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These 10 Points to Keep in Mind While Planning for Indian Pilgrimage Sites

Indian Pilgrimages are one of the important factors of Indian Tourism

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Amarnath Yatra. Wikimedia
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  • Every year thousands of people come to India for the Char-Dham Yatra, the Mahamaham temple visit or even the Vaishno Devi temple visits
  • Don’t eat anything that is offered to you there and say complete no to street food
  • Ask around your friends or on the internet forums about the places you are visiting

June 29, 2017: Going to Indian Pilgrimage sites have several religious significance attached to it and people have a deep belief attached to its Spirituality. India is considered as one of the most spiritual lands in the world and spirituality is considered to be the country’s heritage. Every year thousands of people come to India for the Char-Dham Yatra, Amaranth Yatra, Kailash yatra, the Mahamaham temple visit or even the Vaishno Devi temple visits.

Traveling to India can be a blissful experience for anyone but for this experience to remain better in all terms, one has to be aware of many things so that he/she doesn’t get cheated on, fall prey to the conman or compromise with their health. So below are certain points to be kept in mind while traveling for Indian Pilgrimages:

  • Planning the Schedule –Plan the schedule of your pilgrimage and try to stick to the schedule because once you visit these places, you will be taken over by the heavenly beauty of the area and that can end up using your lot of time and money which is a crucial factor.
  • A Little Flexibility is Required Too – While sticking to your planned schedules is most important but that doesn’t mean you can be a little flexible. No one knows what nature has in its play so better be flexible in the schedule to deal with the obstructions in your schedule.

ALSO READ: Exclusive: Photo Exhibition Documents Japan’s Sacred places and Pilgrimages in New Delhi

  • Gain Information – Ask around your friends or on the internet forums about the places you are visiting. You need to get as much information you can get as this might help you know your way and what you are getting into.
  • Watch Your Food Intake – Don’t eat anything that is offered to you there and say complete no to street food. First of all, Indian Food is never good for the stomachs of people coming from abroad and secondly in places like these, you need to keep an extra eye for the hygiene so don’t choose anything from the street and better go for packed foods and fruits.
  • Carry Your Best Trekking Shoes – The paths of most of the hill based pilgrimages are not even and in bad weather, the paths can get even difficult to walk on. So if you don’t want to slip and get hurt, wear your best trekking shoes you have that can handle the walking bit.
  • Carry Proper Clothes – No matter how much you like to stay in fashion, just don’t compromise with the clothes as these places can be quite cold and the people here can withstand cold but if you can’t, then pack your bags with the warmest ones you have.
  • Be Nice – You don’t have to be rude to anyone and that’s a general notion but mostly the people forget it. So just try to be nice to everyone while being in a foreign land because no one knows who you might need the help of.
  • Beware Of Over-Helping People – You need to be cautious of the people who are taking extra steps to help you out. Sometimes the people in these areas are interested in making money than giving any regard to the people in need and you need to stay away from them.
  • Always Inform Relatives Before Leaving – Now this might already be seen on your Instagram profile but you still need to tell your close ones about your trip so at least some people would know where are you and that might be a lot helpful in emergency situations.
  • Physical Ability is Must – While walking, you need to be at your best cause most of the Indian Pilgrimages requires a lot of walking so if you have that knee problem, choose your pilgrims accordingly to avoid any problem.

– by Sumit Balodi of NewsGram. Twitter: @sumit_balodi

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7 spectacular Hindu Temples to visit in Incredible India

Have you ever considered visiting a temple while you are struggling in life? A temple visit is enough to give you strength, calm you down and help you to reconnect with divine. Go for a temple walk. Here is a list of 7 spectacular Hindu temples in Incredible India

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Hindu Temples
Akshardham Temple, Delhi (www.akshardham.com)
  • Hindus have more sacred sites, festivals and pilgrimages, more yogis, monks and sadhus, an older and vaster literature than any religion – Dr. David Frawley

Temples in Hinduism holds a very important place. Hindu temples are popularly known as mandiram, devaalayam or devastanam, meaning the shrine, abode or place of Ishwar. Hindu temples are at once a collective work of art, the adobe of Ishwar, a symbol of the cosmos and a path leading the worshipper into contact with the God, from the temporal to the eternal. Hindu temples are valued and respected both as a means of enabling worship in the presence of God and as a way to uphold Indian culture and dharma. Here is a list of 7 spectacular Hindu Temples in Incredible India you will love visiting as many times as possible in your lifetime.

1. Somnath Temple, Gujarat

Hinduism
Somnath, Gujarat (Image Credit : Shaurya Ritwik)

The Somnath is believed to be the first among the twelve jyotirlinga shrines of Shiva. Somnath Temple has been looted, destroyed and resurrected 17 times. In AD 1026, Mahmud of Ghazni first looted the temple, and then came Afzal Khan, the commander of Ala-ud-din Khilji and later Aurangzeb. While the barbaric looters are sleeping in their grave, Somnath still stands as a pillar of Hinduism, as a sign of resistance. Somnath is the place where you can connect with history and your source. Best time to visit Somnath : Well, any time of the year.

