Badrinath
Badrinath is situated at a height a height of 3,133 m. Badrinath shrine is located in the Narnarayan range against the magnificent Neelkanth peak. The residing deity at the Badrinath temple is Shri Badrinathji (Shiva). The Badrinath temple stands in a beautiful valley on the bank of River Alaknanda. The Badrinath temple traces its origins to Adi Shankaracharya (8th century) while the present temple was built by the Garhwal rulers. Below the Badrinath temple are the hot springs (Tapt Kund and Surya Kund) with waters at a temperature of 55°C. There are four other shrines (dedicated to Lord Vishnu) near to Badrinath shrine. They are Yogadhyan Badri, Bhavishya Badri, Bridha Badri and Adi Badri. Not far from the Badrinath temple is the beautiful valley of flowers and the Hemkund Lake. According to legends, Guru Govind Singh, the tenth Guru of the Sikhs, meditated on the banks of this Lake.
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India is the land of Gods. India is also called as Spiritual Leader of the world. Millions of people around the world come here for their peace of mind which they don't found anywhere. From one corner to the other, India remains dispersed with numerous religious places associated with numerous religions - Hinduism, Islam, Jainism, Christianity and Buddhism. Spirituality in India has always been one of the biggest attractions for tourists arriving here from all parts of the world. While visiting the spiritual places in India, one gains a deep insight into the rich cultural heritage of India.
Religious customs and traditions in India have continued for years. For travelers, it is really a great experience to make a visit to all these spiritual places and watch people as they perform different rites and rituals. It is at these places that India can be really felt and seen inside-out. Right from the extreme  north to the south and from east to west, pilgrimage centres are located all over. Tourists should plan their spiritual tour in advance so as not to miss some of the most popular pilgrimage destinations in India. Peolple of every religion come here to seek inner peace.

Hindu Pilgrimage Destinations
Spiritual centres of the Hindu religion are distributed across India. Northern India features some of the most ancient and holiest pilgrimage places. Places like Varanasi, Allahabad and Mathura Vrindavan (All in Uttar
Pradesh) are held in extremely high regard by the Hindu community. The Jagannath Temple of Puri in Orissa is a major pilgrimage attraction in eastern India. Rameshwaram, Kanyakumari, Tirupati and Madurai in southern India are known worldwide for their ancient history and age-old temple rites and rituals.


Muslim Pilgrimage Destinations
Muslims happen to be the second largest religious community in India. A number of shrines, tombs, mosques and other Muslim pilgrimage destinations dot India's soil across its length and breadth. One of the most visited and most revered Muslim pilgrimage sites in India is the Dargah of Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti at Ajmer in Rajasthan. The shrine not only attracts Muslims but also people of various other religious in hundreds and thousands. The Jama Masjid in Delhi, Haji Ali Dargah in Mumbai and Fatehpur Sikri (37 km from Agra in Uttar Pradesh) are the popular Muslim pilgrimage destinations in India.

Sikh Pilgrimage Destinations
The Sikh community has also immensely contributed towards making India one of the most culturally rich countries. Sikh pilgrimage destinations are known for their sanctity and religious history. Set up by Sikh Guru Ram Das, the Golden Temple of Amritsar is known almost in every corner of the world. Tourists and pilgrims from far wide come here to soak up the spiritual aura that surrounds the temple. Anandpur Sahib is also a major Sikh pilgrimage destination in India.

Jain Pilgrimage Destinations
Situated in the north-western India state of Rajasthan, the Ranakpur Jain temples and the Dilwara Jain temples are visited for their architectural brilliance and religious importance. The southern India state of Karnataka also features Jain pilgrimage places including the monumental statue of Bahubali which stands in the historical town of Sravanabelagola.

Christian Pilgrimage Destinations
Christianity has had a deep-rooted relationship with India. It was back in AD 52 when St Thomas set sail to India and that is when Christianity began to flourish in India. During the British Era, Dutch Era and the Portuguese Era, numerous churches and cathedrals were constructed across the country. These Christian pilgrimage places stand even today to testify the glorious history of the bygone era.

Buddhist Pilgrimage Destinations
Bodhgaya in the state of Bihar is one of the world's most popular Buddhist pilgrimage destinations. The Buddhist monasteries and gompas in Ladakh invite both Buddhists and tourists from all across the world. The state of Uttar Pradesh too has many Buddhist spiritual places that must be visited.

