Hindu Of Universe

“God’s light is within you, It never leaves you.”

Hinduism Religious Places

Religious Places India is one of the most religiously diverse nations in the world, with some of the most deeply religious societies and cultures.

The country has one of the oldest continuously operating pilgrimage traditions in the world.

The practice of pilgrimages is deeply entrenched in the Indian psyche and the number of pilgrimage sites are very large.

Thus, the subcontinent may be considered as a continuous sacred space.

Rig Veda and Atharva Veda are the earliest source of information regarding pilgrimages.

These sacred texts have reverently mentioned about travel to mountain valleys and the confluences of rivers and the merits obtained from such travels.

As time elapsed, the number of pilgrimage sites and their importance increased.

Now, religious pilgrimages are considered to be an essential aspect of every individual’s life.

Let us get to know few of the important religious places of India region wise :


Amarnath Temple One of the holy shrines of the Hindus and located in the state of Jammu and Kashmir is the Amarnath.

The Amarnath Cave is considered to be the abode of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati.

The Amarnath Yatra, for which one has to trek at a height of about 14,500 ft from the sea level, starts from the base village Bailganv (Pahalgam) and usually takes place in the Hindu month of Shravan (July-August).

In the seat of Lord Amarnath, the image of Shiva, in the form of a lingam, gets formed of ice every year.

By its side are two more ice-lingams, considered to be that of Parvati, and their son, Ganesha.

The climatic conditions of the region are very uncertain because rain or snowfall may take place at any time during the Yatra.

Even then there is no stopping the thousands of devotees from flocking to this God’s abode with full thrill and joy.

One will always feel his presence on this paradise of the Earth, surrounded by beautiful valleys, mountains and snow.


Badrinath Badrinath is a Hindu holy town in Uttaranchal, India and considered to be the most important of the four sites in India’s Chardham pilgrimage.

It is an important destination on the sacred itinerary of every devout Hindu.

It has been emphasized in the ancient scriptures that there are many sacred spots of pilgrimage in the Earth, Heaven and the Nether world, but there has been none equal to Badri nor there shall be.

The significance of this place is that it is considered to be the seat of the God Vishnu in his aspect of Badrinarayana.

The prime sites in this area are Badrinath Temple, Tapt Kund, Brahma Kapal, Charanpaduka, Sheshnetra, Neelkantha.

Another important religious attraction at Badrinath is the Badrinath Temple which is considered as the abode of Lord Vishnu and is situated at 3,124 meters above sea level in the Himalayas.

The temple has three parts – Garbha Grih (The Sanctum Sanctorum), Darshan Mandap (for pujas) and Sabha Mandap (for devotees to assemble).

At the backdrop is the Neelkanth mountain peak situated between twin peaks named Nar and Narayan.

The Badrinath temple was built by the Gharwal kings.

The temple is more than two centuries old.

It is believed that Lord Vishnu came to the area, called ‘Badri Van’, or the berry garden, to meditate after Narad rebuked the Lord for being immersed in worldly pleasures.

The main idol in the temple is that of Lord Vishnu in the form of a black stone.

Lord Vishnu is in a meditative stance with both hands on his lap.

The sacred river Alaknanda flows by the temple.

The holy river Alaknanda is fed by the Badrinath glaciers and the Holy Ganges.

The temple of Badrinathji is five meters high, it is built in the form of a cone with a small coupla of a gilt bull and spire.

The temple opens every year in the month of April-May and closes for winters in the third week of November.

At one time the spot was covered with wild berries (“badris“) and was famous as the “Badri Van” (the garden of wild berries).

Facing the temple at the bank of Alaknanda River is “Tapt Kund”a hot water spring, a bath in this spring is a very refreshing experience for the travelers.

It is believed to be a reliever from many diseases.

Places of Interest

The nearby places of interest are the Panch Badri namely :

Yog Dhyan Badri

The temple of Yog dhyan Badri, one of the five Badris.

It is located at Pandukeshwar.

The location is just 24 km short from Badrinath on the Rishikesh Badrinath highway.

The image, worshipped here is that of the Lord in a meditative posture.

It is believed that the Pandavas settled here after handing over Hastinapur to king Parikshit.

Bhavishya Badri

Bhavishya Badri is located at Subain near Tapovan, about 17kms. east of Joshimath on Joshimath – Lata Malari route.

Pilgrims have to trek beyond Tapovan, up the Dhauliganga river.

The temple of Bhavishya Badri is at an elevation 3641mts., and is surrounded by dense forests.

It is believed that one day the route to Badrinath temple will become inaccessible and then Lord Badrinath will be worshipped here.

Hence this place is rightly called Bhavishya Badri meaning the future Badri.

Adi Badri

Adi Badri is believed to be the ancient aboard of Bhagwan Badrinath.

The Idol worshiped here is a black stone depicting Lord Vishnu.

This place is approachable from Karnprayag by a motorable road on the way to Ranikhet.

There are 16 small ancient temples, 7 among them belong to the late Gupta period.

The credit for building these temples is given to Shankaracharya.

The main temple of Lord Narayan is situated on a raised platform in the pyramidal form where the idol is enshrined.

The idol of Lord Vishnu is a meter high.

Adi Badri is considered as the emerging source of river Saraswati.

Vriddha Badri

The idol placed here is known as vriddha old or the first Badri and the temple remains open throughout the year.

It is situated at an altitude of 1380mts.

and at a distance of 7kms. from Joshimath.

The idol of Badrinath was enshrined and worshiped here before the advent of Adi Guru Shankaracharya.

Things to remember

The Badrinath temple remains closed during winter and is open from April to November

One may carry light woolen between June – September

One should carry heavy woolen between October – November

Languages spoken – Hindi, English and Garwali

The other nearby places to visit are :



Mata murty temple

Mana Village


Bhim Pul

Vyas GutaYogadhyan Badri


Satopnath Swargarohan Parbat

Chamunda Devi

Chamunda Devi Chamunda Devi is revered as a Shakti shrine, situated 10 km west of Palampur located in the state of Himachal Pradesh.

This is the place where the Demons Chand and Mund came to conquer Devi Mahakali and during the fight, the Devi cut their heads.

The heads were then presented to Maa Ambika, who in turn told Mahakali that She will be worshipped as Chamunda Devi.

This Sidhapeeth has now become a place where saints and priests pray amidst natural surroundings.

Since this colorful shrine has a wrathful form of Chamunda or Mahakali, it is considered to be very sacred.

The idol in the temple is completely hidden beneath a red cloth and it is believed that here Lord Shiva is present in the form of death, destruction and dead bodies along with Chamunda Devi.

Devotees flock to this temple to offer prayers, worship and give offerings for their ancestors.

Chintpurni, Una

Chintpurni,Una Chintpurni in the Una District of Himachal Pradesh is famous for Mata Chintpurni Devi Temple.

The Chintpurni Temple besides having the idols of Mata Shri Chhinnamastika Devi and Mata Shri Chintpurni Devi also has the idol of Chhina Mastaka, the killer of the demon Nishumbha.

This temple is revered by the Hindus in Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh and it is believed that the Goddess Chintpurni is the remover of all troubles.

