India is a hub of vast cultures and traditions. With a huge number of religious groups residing in India, we are a nation that believes in unity in diversity. With so many cultures and people from different religious beliefs, India is a land of many holy shrines and places of worship. With every place unique in its own way, here are ten popular sites that you should visit at least once.
Vaishno Devi Temple, Jammu & Kashmir
It is a famous Hindu temple dedicated to Mata Vaishno. Located at Katra on an altitude of 5200 feet, Vaishno Devi Temple hosts more than eight million devotees every year. Temple is 14kms away from Katra and is a hilly trek. Devotees use various modes of transport like palkhis, ponies and electric vehicles besides walking all the way to the shrine. The shrine is beautiful narrow cave with images of reincarnations of goddess Durga.
Golden Temple/Harmandir Sahib
A shimmering golden façade which is reflecting in water and soothing tones of Guru Granth Sahib being heard, a trip to golden temple is a must do at least once. The langar here is also extremely popular where thousands of people are fed every day. It was built by Guru Ramdass Sahib Ji, the fourth Sikh Guru and is one of the most important Sikh pilgrimage sites of India.
Jagannath Temple, Puri
An important site of pilgrimage, Jagannath temple is also one of the finest monuments of Orissa. Lord Jagannath, Balabhadra and Goddess Shubhadra are the main deities worshipped here. Large number of people from all over the wold visit the temple every year during the annual Rath Yatra.
Khwaja Moinnuddin Chishti is believed to be laying in peace here, listening and fulfilling the wishes of common people. Known as Dargah Sharif, this sacred shrine in Ajmer is visited by millions of people all over the world.
Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh is a famous pilgrimage site and a centre of faith for Hindus. The large crowd of people that gather here every day from all parts of the country adds to the colourful beauty of this place. The holy Ganga adds up to the purity of Varanasi and the ritual of elaborate Ganga Arti every morning and evening enhances the divinity of the place. It is also popularly believed to provide moksha and wash away all the past sins of the people who visit here, making it a favourite among many other sites.