Tuesday, 5 April 2016

Divine Destinations Of India

Divine destinations are simply defined as the meeting place of physical world with the spiritual one.which fills the heart with divine passion and holiness. The divine air in the country humbly carries the fragrance of Karma, Dharma and most importantly Forgiveness. A secular country under whose shelter dwells multiple religions in utmost peace and harmony, India can rightly be called the ‘Land of Faith’.
The holy soil of the country constantly keeps you in contact with a Supreme Power that inhabits in different forms. Having an upper hand in the country, spirituality has propelled many ordinary destinations into significant religious places in India. As a result, along with a large number of pilgrims that visit these religious destinations once a year, many travel enthusiasts have started to throng these hubs. Tourism has grown manifold and so has the fame of India. Let us together get acquainted to a different and vital side of the country and learn about these fascinating religious tourism places in India.

These spiritual sites offer some of the most beautiful and interesting sites including religious architecture and sacred art, along with the Godly touch. India is an ideal place for pilgrimage with its unique and spiritually rich destinations, where people get the opportunity to wash away their sins and feel the divine power.

Let me take you all to a tour of some of the well-renowned sacred spots of my beautiful country:

1. Varanasi:

A centre of faith for the Hindus, Varanasi in the state of Uttar Pradesh is a famous pilgrimage in India. Incredibly colourful and sacred, the beauty of Varanasi lies in the crowd of devotees who throng here every single day from one part of the country or the other. The holy Ganga meandering through the city undoubtedly amplifies the sanctity of Varanasi. Also the Ganga Arti performed ritualistically every morning and evening enhances the divinity. Devotees keeping faith in the power of the city to provide Moksha and cleansing their sins keep Varanasi always a favourite religion places in India.

2. Ajmer Sharif in Ajmer: 

Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti lay in peace here, listening to people’s wishes and fulfilling them. Once  you enter through the gate of the Dargah a queer peace takes over you. A sacred shrine in Ajmer, Dargah Sharif is visited by millions of devotees every year from all over the world. The Dargah for many reasons captivates one’s heart; there is certainly something that is magical about this place that people from different faith come and worship here. Although the dargah is always crowded, the best time to visit Ajmer Sharif is during the Urs festival. The place comes to life during this festival that is held annually.

3. Velankanni Church:

Religious tour in India would be incomplete if you miss out on Velankanni Church, situated in the Nagapattinam district of Tamil Nadu. Like many gothic style churches Velankanni Church or the Basilica of Our Lady of Good Health has graceful architecture but what attracts tourists the most to this church is the construction history of the Church. Believed to have been built by a Portuguese sailor who survived a violent sea storm as a gratitude to the Supreme Power, this church is indeed one of the important pillars of faith in India. Each year The Feast of the Nativity of Mary is celebrated here and is attended by millions of devotees from around the globe.

4. Hemkund Sahib:

Situated in one of the most scenic locations in the country, Hemkund Sahib adds charm to religious tour 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. One shall be stunned with the kind of devotion that the pilgrims show here despite the adverse climatic conditions. The spiritual ambiance at Hemkund Sahib may pursue you to stay a bit longer here.

5. Vaishno Devi Temple, Jammu Kashmir:

From high up in the mountains Mata Vaishno Devi calls out to her devotees… Situated on the Trikuta Hills in Jammu, the abode of Mata Vaishno is amongst the most popular pilgrimage in India. Experience an indescribable delight in taking an arduous trek that further leads to the caves where the goddess presides over and bestows countless blessings. Beautiful landscape, pervading divinity and thrilling adventure…this is one journey in India that will remain etched in your memories forever.

6. Haridwar:

Haridwar, located in the lap of mystical Uttarakhand is nothing short of an empyrean for the Hindus. Located by the holy river Ganga, the sacred town offers a great peace of mind. Watch the flickering Diyas floating on the sparkling river along with the energetic Ganga Aarti in the evening and loiter around Har ki Pauri to seek unmatched divinity in Haridwar. The Kumbha Mela, which happens once in every 12 years attracts millions to the city; nonetheless the city remains crowded with devotees all year round.

Know more about Haridwar and have some lovely glimpse through my eyes here.

7. Hampi:

In the ruins of Hampi (Karnataka) lays innumerable temples that not only stuns but take you on a spiritual journey. Not all temples are in ruins in Hampi, as there are still some temples that sing the glory of the magnificent architectural designs and innovative ideas. Hampi is indeed the perfect destination for spiritual tourism in India as it allows a peek inside the rich Indian culture, of which religion was an essential part. Virupaksha Temple is amongst the most famous temple in Hampi.

8. Bodhgaya:

Witness the historical place called Bodhgaya in Bihar, where Lord Buddha is believed to have been enlightened. Bodhgaya offers Buddhist pilgrims the ultimate place to pray and meditate. The feelling of being on the land where Budhha once himself walked on is truly commendable. Mahabodhi Temple along with several other temples in Bodhgaya are frequented by many pilgrims that visit here from all over the world.

9. Shirdi:

Forget about religion, caste, creed and other forms of discrimination, Shirdi in Maharashtra is the gateway to sheer spirituality. All his life the highly revered Sai Baba preached about One God (Sab Ka Maalik Ek) and thus earned himself many followers. Today, his native place, Shirdi is thronged by multitude of devotees irrespective of religion, color or creed seeking peace, spirituality and paying homage to this great saint. Therefore, Shirdi is one of the most visited religion places in India.

10. Tirumala Venkateswara Temple in Tirupati:

The earthly abode of Lord Venkateswara (incarnation of Vishnu), 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 as it is said that the temple attracts 60,000 pilgrims each day. One must attend the Puja that is accompanied by many hymns and praises giving it a touch of unmatched divinity. The Laddoo Prasadam is yet another attraction of Tirumala Venkateswara Temple.

11: Karni Mata Temple
The present temple dates back to the 15th century, when it was built by Maharaja Ganga Singh of Bikaner. The striking fa├žade of the temple is wholly built in marble. Inside the temple complex, one can see a pair of silver doors before the main shrine of the Goddess. These solid silver doors were donated by Maharaja Gaj Singh, on his visit to this temple. 
The temple has around 20,000 rats that are fed, protected and worshipped. Many holes can be seen in the courtyard of this temple. In the vicinity of these holes, one can see rats engaged in different activities. The Rats can be seen here eating from huge metal bowls of milk, sweets and grains. To make the holy rats safe, wires and grills are sited over the courtyard to avoid the birds of prey and other animals.

It is regarded auspicious, if a rat (kaba) runs across one's feet. Even, a glimpse of kaba (white rat) is considered promising and fruitful. Twice a year, a festival is celebrated in the honor of Karni Mata. A grand fair is organized during this time and people come here to seek the blessings of the Goddess.

Rats In Temple 

Your visit to these and many more divine destinations of India, gives you an true expression of India. We represent unity in diversity so is our religious places. Every place signifies different religion, different way of worship but same zeal of a devotee towards God and country.

Know more about Indian culture in my yesterdays post.

Experience some divine moments in my marvelous India .

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