Diving into spirituality!
India is a land of diverse religions and faith. It is also the country where major religions of the world took birth including Hinduism, Sikhism, Buddhism and Jainism. There are various aspects such as snow-covered peaks of Himalayas to stretch of coastline, lush greenery to depths of spirituality which join together to define the raw beauty through which India captures the heart of every visitor. A trip to India is not just about goosebumps worthy adventure, architecture that will overwhelm you, a culture that speaks thousand tales, food that makes way to your heart but also about spirituality that soothes your soul. People from all over the world visit India to explore the holy cities and wash away their sins in pious rivers of India. Without any further ado, check out the list of the top spiritual destinations of India.
Varanasi is the prime centre of spiritual energy in India. Located on the banks of river Ganges, Varanasi is known for its music, educational heritage and colorful ghats. It has been an ultimate pilgrimage spot of Hindus since ages. They believe that dying on Varanasi’s land would help people attain salvation and freedom from the cycle of birth and re-birth. Considered as the abode of lord Shiva, Varanasi, earlier called Banaras is one of the oldest cities of the world. The pious city has been a symbol of spirituality and has produced great saints and p+ersonalities like Tulsi Das, Kabir, Mahavira and Gautama Buddha. Mark Twain, a great American writer once said for Varanasi “older than history, older than tradition, older even than legend, and looks twice as old as all of them put together”. Such is the beauty of the holy land of Varanasi! One can visit various temples, take a dip in Ganges or simply admire sunset sitting at the ghat.
Bodh Gaya – Bihar
Bodhgaya is an essential site of Buddhist pilgrimage and is situated in the state of Bihar. It is the destination where Siddhartha Gautama attained enlightenment and became Buddha. Mahabodhi Temple in Gaya is a famous UNESCO world heritage site and is known as the Great Awakening Temple. Inside the temple is a colossal image of Buddha in a sitting posture, the posture in which he attained enlightenment. Another major thing to do in Gaya is visiting the Bodhi tree where Buddha meditated for a week after enlightenment. The monastic rural town is a tranquil and serene place visited by many people each year.
Auroville is a small town in Pondicherry. The name Auroville is taken from Sri Aurobindo who was an Indian philosopher, poet and nationalist. Auroville is a spiritual community for whom spirituality is not just a religion and its rituals but something very vast and indefinable. Spirituality for them is something which varies from one individual to another, something which must always be expanded and renewed. It is about a different way of living and receiving the world. One can visit Matri Mandir which is a golden-colored globe that is basically a meditation centre. There are a lot of hidden little cafes serving fresh and organic food, yoga camps, meditation centres and meetups. There are also small shops where one can buy some decent stuff.
Golden Temple – Amritsar
Situated in Amritsar, Punjab, Golden temple is not just a central religious place of Sikhs but symbolizes brotherhood and equality. Anybody, irrespective of cast, creed, gender and color can seek spiritual solace without any hindrance. The architecture of the temple is influenced by both Hindu and Islamic styles. Inside the temple, on a jewel studded platform lays the Guru Granth Sahib, the sacred scripture of Sikhs. Visitors can expect an amazing view of the resplendent shrine situated in the center of a tank that brings infinite calmness.
Rishikesh is visited by many people to learn yoga and meditation. When we talk about spirituality, it should not be associated only with Gods and temples. Spirituality is about finding the meaning of life. It is about finding inner peace and relaxation of mind and body. For this reason, Rishikesh has now become a popular tourist destination. It is actually known as the ‘yoga capital of the world’. Situated in the foothills of Himalayas, Rishikesh is a hub of various temples, popular cafes, yoga ashrams and adventure sports. One can experience Ganga aarti at Triveni Ghat. Rishikesh is a splendid fusion of piousness and thrill. Apart from indulging in spirituality and visiting ancient temples, one can enjoy various adventure activities such as river rafting, bungee jumping, mountain biking, cliff jumping and trekking. Rishikesh also has some popular cafes which has delicious and impressive cuisine. Last but not the least, you should not miss visiting the iconic Laxman Jhula which is the most popular destination of Rishikesh and is always filled with tourists.
Second largest city of India, Kolkata houses some of the most fascinating temples, churches, mosques and synagogues that display excellent craftsmanship in terms of architecture. This metropolitan city is famous for its vibrant cultural history and ethnicity. Also known as the City of joy, Kolkata offers its visitors abundant holy places along with lively bazaars, immaculate gardens and imposing museums. A trip to Kolkata takes you to Kalighat temple which is one of the most popular religious sites of Kolkata. It is a perfect place for people who pray to Goddess Kali with full devotion. Next in the spiritual tour to Kolkata is magnificent Birla mandir which is dedicated to Lord Krishna and Goddess Radha. The construction of this architectural marvel took three long decades. An important place of interest is Shanti Niketan. Also known as the university town, it was originally an ashram built by Rabindranath Tagore. People were treated equal irrespective of their caste, creed and color. In 1921, the world famous Vishwabharti University was set up here. It became an important center of modern art and is visited by numerous tourists every year. Other places of interest include Pareshnath Jain temple, Dakshineshwar temple and Belur Math.
While traveling is the best way to come out of your comfort zone and experience life in different ways, it is also essential to soothe your soul and mind to have an altogether enriching experience. This can be achieved by taking a spiritual tour which focuses on making your inner peace a priority and assists you in determining a purpose of your life.
We at Cloud Itineraries understand the expectations of our clients. We create customized tours with expert help according to our client’s budget, requirements and pace of travel. We let you ‘live your journey’ which is why you can consider us as your perfect travel buddy. You can also check our pre-set itineraries to various destinations of India here.