The birthplace of Hinduism, India is strongly rooted in spirituality. There are many sacred destinations in India, which are as varied as the people in this diverse country are. These holy places are deeply associated with various happenings chronicled in Hindu mythology, they are a part of India’s rich culture, and people come to these cities to experience that same spiritual aura that existed when these cities were featured in the Mahabharata, Ramayana and the other holy books in Hinduism.
People whether yearning for divinity, hungering for knowledge, desiring happiness or having a thirst to find their inner selves, find what they need in these cities. Many people leave their homelands and settle in these hallowed cities, as they find ordinary longings pale before the ache for contentment.
Kedarnath Temple positioned at an altitude of 3581 meters above sea level in the Garhwal Himalayas. Kedarnath is one of the holiest pilgrimage sites in the globe. Often referred to as the abode of Shiva, the temple is more than 800 years old. The place is also known as place of death of the famous saint and philosopher Adi Shankaracharya. According to legend, after the great battle of Kurukshetra, Pandavas went to Shiva in the search for forgiveness. Shiva wanted to avoid the Pandavas and hid in Kedarnath, taking the form of a bull. Pandavas followed him; Shiva dived into the ground leaving a hump on the surface. Nowadays, this place attracts crowds of the faithful. The winters are very cold in the Kedarnath, there is often snow falling and blowing a piercing wind. In summer the temperature reaches 20 ° C.
Kedarnath shrines have great significance for the people of Hindu religion. Every year lakes of devotee visit Kedarnath Dham & wash away their sins. Kedarnath is opened from May to October only. There are many way to reach the shrine by helicopter, by bus, train also by trek.
|Rishikesh over view|
Also called the ‘Yoga capital of the world’ and the gateway to Himalayas, Rishikesh is a small town, and a municipal board in the Dehradun district, Uttarakhand, India. It is another holy city of the state which is situated on the banks of the holy river Ganga.
Its proximity to the holy town of Haridwar (25 kilometres) also gives it importance and those who visit Haridwar, usually come to Rishikesh as well.
History of Rishikesh: Rishikesh finds mention in the old Hindu scripture of Skandpurana, where it is mentioned to be the place where lord Rama did penance before killing Ravana, the demon king. There is also a bridge that crosses the river, which is called the ‘Laxman Jhula’, or the bridge of Laxman, the brother of lord Rama, who is supposed to have crossed the river here.
Rishikesh Today: Having a wide range of ashrams, temples, yoga centres and schools related to Hinduism, Rishikesh attracts a very large number of tourists from around the world.
Rishikesh is also famous for adventure sports including, White water rafting, camping, hiking, rappelling, Kayaking, trekking as well as bungee jumping.
Being close to many places of religious importance, Rishikesh has attracted many famous people, including The Beatles, who visited the place in 1968 and composed nearly 68 songs here.
People still come here to seek peace and meditate at the calm banks of the holy river Ganges.
Mathura is known as the place of birth of Lord Krishna. It is located on the banks on River Yamuna. It has a rich past and is rooted in spirituality. There are many fairs and festivals, “Melas” held here throughout the year.
|Kailasanathar Temple, Kanchipuram|
Kanchipuram is located on the north-eastern coast of Tamil Nadu, South India. Renowned worldwide as home to virtuoso craftsmen who create exquisite silk saris, Kanchipuram is also known for its numerous significant temples. The city is known to have more than a thousand temples. The temples uphold the architectural traditions of South India. Kanchipuram has a glorious heritage and a strong tradition in art, culture and spirituality.
|Ram ki Paidi in Ayodhya|
Ayodhya is an ancient city located on the banks of the river Saryu in the Faizabad region in Uttar Pradesh, India. It is famous as the birthplace of Lord Ram, and is also known as “Ram Janm Bhumi”.
Varanasi / Kashi
One of the most ancient cities in the world, Varanasi or Kashi, is known as the city of Lord Shiva, he of creation and destruction. It is believed that if your death takes place here, you will finally be free from the cycle of rebirth, and achieve heaven. Situated on the banks of the sacred River Ganga, and bathing in the River Ganga is supposed to cleanse one of all their sins. The Kashi Vishwanath temple is the main temple here.
|Har ki Pauri, Haridwar|
Haridwar literally means Gateway of God, and is a very important place and another ancient living city. This is the starting point for the holy River Ganga, which exists from the mountains, and begins its exodus to the Bay of Bengal. Various important Hindu rituals are performed on the banks of Ganga like, Dah sanskar, Asthi Visarjan, Mundan, Pitra Daan and so on.