Few of the famous Pilgrimage destinations in India
Shirdi
The Sai temple is located in the little town called Shirdi in the state of Maharashtra in India. This town is home to one of the most famous and celebrated spiritual leaders of last centuary, SHRI SAI BABA.
Considered to be the incarnation of God, Sai Baba was an ordinary Fakir (beggar) who preached the true and meaningful teachings of God. He showed extraordinary miracles at a very young age and lived a very simple life. The incidents increased day by day and soon Sai Baba was famous all over India. He had followers from the lowest and the highest strata of the society. He was worshipped as God and till date continues to be
worshipped so. The place where the temple is built is supposed to be the place where he attained enlightenment.
Every evening at 6:30, the main Aarti for Shirdi Sai Baba starts. Devotees from near and far come here and sing verses and hymns in the praise of Sai Baba. The Aarti looks no less than a festival with abundant flower decorations and lighted lamps everywhere. More than God, he is treated as a fatherly figure who gets royal treatment from his children (read devotees). In fact, after the evening aarti, he is wrapped with a blanket in winters and in summers he gets a mosquito net! The sacred ash known as "Vibhuti" is distributed among the devotees along with other offerings.

Other places near Shirdi Pilgrimage that are worth the visit are:
Dwarkamayee Masjid: The Dwarkamayee Masjid is an old mosque where Sai Baba used to sit all day long. The stone that he used as his seat is still preserved along with a portrait of Sai Baba that was painted during his lifetime.
Chavadi: Situated at the east of Dwarkamayee, it was at this place that Sai Baba used to rest every alternate night. There are a number of portraits of deities over here. A wooden plank used by Baba is still preserved and kept over here.
Khandoba Temple: This small temple dedicated to Lord Shiva is situated on the Ahmednagar road. It is said that Sai Baba was first addressed as "Ya Sai" over here by the Mahalsapati (chief priest in Shirdi).
Mahadev, Shani and Ganesh Temples
These three temples are situated in a line, one after the other. The Mahadev Temple is the oldest of all and is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The Shani Temple is dedicated to the Saturn God and the Ganesha Temple is also said to have existed since a long time.
Vaishno Devi
Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Ji resides in a Holy Cave located in the folds of the three peaked mountain named Trikuta. Vaishno Devi occupies a crucial place among all the pilgrimage places of India and is most popular for the holy shrine of Vaishno Devi which is located here. It is a highly revered shrine located at a height of more that five thousand feet in the Trikuta Hills of the Shivalik Range. Vaishno Devi is also known as Mata Rani and Vaishnavi and is the second most visited one after the Tirupati Balaji temple of Andhra Pradesh. A large number of devotee pilgrims drop in to this holy temple to seek the blessings of the goddess and include newly weds, vacationers and family holidaymakers.

The temple dedicated to the goddess is the main tourist attraction in Vaishno Devi and is at a distance of thirteen kilometers from Katra. The pilgrims pay a visit to this shrine which is in a hundred feet long cave with a narrow opening. A subtle presence of spirituality infuses even the most reluctant tourist with zest as he embarks on the difficult journey to catch a glimpse of the deity. The tourism in Vaishno Devi is gaining immense popularity due to the presence of this holy shrine and its picturesque and serene locale. There are

certain mythological associations relating to the goddess according to which she was born as a young girl of unusual beauty and vigor, out of the jointly pooled 'Tejas' of many 'Devtas' (gods) and three lords Brahma, Vishnu and Shankar. The pressing need of the conception of the goddess was the destruction of Asura (Devil) Mahishasura. Conversely, another purpose was that she could introduce on earth an era of sanctimonious and ascetic life so that harmony could exist upon the world so that she could attain higher levels of spirituality through penance and in the end merge with Vishnu.

Apart from the main shrine of Vaishno Devi, there are several other shrines also that are worth paying a visit and include Bhumika Temple, Ban Ganga Temple, Charan Paduka Temple, Ardh Kuwari and The Bhairon (Bhairav) Temple.
Tirupati - Balaji
Tirupati-Balaji has an inimitable position and is recognized for the much popular Lord Venkateshwara deity, which is visited by numerous tourists all the year round. The meaning of the name Tirupati-Balaji is 'lord of Lakshmi'. The renowned shrine of the deity is located on a hill at Tirumala, which is a cluster of seven hills. When you travel to Tirupati-Balaji, you must pay a visit to this temple, which is one of the lively cultural and philanthropic institutions with an impressive history. The Dravidian architecture depicted through this shrine will take you back to the ancient times.
There are numerous places to see in Tirupati-Balaji and the Lord Venkateshwara temple is the best known among these. The other leading places of tourist interest you will come across here are Sri Govindrajaswamy Temple, Sri Kapileswaraswami Temple, Sri Kodandaramaswami Temple and Sri Kalyana Venkateswaraswami Temple. Due to the presence of these hallowed shrines at this picture perfect town, tourism in Tirupati-Balaji is increasingly growing in popularity.
Amarnath
Amarnath Cave: The trek from Panchtarni to Amarnath is particularly beautiful but dangerous as well. The landscape changes from flatland to rocky terrain as you approach the glacier. The first sight of the cave is breath-taking. You will see thousands of people scurrying up the hill, small as ants, approaching a huge gaping mouth in the mountain. The rock face is dotted with small, coloured squares (which are really tents). In the distance, on top of the mighty rocks and against a pristine blue sky, you can see soldiers in full gear.