The devotees bring with them their worldly concerns and seek blessings from the Devi.

It is said that if you ask something from the Devi with a true heart, your wish will be fulfilled.

Devotees have been visiting this Shaktipeeth for hundreds of years to pray at the lotus feet of both the Devis.

Though the temple is open all round the year, the best time to visit it is during the 10-day fair held every year in the month of August.


Haridwar According to Hindus, Haridwar in Uttaranchal is one of the holiest places in the country where it is believed that the Devas have left their footprints on Earth.

Literally meaning Gateway to God, Haridwar represents the gateway to the Himalayan pilgrimage shrines of Badrinath and Kedarnath and it is the the point where the Ganga reaches the plains.

The main ghat at Haridwar is known as Hari-ki-Pauri which is renowned for a footprint of Vishnu on a stone in a wall.

There are five sacred bathing spots in Haridwar known as Gangadwara, Kankhal, Nila Parvata, Bilwa Theertha and Kusavarta.

The Ganga aarti which takes place every evening is a spectacular sight.

The aarti ceremony is performed at all temples in Haridwar at the same time.

There is the Gangadwara temple nearby which is considered to be the most important of the several temples that are within this town.

Haridwar is also known by other names as Gangadwar, Mokshadwar, Tapovan and Mayapuri while its ancient name was Kapilasthan.

The Kumbh Mela and the Ardh Kumbh Mela also take place in this ancient town every 12 th and 6th year, respectively.

Near Haridwar are the towns of Mayapuri and Kankhal and Kankhal is famous for the famous Daksheswara temple.

Jwalaji, Kangra

Jwalaji, Kangra Jwalaji in the Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh is well-known for the famous Jwalaji Temple which is one of the fifty-one Shakti Peeths in the country.

It is said that when, Sati, the consort of Lord Shiva, killed herself by jumping in the sacrificial fire when her father Daksha Prajapati insulted her husband, an enraged Shiva started roaming the entire universe with the body of Sati in his arms.

His movement created havoc and imbalance in the Universe.

To calm down the anger of Shiva, Lord Vishnu dismembered the dead body of Sati and various parts of the body fell at 51 different places in India which later on became sacred as Shakti Peeths.

It is believed that Sati’s tongue had fallen at the very place where Jwalaji Temple is now situated.

The tongue of Sati is represented by Jwala (Holy Flame) that is perpetually burning.

The flames come out from nine different rocks in the temple.

It is said that the Pandavas have visited this sacred place.

Even Emperor Akbar paid yearly visit to this Temple after he became impressed with the holy flames that kept burning even after he had put a massive chhatra (canopy) over it to extinguish the flame.

The climat of this region is quite moderate with cool but pleasant winters and warm summers.


Kedarnath is a Hindu holy town located in the the Indian state of Uttaranchal.

The place is located at an altitude of 3,584 m and at the origin of the river Mandakini, the temple of Kedarnath is the most venerated place for Hindu pilgrims.

Amidst the dramatic mountain scapes of the majestic Kedarnath range stands one of the twelve ‘Jyotirlingas’ of Kedar or Lord Shiva.

Kedarnath hosts one of the holiest Hindu temples and is a popular destination for Hindu pilgrims from all over the world.

The place is accessible after a steep 13 km trek over a paved path from Gaurikund. Rishikesh, Haridwar, Dehradun are well connected to Gaurikund by road.

There are different places on the route like- Rambara, Janglechatti and Garurchatti, where one can spend some time while trekking or can even spend a night as a halting station.

There is a high and beautiful cascading waterfall just one kilometer before Rambara.

The main attraction at Kedarnath is the Kedarnath Jyotirlinga Temple, which is one of the Panch Kendras located in the Himalayas, at the source of the Mandakani river.

It is about 120000 feet above the sea level.

One can get a glimpse of the God when traveling by foot.

The picture perfect setting with breathtaking scenic beauty transforms it in a heaven. Perpetually covered with snow, the place is best accessible from May to October except the Monsoon.

The credit for the construction of this heavenly temple is given to the Pandavas.

The entrance starts with the statue of Nandi, the divine bull of Shiva.

Fine & detailed carvings exhibiting images can be seen on the walls inside.

The shiva lingam is in the form of a pyramid.

The Kedar dome peak is located exactly behind the temple.

It can be viewed from great distance as well.

The temple is located on the Rudra Himalaya range, also known as the Pancha Parvata.

It is believed that four of the Pandavas died on one of the peaks, Swargarohini.

The holy statue of Shiva is carried from Garhwal (Kedarkhand) to Ukhnimath in November which is then restablished at Kedarnath in the first week of May.

The doors of the temple are now thrown open to pilgrims.

Mythology states that the deity of Kedarnath temple is identified with the rump of a bull. Shiva had camouflaged himself while eluding the Pandavas, who had come to repent for killing their kith and kin, during the battle of Kurukshetra.

Shiva dived into the ground, thus, leaving a hump on the surface.

This very conical projection is worshipped till now.

The temple is open only during the months of May to October, due to heavy snowfall and extreme cold weather during winter.

The origin of this revered temple is mentioned in the great epic-Mahabharata.

According to the saying it is believed that the Pandavas came to Lord Shiva to seek blessings to atone their sins after the battle of Mahabharata.

Lord Shiva evaded them continuously and took refuge in Kedarnath in the form of a Bull.

On being chased, Lord Shiva left his hump behind.

This conical protusion is worshiped in the temple.

During the winters, the shrine is submerged in snow and hence is closed.

The ideal time to visit is between May to October.

The remaining portions of Lord Shiva are worshiped at four other places like-

The arms {baahu} – at Tungnath

The mouth {mukh} – at Rudranath

The hair {jata} – at Kapleshwar

Things to remember

The best season to visit is May to October except monsoon

One may carry light woolens in summer and must carry heavy woolens in winter

The colloquial Language in use are Hindi, Garhwali and English

The nearest airport is Jolly Grant, Dehradun (251 kms.)

The nearest railway stations are Rishikesh (234 kms.)

Kotdwar (260 kms.)

The walking route starts from Gaurikund which is connected by road to Rishikesh, Kotdwar, Dehradun, Haridwar and other important hill stations of Garhwal and Kumaon region

There are halting stations like Dharamshalas, Ashrams, Cottages and Tourist Rest House for comfortable stay

There are some important fairs that are organized at Kedarnath anually like :

Nagnath (Feb.)

Sardotsava, Joshimath (Feb.)

Sardotsava Chamoli, Gopeshwar (Feb. – Mar.)

Shivaratri, Gopeshwar (Feb. – Mar.)

Nanda Devi, Nauti (Mar.)

Maithan, Maithan (Mar.)

Bishwat Sankranti, Karnaprayag

Nandprayag (April)

Bikhot, Agastyamuni (April)

Nautha, Adi Badri (May)

Kaviltha, Kaviltha (Jun.)

Naumi, Jasoli Haryali (Aug.)

Bhaikhal, Mela, Bhaikhaltal (Aug.)


