Posts Tagged ‘Haridwar’

North India Pilgrimage

Hinduism is also known as Sanatana Dharma in Sanskrit . Hinduism is the oldest religion in the world. Hinduism is rated as the third largest religion in the world after Christianity and Islam.The pilgrimages undertaken by the Hindus are not easy as they require a lot of devotion and determination. All the Hindu pilgrimage spots have their own importance, which make them famous all over. India being the country, where Hinduism was founded has various Hindu pilgrimage spots. According to the ancient mythology, an individual by going on a pilgrimage can wash away all his sins and be free of them. Pilgrimages are mostly undertaken in groups in a certain part of the year. According to the customs of Hinduism, Char Dham is the chief pilgrimage circuit of the Hindus it is situated in North india.The North India, strategically, most important part of India has shaped the course of India’s historical and cultural evolution over the last 3500 years.

North India Pilgrimage Destinations:

Allahaba,Amarnath,Ayodhya,Bodhgaya,Badrinath,Bhubaneswar,Dwarka,Gangotri’Haridwar,Kedarnath Khajuraho,Konark,Lumbini,Manikaran,Mathura,Nalanda,Omkareshwar,Puri,Pushkar,Rishikesh,Sarnath Yamnotri,Shirdi,Vaishali,Varanasi,Vrindavan

North India Temples & Religious Monuments:

Ajanta Ellora,CavesAkshar Dham,Ajmer Sharif,Anandpur Sahib, Bahai Temple, Baijnath Temple,Bodhi Temple,Chattarpur Mandir,Dwarkadhish Temple,Golden TempleHaji AliKashi Vishwanath TempleJagannath TempleMukteswara TempleVaishno Devi Sun TempleOrcha Temple, KonarkLotus Temple,Shankracharya Temple,Udaygiri CavesSanchi Stupa,Kailash Temple,LingarajaJwalamukhi Temple,Temple Omkareshwar Temple,Naina Devi Temple,Maha Bodhi TemplePilgrimage Yatra :

Amarnath Yatra:The of the most important event during July/ August, is Amarnath Yatra to the Holy Pilgrimage. This is an annual event when thousands of Hindus from different corners of the Globe visit Amarnath caves. The pilgrims trek from Pahalgam to these caves and worship the great ice Lingam. Legend has it that Shiva recounted to Parvati the secret of creation in a cave in Amarnath. Unknow to them, a pair of mating doves eavesdropped on this conversation and having learned the secret, are reborn again and again, and have made the cave their eternal abode. Many pilgrims report seeing the doves-pair when they trek the arduous route to pay obeisance before the ice-lingam (the phallic symbol of Shiva). This is an event you certainly will talk about for the rest of your life.

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Spiritual Solace with Religious Tours in India

The last time I took my parents on a religious pilgrimage tour was at the Kumbh Mela at Prayag. The Kumbh Mela is a ritual bathing event spread over many days and which recurs once every six years. It is normally spread over six weeks. And during the course of the event many millions visit the place to have a ritual bath on the Ghats (river banks where steps are built to facilitate the ritual bathing). On some auspicious days the number of pilgrims goes up to four to five millions in one day itself.

We went by train to Allahabad and booked ourselves in a hotel, so that we could time our visit when the rush at the bathing Ghats was less. I found out from the hotel’s travel desk that the best time to go to the Ghats was early morning. It was also an auspicious time to reach the Ghats at the crack of dawn and have your dip in the Ganges when the sun is heralding a new day.

When we reached the Ghats to our utter surprise we found that the rush even at that early hour was considerable and we had to await our turn to reach the Ghats. Volunteers manage the rush of pilgrims wanting to take a bath as a stampede would prove fatal to many and there have been many accidents in the past.

We were divided in to batches and were allowed to go in to the waters batch wise. Each batch was allowed a certain time and so the process of taking this ritual dip became a reasonably comfortable one. The batches of Sadhus (hermits) are normally given precedence over these of the laity. And with some groups of Sadhus, it is a matter of prestige to take a bath before others do. The Sadhus belong to different ahkaras (clans) and there have been occasional disputes among the different akharas over bathing rights. So we found the discipline enforced by the volunteers to be ideal.

After the ritual bath, we relaxed during the rest of the day and took the evening train out of Allahabad for our return journey. Although the Kumbh Mela occurs once in six years, pilgrimages to different sports like Haridwar, Rishikesh, Varanasi, Nasik, Tirupati, Puri, Omkareshwar are a regular feature in our family as in many Indian families.

As a member of a typical Indian family my devout parents and grandparents always wanted to go on pilgrimages. As a kid I used to join them and when I became an earning member it was my turn to take them on pilgrimages.

India tour is a place that is literally dotted with shrines and pilgrimage centers. The nature of Hinduism with its plethora of Gods and Goddesses has led to the establishment of temples and shrines to different deities. Going on pilgrimages is a tradition in many Indian families. There are special religious events when ritual communal bathing in rivers takes place where people assemble by their hundreds of thousands.

In the bygone ages before the days of motorized transport, rail and air travel, people walked long distances in big groups to reach pilgrimage spots. Even today the Sadhus still walk to the pilgrimage spots. Other groups of devotees like the Kanwarias and other similar groups also walk in processions when they go on pilgrimages.

In general these traditions have enriched the lives of people and have also made India travel into a land of spiritual growth where people from different parts of the globe flock for spiritual solace.

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