2. Meenakshi Temple, Madurai, Tamil Nadu

Hindu Temples
Meenakshi Temple, Madurai (Image Source: Wikipedia)

Meenakshi Temple is known for its beautiful architecture. It is dedicated to Meenakshi, a form of Parvati, and her consort, Sundareswar, a form of Shiva. The temple was almost completely destroyed in the year 1310 following the invasion of the Islamic conqueror Malik kafur. Most of the Islamic rulers were noted for their intolerance towards Hindu temples, the invaders destroyed most of the ancient sculptures of the temple. The temple was rebuilt by the Hindu Nayaka dynasty ruler Vishwanatha Nayakar in the 16th and 17th century. According to the Tiruvilaiyatal Puranam, of the list of 68 pilgrimage places in Shaivism, four are most important: Kashi (Varanasi), Chidambaram, Tirukkalatti and Madurai. The sacrality of Madurai is from this temple.

3. Jagannath Temple, Puri, Orissa

Hindu Temples
Jagannath Temple, Orissa (AKL)

Jagannath temple was built in the 12 th century by Raja Anantavarman Chodaganga Deva. It is one of the Char Dhams of Hinduism in Incredible India and is situated on the Nilgiri Hill. The temple is known for its annual Ratha Yatra, which attracts millions of Hindu devotees every year. It is said that the divine mahaprasad of the temple is prepared under the scrutiny of goddess Lakshmi. During Rath Yatra, idol of Jagannath along with Subhadra and Balabhadra are placed in huge chariots and brought out to the street. Thousands of people pull the sacred chariot. The main chariot is around 45 feet high. These rathas are constructed new every year. It has wood-carved horses and charioteers. Rath Yatra is held every year during the month of Asadha as per Hindu calendar.

4. Kailashnath Temple, Ellora, Maharashtra

Hindu Temples
Kailashnath Temple, Ellora (Image Credits: AKL)

The Kailasha Temple or Kailashnath Temple is one of the largest rock cut ancient Hindu temples. A megalith carved out of one single rock, it is considered one of the most remarkable cave temples in India because of its size, architecture and sculptural treatment. It is a prime example of extraordinary ancient Hindu architecture. Visiting this temple will definitely give you a ride to our glorious ancient past.

5. Konark Sun Temple, Orissa

Hindu temples
Konark sun Temple, Orissa (Image Source : Wikimedia Commans)

Konark houses a colossal temple dedicated to the Sun God in Orissa attributed to king Narsimhadeva about 1250 CE. Even in its ruined state it is a magnificient temple reflecting the genius of the architects that envisioned and built it. The ruins of this temple were excavated in late 19th century. The Konark temple is famously known for its architectural grandeur and for the intricacy and profusion of sculptural work. The entire temple has been conceived as a chariot of the sun god with 24 wheels, each about 10 feet in diameter, with a set of spokes and elaborate carvings. Seven horses drag the temple. Two lions guard the entrance, crushing elephants. A flight of steps lead to the main entrance. If you are in Orissa you can not miss one of the most spell binding temple in Incredible India, Konark sun Temple.

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6. Kedarnath Temple, Uttarakhand

Hindu Temples
Kedarnath Temple, Uttarakhand (Image Credit: Shaurya Ritwik)
Hindu Temples
Prime Minister Modi at Kedarnath (Twitter)

Kedarnath is among one of the holiest Hindu temples of Incredible India with Lord Shiva as its residing deity. The temple was built by Pandavas and revived by Adi Shankaracharya himself in the early 8th century. The temple is one of the 12 Jyotirlingas of India and the main temple of Panch Kedar. Due to extreme weather conditions, the temple is open only between the end of April (Akshaya Tritriya) to Kartik Purnima (the autumn full moon, usually November). During the winters, the vigrahas (deities) from Kedarnath temple are brought to Ukhimath and worshipped there for six months. You must visit Kedarnath, one of the most important pilgrimage in hinduism to feel the beauty of nature and divinity.

7. Chennakeshava Temple, Belur, Karnataka

Hindu Temples
Chennakeshava Temple, Karnataka (Image Credit : Wikimedia)

The Chennakeshava Temple, also referred to as Keshava, Kesava or Vijayanarayana Temple of Belur, the erstwhile capital of Hoysala kingdom is a 12th-century Hindu temple in the Hassan district of Karnataka state, Incredible India. This Hindu temple is another testament to the amazing artistry of ancient Incredible India. This place will give you sense of pride regarding what our ancestors left for us.

So, are you ready for a “Walk to Temple”? The wonderful Hindu temples Incredible India has can not be comprehended in a list, there are lakhs of them, visit them to connect with your roots, to get acquainted with Dharma which is eternal.

 

– by SHAURYA RITWIK, Shaurya is Sub-Editor at NewsGram and writes on Geo-politcs, Culture, Indology and Business. Twitter Handle – @shauryaritwik