Mathura Considered to be the birth place of Lord Krishna, Mathura, a small town on the River Yamuna in the state of Uttar Pradesh, is an important place of pilgrimage in the country.

Krishna is supposed to be the best known, best loved and most complex of Lord Vishnu’s manifestations.

It is a place of temples and shrines bustling with the thousands of devotees who come to visit this place of Lord Krishna.

There is the splendid temple at the Katra Keshav Dev which marks the spot believed to be Shri Krishna Janmasthan by his devotees.

There is another beautiful shrine, the Gita Mandir, on the Mathura-Vrindavan Road which has a fine image of Shri Krishna in its sanctum.

The whole of the Bhagwad Gita is inscribed on the walls of this temple.

Another most popular shrine at Mathura is the Dwarikadhish Temple to the north of the town. Vishram Ghat is the most important of all the 25 ghats in Mathura today.

It is believed that Shri Krishna took his rest here after killing Kansa.

The aarti held at the Vishram Ghat is a spectacular sight.

It is also said that no pilgrimage to Mathura is complete without a visit to its kunds. According to tradition, there were 159 ancient kunds in all.

Of these only four can be seen.

These are the Shiv Tal Kund, Potara Kund , Balbhadra Kund and Saraswati Kund.

The town has also a number of Shaivite temples.


Prayag Prayag is situated at the confluence of holy rivers Ganga and Yamuna in Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh and Indian mythology states that the invisible Saraswati river also joins here.

Hence, it is also called Sangam and is said to have soul cleansing powers.

Prayag is considered to be one of the ancient pilgrimage centers of India and is revered in the hymns of the Rig Veda.

Tradition regards this region between the Ganga and the Yamuna as the most fertile region on earth.

Sangam draws pilgrims from all over the world round the year but especially at the time of the Maha Kumbh Mela.

Millions of devotees bathe ritually in the waters to break the eternal cycle of reincarnation.

The most famous temples of Prayag are the Hanuman temple, Saraswati Ghat and Patalpuri Temple.


Rishikesh Located in the Tehri-Garhwal region of Uttar Pradesh, Rishikesh represents the Gateway to the Himalayas.

It is small town, renowned as an important pilgrimage center of the country.

The town abounds in natural splendour and the sight of the Ganga rushing through the Himalayan foothills is awesome.

There are several temples on the banks of the Ganga at Rishikesh.

It is believed that Rishikesh represents the site where Vishnu vanquished the demon


In Tapovan, on the other side of the Ganges, is a temple to Lakshmana.

The Lakshman Jhula at Rishikesh is a 450 feet long suspension bridge was built in 1939.

There is a newer bridge which has been added recently – the Ram Jhula.

Another commanding spectacular view of the region is the Nilkanth Mahadeo temple at a height of about 5000 feet, 12 km away from Rishikesh.

Rishikesh is not only popular for its religious significance but also considered to be a base for devotees on their journey to the Char Dham Yatra (tour of four pilgrim sites).

The freshness of the air, sound of flowing water, the scenic beauty, the distant sound of bells create an unforgettable experience for those that visit this ancient town.


Uttarkashi Uttarkashi is an important pilgrimage center of the country located in the Garhwal region of the state of Uttaranchal.

Situated at a distance of 145 kms from Rishikesh and at an elevation of 1158 meters on the banks of river Bhagirathi, this ancient town is the gateway to the pilgrim route to Gangotri and Yamunotri. Uttarkashi also holds the grace of having the origin of rivers Ganga and Yamuna.

It is also known as the “Devbhumi” (The land of gods and goddesses).

Uttarkashi is known for its temples dedicated to Parshurama, Annapurna, Devi, Datatryea, Kali Bhairon and other gods and goddesses.

The climate of Uttarkashi is cold in winters and pleasant in summers.

Not only the place an important religious center but also with its charming valleys, natural lakes, fountains and beauteous landscapes, ridges and mountains with snow-capped peaks makes the district an utmost attraction for the tourists, the pilgrims and for those having a zeal for adventures of trekking and mountaineering.

Vaishno Devi

Vaishno Devi is one of the most important pilgrimage centers of the country.

It is located in the mighty Trikuta mountain, 61 kilometers north of Jammu at a height of 5,200 feet above the sea level in the state of Jammu and Kashmir.

According to legend, more than 700 years ago Vaishno Devi a devotee of Lord Vishnu had taken vow of celibacy but Bhairon Nath, a “tantric” (demon-God) tried to behold Her and chased her towards the Trikuta mountains.

It took Bhairon nine months to locate Her inside the cave known as Garbh Joon.

Mata Vaishno Devi blasted an opening at the other end of the cave and on arriving at the Holy Cave at Darbar, she assumed the form of Maha Kali and thereby cut off Bhairon Nath’s head.

The head then flung up the mountain by the force of the blow and fell at the place where now the Bhairon Temple is located.

It is a common belief among the devotees that Maa Vaishno sends a “call’ to her devotees and whoever receives it, wherever he or she is, marches towards the holy shrine.

It seems there is a supernatural power which seems to draw them through the mountain and they climb up those great heights, chanting “Prem se bolo, Jai Mata Di”.

There are images of three deities inside the cave-The Mahakali, Maa Saraswati and Maha Lakshmi.

The shrine of Vaishno Devi is flocked every year by thousands of pilgrims.


Varanasi also known as Benares, Banaras, or Benaras or Kashi is a renowned Hindu holy city situated on the banks of the river Ganges in the state of Uttar Pradesh.

According to legends, the city was founded by Hindu god Shiva, and hence it is one of the most important pilgrimage destinations in the country.

In fact, it is considered to be one of the seven sacred cities of Hindus where more than 1,000,000 pilgrims visit each year.

There are large number of temples in the city.

The most important one is the Kashi Vishwanath Temple (an aspect of Lord Shiva) which is one of the 12 revered Jyotirlingas of the Lord Shiva.

There is also the red coloured Durga Temple accompanied by a rectangular tank of water called Durga Kund.

There is the Birla Temple built as a replica of the old Kashi Vishwanath Temple.

According to a popular belief, this city is one of the Shakti Peeths where Divine Mother Sati’s earring fell and therein stands the present Vishalakshi Temple.

Some says that it is one of the four pilgrimage sites designated by Gautama Buddha.

It is also a pilgrimage place for Jains as it is said to be the birthplace of Parshvanatha, the 23rd Tirthankar.

Vaishnavism and Shaivism have co-existed in this holy place harmoniously.

This place is so sacred that there is a belief that people dying in the holy city of Varanasi circumvents rebirth and attains salvation.


VrindavanLocated at a distance of 15 km from Mathura in the state of Uttar Pradesh, Vrindavan is another major place of pilgrimage among the Hindus.

Also known as Vrindaban, Brindavan, or Brindavana, or Brindaban, this holy place is the site of the original forest or forested region, in which Lord Krishna spent his childhood.

It is believed that Lord Krishna was raised there in the cow-herding village of Gokula by His foster parents.

Vrindavan is today famous for its numerous temples-both old and new.

Some of the notable ones are The Madan Mohan Temple located near the Kali Ghat, the oldest existent temple in Vrindavan today.

