With diverse religion comes great responsibility to encourage unification and India seems to master this art. In India, religions like Hinduism, Islam, Jainism, Christianity, Sikhism and Buddhism flourish, along with other lesser known religions and beliefs. On the holy land of this country, mosques, gurudwaras and temples are erected, which have their own legends and stories. Followers of different religion visit these sacred spots in different parts of the country. Pilgrimage in India is a common activity that people indulge in for seeking peace and salvation.
Varanasi, Haridwar, Kedarnath, Kanchipuram, Badrinath, Madurai, Puri, Mathura, Dwarka, Shirdi, Vaishnodevi, Vrindavan are some of the most sacred and popular Hindu pilgrimage sites in India.
In Hinduism, Char Dham Yatra pilgrimage circuit is considered of utmost importance. It is believed that a Hindu should at least once in lifetime embark on this trek. There is yet another Char Dham, which is a smaller circuit confined to Uttarakhand State. The main Char Dham Yatra consists of Badrinath, Kedarnath, Jagannath Puri and Dwarka. And the Uttarakhand Char Dham Yatra consists of Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri and Yamunotri.
Dilwara Temple, Khandagiri Caves, Ranakpur, Palitanam, Savanabelagola are some popular Jain pilgrimage destinations in India. Temples like Dilwara Jain Temples epitomize beautiful architecture and flawless artistry.
Muslim pilgrimage destinations in India consist of Haji Ali Dargah, Ajmer Sharif, Hazrat Nizamuddin and Jama Masjid.
Haji Ali in Mumbai is a mosque besides the dargah of Sayed Peer Haji Ali Shah Bukhari. This Islamic saint gave up all his worldly possessions to visit Mecca. The casket carrying his body hit the rocky shore and that’s where the mosque and tomb were erected. Not just Muslims, people following other religions to make a visit to Haji Ali and offer their sincere prayers.
Lord Buddha was born in Nepal but came to India in search of enlightenment. He founded the philosophy of Buddhism in this very country, which means there are several spots associated with Lord Buddha and most of these are of high-significance for Buddhists around the world. Sarnath, Bodhgaya, Sanchi, Rajgir, and Shravasti are some of most important Buddhist pilgrimage site.
Sikhs follow the teachings of their ten gurus Guru Nanak Dev, Guru Angad Dev, Guru Amar Das, Guru Ram Das, Guru Arjan Dev, Guru Hargobind, Guru Har Rai, Guru Harkrishan, Guru Tegh Bahadur and Guru Gobind Singh.
Gurudwaras are dotted throughout India, of which The Golden Temple (Harmandir Sahib), Gurudwara Bangla Sahib, Hemkund Sahib, Paonta Sahi, Takht Srin Patna Sahib, Takht Sri Hazur Sahib and Manikaran Sahi are amongst the most important Sikh shrines in India.
The traces of Christianity date back to the time when St. Thomas sailed to India in order to spread the philosophy of Christianity, in 52 AD. Some of India’s best and most important churches are found in South India and Goa. Portuguese rulers established churches with immaculate architecture and the best of these churches are considered a UNESCO World Heritage Site with the name, Churches and Convents of Goa. Malayatoor Church, Valiya Pallu Church, Santa Cruz Basillica, Basilica of Bom Jesus, Lady of Immaculate Conception are just a few popular churches in India.