple.

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Famous for the Jagannath Temple, dedicated to Lord Jagannath (a form of Vishnu), Puri is one of the Char Dham pilgrimage sites for Hindus. The annual Rath Yatra, or chariot festival, attracts millions of devotees.

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