The Banke-Bihari Temple is another popular shrine at Vrindavan.

The famous Radha Vallabh Temple has the crown of Radha-Rani placed next to the Shri Krishna idol in the sanctum.

The Jaipur Temple is a richly embellished and opulent temple.

There is also the Shahji Temple where the idols at the temple are popularly known as the Chhote Radha Raman.

Considered to be the abode of Lord Krishna, it is one of India’s most holiest cities with more than 5000 temples dedicated to Lord Krishna.

Kamkhaya, Guwahati

 Kamakhya, known for the famous Kamakhya Temple, is located on a hill called the Neelachala Parvat near the city of Guwahati in Assam.

This temple is one of the most revered Shakti shrines in India.

According to legend, it is regarded as one of the 51 Shakti Peeths associated with Devi Sati (first wife of Lord Shiva).

It is believed that her female genitalia or ‘Yoni’ fell on the spot where the Kamakhya temple stands today, thereby forming one of the many Shakti Peeths embellishing the rest of the body parts of Goddess Sati or Kamakhya.

There is no idol in the temple.

Within a corner of a cave in the temple, there is a large block of granite, considered to be the Yoni of the Goddess, which is the object of reverence.

On this stone, sindoor (vermillion) is scattered and a natural spring keeps the stone moist.

A unique festival observed in the Kamakhya Temple is the Ambubashi Mela wherein it is believed that the mother Earth undergoes her menstrual period.

This place is visited by hundreds of devotees during the Mela.

The Kamakhya Temple is one of the most astounding structures in the whole of India.


Located in the state of Orissa, Puri is an important pilgrimage center, enshrining the famous Jagannatha Temple.

Infact, Puri is the forerunner of the Jagannatha cult in Orissa, with the flowering of several temples dedicated to Jagannath all over the state.

Shri Jagannatha Temple is an ancient shrine, enshrining Lord Krishna or Jagannatha in the form of a wooden image.

There are also wooden images of Balabhadra and Subhadra, brother and sister of Krishna, respectively.

The Jagannatha Temple dates back to the 12th century and is situated in a huge complex.

This temple is about 200 feet high and dominates the Puri skyline.

This complex contains about 120 temples and shrines.

Puri is famous for its “Rath Yatra” held once in every year in the month of June-July. This temple of Lord Jagannatha at Puri is considered to be one of the most sacred pilgrimage spots in India – one of the four dhamas (abodes) of the divine lying on the four directions of the compass.


Dwarka, located in the state of Gujarat, is revered as one of the Chardhams (the four most scared pilgrimage centers) of India and is associated with Lord Krishna’s life. Renowned in myth and legend, the city of Dwarka was once the capital of Lord Krishna’s empire and it is believed that he had settled there after leaving Mathura, thousands of years ago.

According to the epic Mahabharata, when the Lord finally abandoned his body, the holy city was submerged by the sea.

The entire city was revealed by marine excavations and like its ancient counterpart, today Dwarka stands poised on the edge of the Kutchh peninsula, facing the Arabian sea and the gateway to western India.

The majestic Dwarkadhish Temple (Jagat Mandir) at Dwarka is one of the most imposing structures of Hindu architecture on the confluence of river Gomti and the Arabian Sea.

This is a five-storey high temple, built on seventy-two pillars.

It is said that Vajranabha (Lord Krishna’s grandson) built the original temple of Dwarkadhish over the Hari-griha (Lord Krishna’s residential palace).

There are two entrances to the Dwarkadhish temple – the north entrance (main entrance) is called “Moksha Dwara” (Door to Salvation) and the south entrance is called “Swarga Dwara” (Gate to Heaven).

Dwarka is also famous for The Sharada Peetha-one of the four Mathas established by Jagatguru Adi Shankaracharya.

The Peetha has an educational society, an arts college and a Sanskrit Academy, which prepares scholars for doctorates in Sanskrit and Indology.


Ujjain in the state of Madhya Pradesh is known for the famous Mahakaleswar Temple which is among the 12 celebrated Jyotirlingas in India.

The Mahakaleshwar temple is located near a lake and has five levels, one of which is underground.

Brass lamps light the way to the underground sanctum of the temple.

The glory of this temple has been vividly described in various puranas.

The lingam at the Mahakal is believed to be “Swayambhu (born of itself), deriving “Shakti” (power) from within itself as against the other lingams which are ritually established and invested with mantra-shakti.

The idol of Mahakaleshwar is known to be Dakshinamurti (facing the South).

The idols of Ganesha, Parvati and Kartikeya are installed in the west, north and east of the sanctum sanctorum.

The idol of Nagchandreshwar is open for darshan only on the day of Nagpanchami.

On Mahashivaratri, there takes place a huge fair near the temple, and worship goes on throughout the night.

The Mahakal dominates the life of the people and the city so much that even in the midst of the busy routine of everyday preoccupations, it provides an unbreakable link with past traditions.


Pandharpur A small town called Pandharpur in the district of Solapur in Maharashtra is one of the most respected Vitthala (Krishna) pilgrimage sites of the country.

Pandharpur is the abode of the famous Lord Vitthala also known as Panduranga, Pandhari or Vithoba enshrined in the Vithoba temple.

This temple is the greatest center of attraction in Pandharpur for the masses as far as the spiritual field goes.

This temple has a total of six gates and covers a large area.

Pandharpur hosts four “Yatras” in a year.

The “Aashadhi Yatra” is the one which attracts most pilgrims (around 0.5 to 0.7 million) to Pandharpur every year.

Devotees take holy bath in river Bhima and usually stand in long queues in order to take “Darshana” of Lord Vitthala.

The second important yatra is “Kartiki“.

The huge crowds that accompany the palanquins of the various saints to Pandharpur gives a clear image of the popularity of Vithoba in the region.


Shird iA small town in the Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra, Shirdi is an important place for every religion.

It is said that Sri Sai Baba, a personification of spiritual perfection and an epitome of compassion, lived in Shirdi for 60 years. Pilgrims belonging to all faiths throng to this holy place all the year around.

There are many religious spots in and around Shirdi, all dedicated to Sai Baba.

The Shirdi Saibaba Temple attracts millions of devotees of all religions, castes and creed who come to pay homage to Shri Sai Baba.

The famous Samadhi Mandir is a beautiful shrine that was built over the Samadhi of Shri Sai Baba.

Just behind the Samadhi is Sai Baba’s statue made of Italian marble which shows him seated on a throne.

Dwarkamai is situated on the right side of the entrance of Samadhi Mandir and it is said that Baba stayed at Dwarkamai till the very end of his life and it was here he solved problems of the people, cured their sickness and worries.

Gurusthan is the name given to the place where Sai Baba was first spotted seated under a Neem tree which was later converted to a temple.

At a short distance from there lies Baba’s Chavadi where he used to sleep every alternate day.

At some distance from Gurustahan there is a Lendi Baug (garden) which is said to have been planted by Sai Baba and watered daily by Baba himself.


Triambakeshwar Tryambakeshwar is revered as one of the 12 Jyotirlinga shrines of Shiva, located at a distance of about 30 kms from Nasik, Maharashtra.

