India is a country rich in cultural diversity, language and religion. It is the only country to enjoy and thrive happily with hundreds of festivals celebrated all the yearlong. With faith so strong and often recognized as the most religiously diverse nation of the world, India enlists some of the most visited religious sites to its name. Today we take a look into some of the most visited religious sites of the country.
- Vaishno Devi, Jammu- located in Katra Jammu & Kashmir, Vaishno Devi also popularly known as “Mata Rani”is dedicated to Goddess Vaishnodevi or Adi Shakti Mata which is an indication of Goddess Durga and is the most popular religious sites. Situated at the Trikuta Mountains, the shrine is located at an altitude of 5300 feet.
- Amarnath Dham, Srinagar- located in Jammu & Kashmir, the Amarnath Dham is again a highly visited and popular temple. Dedicated to Lord Shiva, the shrine is considered to be one of the holiest shrines in Hinduism. The shrine is located inside a cave which remains snow covered for most part of the year.
- Jagannath Temple, Puri- a sacred Vaishnava temple and dedicated to Lord Jagannath who is believed to be an incarnation of Lord Vishnu, is located in Puri in the state of Odisha. The temple is also among the Char Dhams of Hindu religion. Rath Yatra which is an important religious annual festival takes place here.
- Shirdi Saibaba Temple, Shirdi- a popular shrine dedicated to Saibaba who is worshipped by Hindus and Muslims alike, is located in Shirdi town in Maharashtra. This holy shrine is visited by devotes from all corners of India.
- Harmandir Sahib, Amritsar- Sri Harmandir Sahib or widely known as the Golden Temple is located in Amritsar in Punjab. The temple is the most sacred for the Sikhs and is famous for its mesmerizing beauty. The gurudwara is surrounded by a beautiful lake adding charm to the view.
- Moinuddin Chisti, Ajmer- a widely famed religious site, the Dargah of Moinuddin Chisti also known as Ajmer Sharif Dargah is located in Ajmer Rajasthan. The dargah is dedicated to the famous Sufi saint and religious scholar Moinuddin Chisti. It is the grace and miracle of the place that it is equally visited by Muslims, Hindus and Sikhs alike.
- Mahabodhi, Bodhgaya- a Buddhist temple in Bodh Gaya in Bihar, this place is believed to where Buddha attained enlightment under a Bodhi tree. The place is a World Heritage Site. The temple is one of the oldest brick structures in eastern India.
- Siddhivinayak, Mumbai- dedicated to Lord Shri Ganesh, this temple is located in Prabhadevi in Mumbai and considered as one of the richest temple in Mumbai. There is also a small Hanuman shrine built in the temple complex. A heavily visited place, the temple is also largely popular among celebrities and politicians.
- Tirumala Venkateswara, Andhra Pradeshpopularly known as the Tirupati Balaji Temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and is located at Chittoor District of Andhra Pradesh. What is awe-inspiring here in the temple is the architecture which is truly unique. It is interesting to know that Tirupati Temple is amongst the richest temple in the world.
- Basilica of Bom Jesus, Goa- located in Old Goa, the Basilica Bom Jesus is also a World Heritage Site and is one of the most important churches in Christianity and the oldest in Goa. The church holds the mortal remains of St. Francis Xavier, a Roman Catholic missionary and an important figure responsible for extending missionary peaching in India.
So which of these popular religious sites do you plan to visit next?