The cave is situated at an elevation of 16,000 feet and is a large hemispherical hollow wedged into a cliff of white Mesozoic dolomite. At the rear of the cave are several frozen springs. It is these springs that melt ever so slowly to form the ice lingam. And it is for darshan (a spiritual encounter) of this lingam that pilgrims brave every hazard. The size of the lingam waxes and wanes according to the season, and at its peak, reaches a height of almost 13 to 14 feet.
The cave is about 60 feet in length, 30 feet in width and 15 feet in height. The Ganges flows below the cave. Many pilgrims, mostly sadhus, bathe in this ice cold water before entering the cave for darshan. In fact, they bathe in all the rivers that that they meet on the yatra, as part of their cleansing ritual before the darshan. At a spot near the cave, is a white substance resembling ash, which the yatris smear all over their bodies.

The floor of the cave is extremely cold and very wet. You will be given wooden slipper (khadau) to wear in the shrine. Along the path to the cave are several shops selling prasad. Sadhus are found seated on either side of the cave entrance, begging for alms from the pilgrims. The entrance to the cave is regulated and the darshan, after the long and arduous journey is a hasty affair. Much like the darshan at Tirupati, there are hundreds queuing up behind you and your glimpse of the lingam will be brief.

The devotees sing bhajans, chant incantations, while the priests perform aarti and puja, invoking the blessings of Shiva. For most pilgrims it is an overwhelming experience and many weep after the darshan, or even at the first sight of the cave.

After darshan, devotees can return to Panchtarni in time for lunch, and continue to Sheshnag where they can spend the night. Alternatively you can stay the night at Panchtarni, depending on the time of day, and return to Chandanwari/Pahalgam.
Char Dham (sacred Hindu shrines of Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri and Yamunotri) are  situated in the snow-covered reaches of the lofty Garhwal Himalayas, Uttaranchal. This part of the Himalayas is referred as the land of the gods in the ancient Hindu mythology. The Char Dham Yatra (pilgrimage) is popular among the Hindus that thousands of pilgrims visit these four holy shrines every year.

Devotees visit the four Dham (shrines) all for a spiritual union with the divine. The Char Dham Yatra is popular for centuries. In fact, these places have been described in sacred scriptures as those places where devotees could earn the virtues of all the pilgrimages put together. With the passage of time these four Dhams came to have numerous temples. All the four holy shrines (Char Dham) are located at a height of more than 3,000 m above sea level. Since the shrines are covered with snow in winters, it is generally advised to go for Char Dham Yatra during summer months.
Yamunotri
Yamunotri is also an important pilgrim as well as tourist place. The shrine of Yamunotri is
located at a height of about 3,235 m and is dedicated to the river Goddess, Yamuna. The
main pilgrim place at Yamunotri is the temple of Goddess Yamuna. There are many hot
water springs in the vicinity of the temple.
Gangotri
Gangotri is an important pilgrim and tourist place. Gangotri is located at 3,048 m above sea level. The Gangotri glacier is the original source of river Ganga. There is a temple dedicated to Goddess Ganga and the sacred stone where King Bhagirath is believed to have worshipped Lord Shiva. There is a natural Shivlinga submerged in the river (It is believed that Lord Shiva received the Ganges here).
Kedarnath
Kedarnath is situated at a height of 3,581 m. The Kedarnath shrine stone stands against the backdrop of the Kedarnath range. According to legends, the Pandavas came here to pray to Lord Shiva after great battle of Kurukshetra to atone for killing their own near and dear ones in the war. It is said that Lord Shiva kept eluding the Pandavas and sought refuge at Kedarnath in the form of a bull. On being pursued, he plunged into the ground, with his hump exposed on the earth. Legends has it that his arms surfaced at Tungnath, his face at Rudranath, belly at Madmaheshwar, his locks and head at Kalpeshwar. These spots where he reappeared form the Panch Kedar. The present Kedarnath temple is said to have been resurrected by Adi Guru Shankaracharya.
Corbett