It is said that Tryambakeshwar is the source of the river Godavari.

It is also known by other names like Trimbak or Trimbakeshwar or Triambakeshwar or Triyambakeshwar.

The Tryambakeshwar Temple is an ancient Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva.

The extraordinary feature of the Jyotirlinga located here is that it has three faces embodying the images of Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva.

The entire black stone temple is known for its appealing architecture and sculpture.

This place is also famous for lots of religious “vidhis” (rituals) like Narayan-Nagbali, Kalsarpa Shanti, Tripindi vidhi etc.

Narayan-Nagbalipuja is performed at this temple only.

It is a sacred puja to fulfill all your desires and is performed in three days.

Trimabakeshwar also has good number of Brahmin houses and is also a center for Vedic Gurukuls.

It also has Ashrams and Muths devoted to “Ashtanga Yoga” (the Hindu art of Living).

The place is well-known for its scenic beauty in rainy season and is surrounded by unpolluted lush green hills.


Kanchipuram Kanchipuram/Kanchi is located in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu and considered to be one of the India’s Seven Sacred places.

This place is the second holiest place after Varanasi.

It is a temple town dedicated to lord Shiva and originally was the historical capital of the Pallavas.

There are several magnificent ancient temples of unique architectural beauty in Kanchi. The most notable one is the Ekambaranatha Temple which is one of the five form of abodes of Lord Shiva.

Kamakshi Amman Temple, Varadharaja Perumal Temple, Kumara Kottam, Kachapeshwarar Temple, Kailasanathar Temple are other famous temples of the region of Kanchi.

Considered to be the “Golden city of Thousand Temples” and the seat of Shankarcharya, Kanchipuram is visited by thousands of devotees every year from all parts of the country.

The teachings of Adi Shankaracharya (spiritual teacher) are studied at and propagated by the Shankaracharya Muth and the headquarters of the “Muth” is situated at Kanchipuram.


Rameswaram, situated about 164 kilometers south-east of Madurai, Tamil Nadu is considered as one of the “Chardhams” (the four most scared pilgrimage centers) by the Hindus.

It is an important pilgrim center, famous for the Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Rama and it is believed that Lord Rama descended on its shores and built a bridge across the Palk Strait to reach Lanka in his search to rescue Sita from Ravana.

The temple is also famous for being one of the 12 Jyotirlingas of Lord Shiva, called the Ramalingam which was built Lord Rama to offer thanks to the Lord after killing Ravana.

This holy city is an island paradise of golden sand.

Devotees consider Rameswaram as the Varanasi of the south and devotees bathe in the sea.

Rameswaram temple is known for its long corridors and towers and 36 Theerthams. Rameswaram is one of the most sacred towns of India, well known for its temple corridor – the longest in India, the Bathing Ghat, Ganthamathana Parvatham, Kothandaramar temple, Kurusadai and other nearby temples.


Tirupati Located in the foot hills of Tirumala, Tirupati is a famous temple town in Chittoor District of Andhra Pradesh.

It is the richest shrine in the Hindu world and the second busiest and richest religious centre in the world after the Vatican.

Every year more than 12 million people visit this temple both from India and abroad.

Tirupati Temple is the abode of Lord Venkateshwara (one of the incarnations of Lord Vishnu).

Tirumala has seven hills which represents the seven heads of a huge serpent, called Sesha Saye, on which Lord Vishnu resides.

The black idol of Lord Vishnu or Balaji is covered in gold, jewellery and precious ornaments and is 2 metres high.

It is believed that any wish expressed before this image of the Lord will always be granted.

Worship at the temple begins in early morning hours before dawn, with “Suprabhatham” when Lord Venkateswara is woken from his rest.

This morning ritual is an unforgettable experience as the hundreds of oil lamps light up the sanctum and the majesty of the image decked in glittering ornaments is seen.

Holy Places

In India there are thousands of tirthas (places of pilgrimage) visited by millions of people every year.

Each is somehow special, often associated with a particular deity or saint, and offering its own particular boon or blessing.

The most famous tirtha is Varanasi, also called Benares or Kashi.

It is one of seven ancient holy towns (see Important Places of Pilgrimage).

There are four great dhamas (holy places), which correspond to the four points of the compass and near which the great teacher Shankara (see Founders and Theologians) established his four main centres.

Another key city is Allahabad, established on the site of the ancient city of Prayaga but renamed as “

The City of Allah.”

It is the one of the four main sites for the twelve-yearly Kumbha Mela.

The others are Haridwar, Ujjain and Nasik (as shown here).

The map below shows all the major holy places mentioned and also the main sacred rivers and mountains.

Further details of most of these sites can be found in this section.

The Seven Ancient Holy Towns

  1. Ayodhya
  2. Mathura
  3. Haridwar
  4. Varanasi
  5. Kanchipuram
  6. Dvaraka
  7. Ujjain

The Four Holy Dhamas

  1. Puri (East)
  2. Rameshvaram (South)
  3. Dvaraka (West)
  4. Badrinatha (North)

The Four Maha Kumbha Mela Sites

  1. Prayaga ( Allahabad)
  2. Haridwar
  3. Ujjain
  4. Nasik

Personal Reflection

  • What is it that makes a place sacred?
  • What experiences do you have of sacred places?
  • Are there tangible differences between a holy site and other places, or are they simply imaginary?

Holy Sites for the Four Main Denominations


  • Mathura/Vrindavana
  • Dvaraka
  • BadrinathaPuri (Jagannatha Puri)
  • Tirupati
  • Ayodhya
  • Nathdwar
  • Udupi


  • Varanasi
  • Kedarnatha
  • Somnath
  • Rameshvaram
  • Chidambaram
    Note: for more holy places dedicated to Vishnu or Shiva, see Vaishnavism and Shaivism.


  • Kanyakumari
  • Madurai
  • Vaishno Devi
  • Calcutta ( Kali Temple)
    Note: there are 51 principle Shakti sites throughout India


  • Puri
  • Rameshvaram
  • Dvaraka
  • Badrinatha

Note: these correspond to the four dhamas (most holy sites in India)

Glossary Terms

Tirtha – literally means “ford” and refers to places where one can cross from the material world to the spiritual.

Many sacred places are considered gateways to the higher realms and to a higher consciousness.

Some are thought to be replicas of places within the spiritual realm.

Hindu Sacred Sites

Hinduism has an estimated one billion practitioners, most of whom live in India. Hinduism is a polytheistic faith tradition that includes the worship of numerous gods, collectively referred to as devas (gods) and devis (goddesses).

Hinduism is estimated to have millions of deities; however, the three main gods are Lord Vishnu, Lord Shiva, and Lord Brahma.


List of Holy Sites in Hinduism

While India has many places that are considered holy, seven Hinduism sacred sites are considered to be the holiest sites.

These sites include the holy cities of Hinduism: Kashi, Ayodhya, Mathura, Dwarka, Kanchipuram, Ujjain, and Haridwar.


Kashi Vishwanath Temple, also called the Golden Temple, is located in the sacred city of Kashi, also known as Varanasi in India’s Uttar Pradesh state.

