India is a country with many different religious buildings. Each religion, from Hindu to Sikh, has a number of places of worship that support it. The Velankanni Church, which was constructed by a seaman who survived a violent storm, the ice stalagmite that forms annually in the Amarnath caves, Varanasi, the oldest continuously inhabited city in the world, the king God Krishna’s Dwarka, and many other special holy sites are just a few examples.
Each building has a unique history, and it is always fascinating to observe what prehistoric people were able to do without the aid of current architectural technology or expertise. India is a popular destination for pilgrimages. Are you one of these tourists? Here are India’s top sacred locations.
Most Visited Religious Places In India
1. Tirumala Venkateswara Temple, Tirupati:
One of the most popular temples in India is the Tirumala Venkateswara temple of Lord Venkateswara, who is known for being the richest God and an avatar of Lord Vishnu. The fact that more than 60,000 followers visit it daily is proof of its popularity. The finest time to visit the temple is during Brahmoutsav since it is marked by a lot of pomp and display that mesmerizes the onlookers. This temple is particularly well known for its delicious Prasadam, a food item that is a religious offering in both Hinduism and Sikhism.
2. Jagannath Temple, Puri:
According to Hinduism, a pilgrimage to one of the “char dham” can result in salvation for individuals. The Jagannath Temple in Puri is one of the Char Dham. The principal and central deity of the temple is Lord Jagannath. Moreover, there are idols of the goddesses Subhadra and Balabhadra that you can visit. The best time to visit this temple is during its primary festival, “Rath Yatra.” You will be amazed by how everyone celebrates this huge festival. You’ll get shivers just seeing the enthusiastic crowd and the fervor of the believers.
3. Vaishno Devi Temple, Jammu Kashmir:
This holy temple is placed high in the mountains and Adi Shakti is the main deity at the Vaishno Devi shrine. It is located on the impressive Trikuta Hill in Jammu. Every day, a large number of devotees visit the site and typically, people set out on a journey to climb the hill. Because of the zeal of the followers and the attractive surroundings, the neighborhood is very lively. For those who do not wish to walk as far, there are alternatives such as helicopters, electric vehicles, palanquins, and horse rides. If you’re traveling with an elderly person, a child, or a pregnant woman and want to go on this holy journey, they can ride with you instead of walking.
4. Badrinath Temple, Uttarakhand:
Badrinath temple is also known as Badrinathji. It is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and is located in the breathtaking Himalayan Range. It is believed that Lord Vishnu is said to have come here to meditate after he realized or felt that he was becoming overly interested in worldly affairs. This temple is closed for six months every year due to the severe weather in the Himalayas. The devotees who visit the temple during the summer are also required to bring warm and wool clothes. Among the four “dhams” of Hinduism, one of them is the Badrinath temple. The phrase “chota dham” is also used by the people of Uttarakhand for this holy place.
5. Amarnath Dham, Srinagar:
The Amarnath Dham is one of the four “dhams” of the Hindus, and it is situated in the high highlands of Jammu and Kashmir. The Amarnath Dham resembles a cave more than a temple. It is well-known for the lingam, which is a statue of Lord Shiva, which spontaneously forms each year. Hundreds of years ago, Lord Shiva and his wife, Goddess Parvati, were having a discussion in this cave. Lord Shiva gave her the key to immortality, and two birds heard them while they were talking. Locals claim that two birds may constantly be seen in this cave. Notably, it is only after a difficult voyage that it is possible to reach this holy shrine.
6. Dwarakadheesh Temple, Gujarat:
Lord Krishna is honored in the Gujarati temple known as Dwarakadeesh. It is stated that Vajranabha, Lord Krishna’s grandson, constructed the temple’s first construction. After the 8th century, this shrine was elevated to a holy location within the “Char Dhams.” The fourth and final “Dham” draws a sizable number of Hindu worshippers each day. The way that Janmashtami (the holiday honoring the birth of Lord Krishna) is observed here is unlike any celebrations you may have ever witnessed.
7. Ajmer Sharif Dargah, Ajmer:
The Ajmer Sharif Dargah, 2 kilometers from the Ajmer railway station, is where Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti, a revered Sufi saint, is buried. Shah Jahan had the mosque built in this location. According to claims, the great Mughal emperor Akbar and his wife used to make an annual pilgrimage to the mosque. It’s worth noting that they used to walk all the way from Agra. They did so in response to an oath they took while each was praying to God for a son. Every day, approximately 125,000 devotees visit this holy place, according to rough estimates.
8. Basilica of Bom Jesus, Goa:
The most popular pilgrimage site for Christians is the Basilica of Bom Jesus. The bones of St. Francis Xavier are located in this church. Interestingly, the body is shown for public viewing every 10 years, and it draws visitors from all around the world. Because this church is a World Heritage Site, UNESCO is in charge of its upkeep. Notably, it is the oldest church in India. Furthermore, it goes without saying that it marks a watershed moment in Christian history. The church’s construction got underway in the year 1594. If you observe the church properly, you will notice that its interiors are exquisitely decorated with priceless marble and stones.
9. Golden Temple, Amritsar:
The Golden Temple is also known as the Sri Harmandir Sahib. It’s one of the most popular Gurudwara among Sikhs. It was Guru Arjan who made the construction of this Gurudwara possible. Notably, he was the fifth Sikh Guru. The Adi Granth Sahib, the sacred text of the Sikhs, is also placed here. The Golden Temple has witnessed numerous significant historical events in the Sikh religion. Every Sikh wishes to visit this sacred place at least once in their lifetime.
10. Somnath Jyotirlinga, Gujarat:
Situated in Gujarat, it is the first Jyotirlinga shrine of Shiva and it is in the Somnath temple. Whereas, the word “jyotir” means “radiance”, Lord Shiva is worshipped as a lingam. According to mythology, Lord Shiva appeared as light from the Jyotirlingas. There are several stories about this holy temple. One of the most fascinating of which is its past. No one can say for sure when or how it was made. During each of the multiple times that the Islamic kings destroyed this temple, the Hindu kings had it rebuilt. Besides, there are two other locations where Jyotirlingas can be found, that is, Varanasi and Dwarka.
Read more, Char Dham Yatra In Uttarakhand
In India, there are holy places that attract loads of people every day. These places are super special for the folks here. People go to these spots to connect with their beliefs and prayers. It’s like a big gathering of faith, where many hearts come together to share their hopes and devotion. It’s a beautiful blend of spirituality and togetherness, making these places not just holy but heartwarming too.