Apart from a host of other things, India is widely known around the world for its prominent spiritual significance.
The rishis of India had practiced, preached, and taught spirituality since a time when ‘spirituality’ or ‘spiritualism’ was not even a word or concept in the rest of the world.
The notion of rising beyond worldly pleasures to explore one’s true inner self is engraved deep into the core of Indian culture. It is subtly reflected in the traditions of the land and the teachings of the ancient Indian texts. India is full of places of great spiritual significance, and traveling to these destinations is one of the best ways to explore spirituality.
From the majestic grandeur of the ghats of Kashi to the soothing silence of the monasteries of Ladakh, India is full of places that can help you explore your inner being and move forward on your spiritual journey. Here are ten Indian destinations of spiritual significance that you must visit.
Venkateswara Temple, Andhra Pradesh
Located in the picturesque range of the seven Tirumala Hills in Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh, the Venkateswara Temple is rightly called the Temple of Seven Hills.
The temple is located at the top of the seventh hill– the Venkatadri– and is dedicated to Lord Venkateswara, a form of Lord Vishnu.
The temple and the surrounding mountains impart an indescribable feeling of tranquility and positivity, even amid the rush and hustle of thousands of devotees from across the world.
You can also visit the nearby Srivari Padalu, located on the highest peak of the seven hills- where Lord Venkateswara is believed to have first set foot on earth.
Sri Ramanaashram, Tamil Nadu
What can be a better place to explore spirituality than the one where a spiritually awakened sage taught spirituality?
Sri Ramanaashram is located at the foot of the Annamalai hill in Thiruvannamalai, Tamil Nadu. It used to house the great sage Ramana Maharishi, who used to teach spirituality to his students in silence.
The Arunachaleshwara temple is located at the base of the hill and is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The Virupaksha cave, where sage Ramana lived for 17 years, is located on the eastern slopes of the hill.
The ashram, the temple, and the cave constitute what is considered by many a perennial source of knowledge and enlightenment.
Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple, Tamil Nadu
The Meenakshi Temple is one of the most famous temples in Tamil Nadu. Dedicated to goddess Meenakshi (an avatar of Parvati) and God Sundareswarar (an avatar of Shiva), the majestic temple is located on the banks of the Vaigai River in Madurai.
The temple is of great spiritual and cultural significance, especially for married couples. People believe applying the sindoor (vermillion) from the temple can fulfill all marital wishes.
The temple is also known for its unique architectural design. The west tower of the temple– called the gopuram– is the source behind the Tamil Nadu government’s state emblem.
Bodh Gaya, Bihar
The teachings of Gautam Buddha are rife with lessons about finding one’s inner peace, one of the central themes of Buddhism. Bodh Gaya is where Buddha himself found peace with his true self.
The place is the world’s most prominent Buddhist pilgrimage site, and it is not without reason. Bodh Gaya is home to the sacred Bodhi Tree, the tree under which Gautam Buddha attained enlightenment while meditating.
The tree is now part of the Mahabodhi Temple Complex, which also houses the Mahabodhi Temple – a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The temple and the complex have a surreal feel to them, and the tree is indubitably a source of serenity.
Golden Temple, Punjab
Every religion in India has spirituality at its core, and Sikhism is no exception. Therefore, our list of spiritual places in India would be incomplete without the mention of Sri Harmandir Sahib. More commonly known as the Golden Temple, this shrine of Sikhism is the most magnificent gurdwara in the world.
Situated in the middle of the beautiful pond, Sarovar Sri Harmandir Sahib is as beautiful inside as it looks from the outside. The entire gurdwara complex brims with a pacifying aura that attracts millions of people from all parts of the world every year.
The grand daily langar offers free food to thousands of pilgrims daily and is run by volunteers who want to serve others as part of their calling.
Basilica of Our Lady of Good Health, Tamil Nadu
The Basilica of Our Lady of Good Health is a church located in Velankanni, Tamil Nadu, and is a popular religious attraction for Christians.
Our Lady of Good Health is a name given to Virgin Mary by the devotees in Velankanni. People in the area claim that Virgin Mary appeared before them in the 16th and 17th centuries.
The basilica is believed to cure people of their illnesses, and people from across the world come here to get their diseases cured.
Kashi, Uttar Pradesh
Want to delve into the heart of India’s spirituality? Come to Varanasi, the City of Gods. Varanasi, also known as Banaras and Kashi, is regarded as the spiritual capital of India.
The temple town of Kashi is full of thousands of temples, each with its own story and significance. Kashi is one of the most revered religious places in India and dates back thousands of years in the past.
The religious and spiritual significance of the city is eminent from the hundreds of thousands of visitors who throng it every single day.
The Ganga Aarti that happens every evening in the Dashashwamedh Ghat pulls devotees in lakhs daily.
No discussion on Indian spiritual places is complete without the mention of Rishikesh. This town, located in the north-Indian state of Uttarakhand, is considered one of the holiest places in the country.
Also known as the world’s Yoga Capital, Rishikesh has many ashrams and temples. People from across the country come here in lakhs to take a holy dip in the river Ganga to wash away their sins.
Located in a mountainous region, Rishikesh can offer a spiritually awakening experience to those looking for it.
Even beyond this holy city, there are many spots across the state of Uttarakhand where pilgrims travel in crowds of thousands for darshan every year; especially the Chhota Char Dham. It includes four pilgrimage centers tucked in the Garhwal Himalayas: Gangotri, Yamunotri, Badrinath, and Kedarnath Temples.
Tawang Monastery, Arunachal Pradesh
The northeastern states of India are not short of spiritually significant destinations. Tawang Monastery, situated in Tawang, Arunachal Pradesh, is the largest Buddhist monastery in India.
The central highlight of the monastery is the 18-foot-high idol of Buddha in the main temple. Apart from the main idol, the monastery has a library that houses a host of ancient Buddhist texts of religious importance.
Devbhoomi Dwarka is one of the four holiest places in India (char dham), and there is a reason why. According to Hindu scriptures, this is where Krishna– the eighth avatar of Lord Vishnu– settled after defeating Kansa.
The fact that Dwarka was created and ruled by one of the most worshipped gods is enough to testify to its spiritual significance. Today, the city of Dwarka is visited by thousands of people who want to visit Krishna’s land of prosperity and happiness.
In the end
India is home to several spiritual destinations that can cater to every explorer’s needs.
In this blog, we have recommended ten travel destinations of great spiritual significance. These spiritual places in India are dedicated to various gods and deities but are equally capable enough to whet your spiritual curiosities.
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