According to Hindu beliefs, Lord Shiva founded Kashi, one of India’s holiest Hindu cities. Lord Shiva fought with Brahma and severed one of Brahma’s heads.

He carried it around until one day, he dropped it, and it was absorbed into the ground giving birth to Kashi/Varanasi.

Kashi Vishwanath Temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and sits on the banks of the Ganges river, which is a tirtha.

Pilgrims come to this site to bathe in the Ganges, believing it will bring them closer to moksha.

Kashi Vishwanath Temple, also known as the Golden Temple, is located in the holy city of Varanasi


Lord Vishnu is believed to have had different incarnations, and the town of Ayodhya, another holy city, is believed to be where the god was incarnated for the seventh time, this time as Lord Sri Rama.

Because of its significance as one of the birthplaces of Lord Vishnu, it has been a destination for pilgrims since the 15th century CE.

The city is located in the state of Uttar Pradesh, not far from the sacred Sarayu River, and is home to estimated seven-hundred temples.

One of them is the Ram Janmabhoomi, the site where Lord Rama was born, and the Hanuman Garhi, which is dedicated to the Hindu god Hanuman, a friend of Lord Rama.


The city of Mathura, in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, is another holy site in which Lord Vishnu’s avatar, Lord Krishna was born.

Lord Krishna is the eighth human form that Vishnu adopted.

The city is located on the sacred Yamuna River.

It is known for a temple complex called Shri Krishna Janambhumi, which according to Hinduism, is where Lord Krishna rescued his mother and father from an evil king. Mathura is inundated with pilgrims and tourists during Krishna Janmashtami, the celebration of Lord Krishna’s birthday, which occurs in September.


Significance of Hindu Pilgrimage

The Hindu pilgrimage is a significant part of Hinduism because it is a way to commune with the deities and honor them spiritually and for pilgrims to ritually cleanse themselves from their sins in the hopes of someday achieving moksha.

Pilgrimages bring Hindu people closer to their faith and Brahman (their concept of what is true about all existence and the reality of creation).

Pilgrimage places include the seven sacred cities, the seven sacred rivers, the four corners of India where it is believed that the gods reside, and other sacred sites associated with tirtha.

Lesson Summary

Hinduism is a polytheistic faith that worships many gods.

The main gods are the four-headed god Lord Brahma the creator, Lord Vishnu the preserver and protector with ten human incarnations called avatars, and Lord Shiva the god of destruction and rebuilding.

tirtha is a Hindu sacred space and crossing point that marks the demarcation between the human and spiritual world.

Pilgrimages to these sites allow the Hindu people to get closer to their faith, cleanse themselves of their sins, and work towards moksha, freedom from the reincarnation cycle.

Does Hinduism have holy sites?

Yes, Hinduism has numerous holy sites.

The seven most holy sites are Kashi, Ayodhya, Mathura, Haridwar, Kanchipuram, Ujjain, and Dwarka.

Where are the most sacred sites of Hinduism located?

The holiest places in India can be found in or near tirtha. 

Tirtha is a natural sacred space, such as mountains and rivers, that are associated with Hindu deities.


50 Pilgrimage Destinations and Religious Places in India You Have to Visit at Least Once in Your Life

The rich and dynamic spiritual air in the country carries the essence of Dharma and Karma to greet your spiritually thirsty souls.

It’s no surprise that this South Asian country is rife with sacred sites.

We have listed the most beautiful religious places in India for you, where you can go with your friends, family, or yourself to discover peace, enlightenment, and wonder.



One of India’s holiest places is the beautiful and pious city of Varanasi, where you can find the religious and cultural heartbeat of India.

Revered as the most sacred city for Hindus, the Kashi Vishwanath temple in Varanasi attracts many tourists and is located on the Ganges river banks.

Devotees of Lord Shiva visit this temple frequently, or at least once in their life.

The holy Ganga meandering through the city undoubtedly amplifies the sanctity of Varanasi.


Haridwar is a major pilgrimage center for Hindus located in the state of Uttarkhand. Known as the Gateway of the Gods, the holy city of Haridwar is famous for its temples and ghats where pilgrims bathe to relieve themselves of their sins and achieve salvation.

Haridwar hosts the Khumb Mela once every 12 years, which is believed to be the largest congregation of humanity in the world.


Tirupati is known as the abode of the Hindu god Venkateshwara, Lord of the Seven Hills.

The Tirumala Venkateswara Temple is situated on the last hill of the Seshachalam range in Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh.

Like many temples in south India, this holy temple is known for its exquisite architecture.

It is also amongst the most visited Hindu temples in India that attracts over 60,000 pilgrims each day.


Also known as the Land of Sai, Shirdi is famous for Shirdi Sai Baba’s shrine, the city’s main attraction.

Shirdi is a treasure trove of divine vibrations due to its strong association with the renowned Saint Shri Sai Baba.

The three main festivals celebrated here are Ramanavami (March/April), Guru Purnima (July), and Vijayadashami (September).

These festivals are celebrated with great devotion and enthusiasm, and zeal for two to four days each.

Somnath Temple

Somnath Temple is a specimen of fine architecture of one of the 12 Jyotirlingas Shrines of Shiva.

This legendary temple has been vandalized numerous times in history, but with the help of some Hindu Kings, the temple was reshaped each time.

It is believed that worshipping in Somnath destroys all the sins and misdeeds of the devotees.

Golden Temple

The unparalleled reflection of the pious golden tower on the ambrosial nectar (lake) and the horde of pilgrims loitering in the shrine complex urge one to visit this popular religious place in India.

Built by the fourth Sikh Guru- Ramdass Sahib Ji, the Golden Temple is the most important Sikh pilgrimage site to visit in India.

The temple is surrounded by a pool of clear water that is sacred to Sikhs.

The holy water is believed to have healing powers.

Vaishno Devi Temple

Known for being one of India’s most famous ancient shrines, the Vaishno Devi Temple is believed to be Goddess Durga’s dwelling place.

Devotees choose different ways, like walking bare feet and crawling all the way up to seek Goddess’s blessing and pay gratitude.


The seaside town of Rameshwaram is home to the Ramanathaswamy Temple, renowned for being a part of one of the twelve Jyotirlingas (Lingam of light) of Lord Shiva in India.

Taking a dip in the 23 theerthams(holy water bodies) in and around Ramanathaswamy Temple is an integral part of washing away sins.

The temple is dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva and is closely associated with Rama.

The temple and the town are considered a holy pilgrimage site for Shaivas and Vaishnavas.


The emerald Ganga, innumerable Hindu temples, and the heavy settlement of yoga centers in Rishikesh redefine spirituality.

Preserving the ancient Hindu practice called Yoga, Rishikesh opens the door to a different level of spirituality in India.

At Rishikesh, one can praise nature in its most authentic forms and take a chance to lose himself in it.

Jagannath Temple

The Jagannath temple is of utmost importance to the Hindu devotees as it is one of the Char-Dham Pilgrimages.

It also serves as a mighty historical structure built about millennia ago, in the year 1078. Millions of people visit Odisha to gain Lord Jagannath’s blessings.

