Everyone enjoys travelling. While sometimes work demands us to travel for work, some of us look forward to travelling to a holiday spot for a getaway. But, have you ever thought of travelling for religious purpose? You may be surprised to know that this kind of tourism is gaining importance by the day. Travel to a religious destination can be rejuvenating for both your mind and soul.
Let’s look at some such interesting travel destinations in India that you can consider adding to your bucket list for your spiritual wellness.
Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh
The fact that the holy river Ganges flows through this state is undoubtedly a key reason why any Hindu would love to come here. Devotees of Shiva pay their respects to their beloved deity at the Vishwanath temple in Varanasi that is home to one of the dozen jyotir lingas. The water of River Ganges has several healing properties.
Kolkata, West Bengal
If you are an ardent devotee of Ma Durga, Kolkata is your place to be during the famous Dusshera festival. The 10-day festival celebrated in Kolkata and the rest of the state is sure to transport you into bliss. You can consider taking part in one of the various festival tours so that you don’t miss out on any aspect of the celebration. It’s a good idea to book your participation in a tour organised by the tourism board of the state.
The famous Jagannath temple here is a must visit place for any devout Vishnu follower. Lord Vishnu is said to reside as Jagannath in this shrine. The rath yatra organized every year attracts hordes of travellers from all over the country. This temple is one of the four char dhams linked to the lord. Hindus believe that visiting all the char dhams liberates them of their sins and helps them to attain salvation or moksha. You are sure to hear devotees recite the Vishnu chalisa with full concentration here.
This place must definitely be on your list if you are passionate about yoga. Rishikesh is considered to be the birthplace of yoga. You can visit here to gain knowledge and attain peace from any of the various yoga institutes and ashrams situated in and around here. Surrounded by hills on three sides, Rishikesh transports you to a world of serenity. As an added bonus, you can easily travel to Haridwar from here to pay your respect to lord Shiva and witness the famous Haridwar Ganga aarti.
The Matrimandir instituted by the mother of Aurobindo ashram is located in this small town. The construction style of this institution is a visual delight. It is shaped like a huge sphere flanked by huge lotus petals. Yoga enthusiasts can go inside the dome and meditate here. This place is open to people of all religions. You can even opt for several dance and music therapies. The place also offers a range of other holistic experiences as well to its visitors.
Katra, Jammu and Kashmir
The Vaishnavo Devi temple here is well-known all over the world. The shrine houses all the three key deities, namely, Mahakali, Mahaaraswati and Mahalakshmi. The temple is located in a cave on top of the Trikuta hill. Devotees trek from Katra, around 12 km away to reach this place. They throng this place during Navaratri to pay their obeisance to their beloved goddess and chant recite several chalisas. It is believed that the devi blesses her devotees and grants them whatever they long for as long as they pray to her with good intention.
The above list is just a few of the multitude of religious destinations across the country. It just aims at giving you a list as a first step towards your religious journey.