Religious Tourism – Hinduism

Hindu teachings & celebrations

Hinduism is the oldest religion in the world. They worship idols. It is said to be the most primitive form of religious respect and value. It is the third-largest religion in the world, with more than 90 percent Hindus residing in India.

 Hinduism has a similar concept of pilgrimage and a list of holy cities. As their history is full of mythological stories, gods, and fights, as a result, they have plenty of historical and religious sites as well.

They stress on their pilgrimages and many devoted Hindus also promise to do a pilgrimage upon completion of certain wish or happiness. Moreover, in Sanskrit, the holy pilgrimages are referred to as Yatras.

As their history is huge, so are their plenty of religious sites. We will cover a few of them, but all of them remain important to the leaders and followers of Hinduism.

Char dhaam

Char Dham translates to Four abodes. Hindus believe that all practicing Hindus must visit these four abodes once in their lives.

The four abodes of this pilgrimage include

  • Badrinath – North
  • Rameshwaram – South
  • Puri – East
  • Dwarka – West

These four places are seats of religious history, wisdom, and reverence for practicing Hindus. Most of these places are related to their gods Vishnu and Shiva.

Badrinath

The people visit this place between June and September. As this place is in the northern part of the country in the Himalayas, cold weather is a major deterrent for many. However, devoted Hindus do visit with all reverence. It is a one day journey from the embarkation point. The surrounding is beautiful with undisturbed natural greenery and jungle of River Alaknanda for the visitors.

Rameshwaram

This is a holy site for all practicing Hindus. This place is the embodiment of courage and bravery. This one is located in Tamil Nadu, with a beautiful white Rameshwaram temple. Hindus believe that this temple was blessed by Lord Ram. Many couples visit this temple, out of the Char Dham yatra too. People have to take a dip in around 22 water wells or rivers to purify themselves.

Puri

This site is in the eastern state of Odisha. Here in this shrine goddess, Subhadra sister of Lord Krishna is worshipped along with her brothers, Lord Jagannatha and Lord Balabhadra.

Puri is a 1000 years old site.

Dwarka

It is located in the western Indian state of Gujrat. Dwarka name is driven from the word dvar which means gate. It was a hub of business and trade and thus called a gateway of business.It is said to be the dwelling place of Krishna. Thus the devotees of Krishna seek blessings in this temple. As oper the legend this city was destroyed six times, and the current Dwarka is the city version of the city.

Chota char dham

This pilgrimage is a terse version of the Char Dham. This pilgrimage includes all places of Uttarkhand state. This indicates that all sites will have good cold weather. The sites of Chota Char Dham are

  • Yamunotri
  • Gangotri
  • Badrinath
  • Kedarnath

 Yamunotri

This is the source of the Yamuna River. The pristine temple set against the ice river is a beautiful site for all. However, due to the wetaher devotees visit this place between April and November.

Gangotri

 As the name suggests this shrine is the source of River Ganges.  People love to see the glacial source of water. Also, they visit this place to seek salvation and peace from the goddess Ganga.

Kedarnath

It is a worship place of Lord Shiva. Kedarnath existed in the times of Mahabharta. Pilgrims visit this place in summer and early autumn. As the heavy snowfall in winter makes it difficult to be visited later.

Benaras / Kashi

The city of Benaras/ Varanasi/ Kashi is a much-revered place. The city is by the river Ganges. People immerse ashes of loved ones in the Ganges. The city has immense respect from Buddhists as well. They found eveidences for the start of Buddha’s teachings from this place.

Some other important and very well-revered places of worship are Amarnath cave. Here the snow formation of Shiva’s lingam. This site is very important for Hindus. Thousands of them, come here on foot to seek blessings. This site is open in summers for a short period of time due to the weather. Still, this place gets plenty of devotees who do not want to miss the change of Lingam caused by the melting of snow.

Temples/ Shrines

Other notable places are Haridwar, Puri, Baidyanath temples. India is a huge country with many gods and goddesses. However, these are the most notable places amongst many.

The land of yogis and vegetarianism has seen plenty of changes in their followers and a change of faith in their new followers. However, the basic guidelines of the religion also guide people to do kindness, stay devoted, and work for the better afterlife.  

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