The temple is also well-known for the annual chariot festival or Rath Yatra.

Sun Temple

Sun Temple is a masterpiece of Indian architecture and an epitome of exquisite architecture and unmatched spirituality.

Situated in Konark, Odisha, the Sun Temple boasts massive size and is an incredible example of genius.

The Sun God sitting on a majestic chariot depicts the victory of King Narsimhadeva.


When you are able to get your eyes off the scenic beauty of Kedarnath, the temple is what you must visit.

Situated on the banks of the Mandakini River, the temple is one of the trendy religious places all over India. But it is only open between April and November.


Nestled in the pristine Himalayas, Badrinath in Uttarakhand is a door to unmatched spirituality.

It is the place where everything is cuddled by divinity.

Badrinath is believed to be the home of Lord Vishnu or Badrinathji, who had come here to meditate after being rebuked by Narad for being too indulgent in worldly affairs.

Thus, today Badrinath offers confinement from the materialistic world and takes you a step closer to the Supreme Power.


Situated on the western tip (Gujarat) of India, Dwarka is the land of unparalleled spirituality.

Once, the capital of Lord Krishna, when he escaped from Mathura, Dwarka is one of the Char Dham Yatra sites.

The white attire of local men keeps up with the sanctity of the place.

A fascinating town, the holy city, shall take you back in the time of the Mahabharata.


The birthplace of the Hindu God Krishna, Mathura in the state of Uttar Pradesh can rightly be called a blessed land.

Today, the town is dotted with many temples, including the Krishna Janmabhoomi Temple that is thronged by a large number of devotees all through the year.


Nashik is a historically, mythologically, socially, and culturally significant city in the northern part of the state of Maharashtra in India.

It is known for the temples on the Godavari banks, and it has historically been one of the holy sites of the Hindu religion.

Nasik is well known for being one of the Hindu pilgrimage sites of the Kumbh Mela, held every 12 years in the Trimbakeshwar Shiva Temple.

Meenakshi Temple

South India is famous for its number of temples.

One of the most popular is Meenakshi Amman Temple which is beautifully designed by architects and is located on the banks of River Vaigai.

It attracts around 15,000 people every day who pray to the almighty here.


Kanchipuram, in the state of Tamil Nadu, is one of the most sacred cities in southern India and the second holiest after Varanasi.

Also known as “The City of Thousand Temples,” Kanchipuram is an important religious pilgrimage for Hindus.

People travel from far and wide to admire the magnificent stone carvings, chariot processions, and shrines.


Khajuraho is famous for its artistic temples built by the Chandela rulers between the 10th and 12th Centuries.

The Khajuraho Temples are a group of shrines dedicated to both Hinduism and Jainism, located in Madhya Pradesh, India. Known for its breathtaking sculptures and aesthetics, the Khajuraho group of monuments is one of India’s UNESCO World Heritage sites.


Sabarimala in Kerala, also known as God’s Own Country, is the home to the holy and temple of Lord Ayyappa on the magnificent Western Ghats of the region.

It is surrounded by thick, lush green forests and almost 18 hills.

Around 40 to 50 million devotees visit this temple every year, especially during the annual festival of Makaravilakku.


The Shravanabelagola temple is a holy place for the Jains and is world-renowned for the majesty of Lord Gomatheeswara towering over everything around.

It is one of the most religious sites for the Jain community attracting millions of devotees annually.

The Shravanabelagola Gomatheeswara statue is the largest monolithic idol in the world.

It spans centuries with different ruling dynasties and kings adding their contributions and living historical evidence of the last millennia.


Vrindavan is the holy town of Uttar Pradesh, northern India.

The Hindu deity Krishna is said to have spent his childhood here.

It’s home to temples, many dedicated to Krishna and his lover, the deity Radha.

The city is most vibrant and beautiful during the holy Hindu festivals of Lord Krishna’s birthday known as Janmashtami and Holi—the festival of colors.


The temple at Srisailam is an ancient and sacred place of South India.

The presiding deity of the place is Brahmaramba Mallikarjuna Swamy, in natural stone formations in the shape of Lingam.

It is listed as one of the twelve Jyotirlingams existing in the country.


The Murudeshwar temple is built on the Kanduka hill in the quaint town of Murudeshwar which lies in the Bhatkal Taluk of the north Kannada district.

As a result, it is surrounded by beautiful views of the Arabian Sea, which falls on three sides of the temple.


Amarnath is famed for the Linga that is created naturally by ice here every year.

The Amarnath Yatra is an annual event in which pilgrims are allowed to trek to the cave temple.

The holy Amarnath Cave is situated in the beautiful state of Jammu and Kashmir and can only be reached after a rigorous trekking expedition.

The cave holds importance as one of the ancient pilgrimages in India.

Jain Temple

Ranakpur Jain Temple (also known as Chaturmukha Dharana Vihara) is a Jain temple dedicated to Tirthankara Rishabhanatha.

Ranakpur Temple is one of the largest and most important temples in Jain culture.

It is considered one of the five most sacred places for Jains.

Adinath, Neminath, Parshvanath, Surya, and Amba Matha are the deities worshipped here.


Ayodhya is regarded as one of the seven sacred cities of the Hindus, revered because of its association in the great Indian epic poem Ramayana with the birth of Rama and with the rule of his father, Dasharatha.

The Ram Mandir is currently under construction at the site of Ram Janmabhoomi, Lord Rama’s birthplace.

Allahabad (Prayagraj)

Prayagraj is believed to be the most important pilgrimage center for Hindus. Traditionally river confluences are regarded as auspicious places, but in Sangam, the confluence’s significance is most pious because here, the holy Ganga, Yamuna, and the mythical Saraswati meet to become one.

The Maha Kumbh Mela, celebrated once every 12 years, is one of India’s largest religious congregations, attended by millions.

Bodh Gaya

Bodh Gaya is a religious site and place of pilgrimage associated with the Mahabodhi Temple Complex in the Gaya district in the Indian state of Bihar.

It is famous as Gautama Buddha is said to have attained Enlightenment under what became known as the Bodhi Tree.


Known for its idyllic beaches and pristine waters, Gokarna is a small temple town on the western coast of India in the Kumta taluk of Uttara Kannada district of the state of Karnataka.

The main temple is Sri Mahabaleshwara Swamy Temple Gokarna and the chief deity is Shiva, also known as Mahabaleshwara.

This temple houses what is believed to be the original image of Shiva’s linga (Atmalinga).

Brahma Temple

Jagatpita Brahma Mandir is a Hindu temple situated at Pushkar in the Indian state of Rajasthan, close to the sacred Pushkar Lake, to which its legend has an indelible link. The temple is one of the very few existing temples dedicated to the Hindu creator-god Brahma in India and remains the most prominent among them.


Gangotri is believed to be the abode of goddess Ganga.

The river Ganga originates from the Gangotri glacier and is known as Bhagirathi.

The striking presence of the snow-clad mountains in the vicinity and the pure crystal clear water of the Ganges flowing around adds to the place’s sanctity.

Religious rituals are in full swing in the Gangotri temple, with the Arti ceremony performed by the pujaris of the Semwal family.


Sarnath is a Buddhist pilgrim spot located near Varanasi.

The city is famous for being the first place where Lord Buddha preached for the first time after gaining enlightenment.

Later, kings who followed Buddhism, like King Ashoka, built many stupas and structures focused on Buddhism.

Sarnath temple is believed to be the first place where Lord Budha delivered His first sermon of the five principles that lead to Nirvana.


Manikaran is a pilgrimage center for Hindus and Sikhs.

A visit to the Manikaran Temple gives an inclusive mental and spiritual fulfillment to every devotee.

This shrine of Lord Shiva is situated at the height of 2650 meters from sea level, in Manikarn town in the Kullu district of Himachal Pradesh.

Every visitor is amazed to get freezing water in the Parvati River on the one side and boiling hot water spring on the other.


Chitrakoot is a famous pilgrimage center in the Satna district in the state of Madhya Pradesh, India.

It is a place of religious, cultural, historical, and archaeological importance, situated in the Bundelkhand region.

It is a forested hill skirted all along its base by a chain of temples and is revered today as the holy embodiment of Rama.

Hemkund Sahib

Situated in one of the country’s most scenic locations, Hemkund Sahib adds charm to religious tours in India.

Unlike other Sikh pilgrimages in India, Hemkund Sahib has a pentagonal structure.

The scenic beauty of the place is worth mentioning as this shrine is nestled amidst lofty hills that are covered with snow.

Yamunotri Temple

The source of River Yamuna, the Yamunotri temple, is also one of the Char Dham pilgrimage sites.

It is surrounded by mountains on all sides and lies in close proximity to the Indo-China border.

It is known for offering peace and tranquillity to its visitors.

Jwalamukhi Temple

Jwalamukhi is a famous temple to the Goddess Jwalamukhi, the deity of the flaming face.

The temple is situated overlooking the Dhauladhar range and set amidst undulating hills.

The temple consists of a copper pipe that emanates natural gas, lit by the temple’s priest to form a flawless blue flame.

The flame is worshiped as the manifestation of the Goddess Jwalamukhi.

Kamakhya Temple

Contrary to the shaming treatment that menstruation gets elsewhere in India, at the Kamakhya Temple, it is worshiped as a woman’s ability to conceive.

Located on the Nilachal Hill in the capital city of Guwahati, the deity of the temple, Kamakhya Devi, is revered as the ‘Bleeding Goddess, considering this to be a woman’s power to give birth.


Deoghar Vishnu Temple is also known as the Dashavatara temple indicating the ten incarnations of Lord Vishnu in Hindu mythology.

It is among India’s oldest stone temples and the earliest Panchayatan temple still existing.

This place was under the rule of important dynasties like the Guptas, the Pratiharas, the Gondas, the Marathas.

As a result of all these, the area has a tremendously rich architectural and archaeological history.


Literally meaning “mouth of a cow,” Gomukh is the glacier from where the Bhagirathi River originates.

Gaumukh is one of the holiest places for Hindu pilgrims and Indian tourists who come here to witness the beauty and take blessings of Goddess Ganga.

It is situated at the Gangotri glacier and is thronged by devotees mainly for its serenity and pious mythological history.

It is a well-known pilgrimage site as well as a trekking location.


Devprayag is a beautiful showcase of traditions, myths, and mysticism.

This is where the holy rivers Bhagirathi and Alaknanda meet, merge into one and take the name ‘Ganga.’

Devprayag is a pilgrimage center of great significance.

The main temple of the town is the ‘Raghunath Temple,’ dedicated to Lord Rama.

Akshardham Mandir

Akshardham Mandir, or the Swaminarayan Akshardham complex, in Delhi is a quintessential Hindu shrine epitomizing Indian culture, architecture, and spirituality.

The exquisite temple is dedicated to Swaminarayan, an Indian yogi and spiritual soul who existed during the 18th century.

Touted as the world’s largest comprehensive Hindu temple by the Guinness World Record, Delhi’s Akshardham is known for its aesthetic beauty, unique exhibitions, sprawling campus, and tranquillity.

Padmanabhaswamy Temple

Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple, situated in Thiruvananthapuram, is dedicated to Lord Vishnu.

It is one of the wealthiest temples in India.

An inventory unveiled a significant priceless treasure.

Massive piles of jewels, idols, and coins were uncovered.

The temple is one of 108 centers of worship in Vaishnavism.

Shani Shingnapur

A one of a kind village in India, and probably the world, Shani Shingnapur is famous for the fact that no house here has any doors.

Residents of the town feel little need for security, thanks to their belief in superior protection from the Hindu deity Shani, whose famous temple is located here.

Dhakshineshwar Kali Temple

Located on the Hooghly River banks, the Dakshineshwar Kali Temple is one of the most popular places of worship not only in Kolkata but all across eastern India.

The Dakshineswar Kali Temple is not just any other temple dedicated to Goddess Kali.

The temple has also been an essential part of West Bengal’s history.


Tarapith is famous for the temple of Tara ma and sadhana pith of Sadhak – Bamakhyapa.

The deity of Tara is enshrined inside the temple.

It is a unique temple for more reasons than one.

The worship here includes blood offerings.

The intense rituals and the hymns sung here also contribute to make this temple an exceptional one.

Belur Math

Belur math is a place of pilgrimage for people of different religious faiths.

This place of religious importance is visited by people from all over India and abroad.

The main gate of Belur math leads to the Ramkrishna Sarada Mandir.

The awe-inspiring majesty of the temple coupled with its austere simplicity spontaneously kindles devotion.


Glossary Terms for Worship

  • Puja – usually refers to ritual worship of the murti
  • Bhajan – adoration; indicates worship with love. Often refers to devotional singing or the hymns themselves
  • Seva – indicates service (and the appropriate mood of worship)
  • Yajna – sacrifice (an important aspect of worship)

Hindu worship encompasses a broad range of activities, including even dance and drama (see Expressions of Faith).

In this section we focus on practices which to the Western mind seem more clearly “acts of worship.”

Hindu worship displays a number of distinct features:

  • The presence of the Divine is perceived in diverse ways and tends to be inclusive. Thus, there is a complex array of focuses of worship (see Focuses of Worship).
  • Much worship is performed individually, though in some traditions, like many in the UK, communal worship plays a central role.
  • Hindu worship often takes place outside the temple, especially in the home.
  • There are no specific days of worship, though days of the week are associated with particular deities (e.g. Shiva is honoured on Monday and Hanuman on Tuesday). In the UK, Sunday has become most important, as most Hindus are working during the week.
  • The time of day is important. The hours on either side of dawn are considered most auspicious for worship, for they are influenced by the quality of goodness (see Prakriti and Guna). In India many temples begin their first public ceremony between four and six in the morning. Other ceremonies take place during the day; evening worship is particularly popular.
  • Worship is often more spontaneous and less tightly regulated than in much Western religion, and individuals are usually quite free to join and leave ceremonies.
  • Hindu worship often appears to lack the solemnity we sometimes associate with religion. God can be worshipped with awe and reverence but also with warmth, joy, and affection, as if He is a close friend or a loved one.