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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

Amarnath Yatra. Wikimedia
  • 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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Char Dham Yatra: 6,000 people visit Gangotri and Yamunotri on first day




By NewsGram Staff Writer

After the devastation caused by the flash floods in 2013, the Char Dham Yatra finally showed an uptrend as more than 6,000 people visited the different shrines on the first day of the pilgrimage.

Char Dham Yatra – an annual Hindu pilgrimage in the hill state of Uttarakhand – covers four holy shrines of Kedarnath, Badrinath, Yamunotri and Gangotri.

About 6,000 pilgrims visited the holy shrine of Gangotri and Yamunotri after the temple gates of these shrines were opened, officials said.

To keep a check on any untowardly incident, the Uttrakhand government, this time is registering and keeping a tab on the number of people visiting the shrines.

The gates of Kedarnath and Badrinath will open on April 24 and April 26 respectively, officials said.

You can read more about the pilgrimage here: Why Chaar Dham Yatra is a true test of every Hindu’s quest towards spiritual enlightenment

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Want to attain salvation? Donate generously in shrines



By Ishaa Srivastava

Think about how Hinduism manifests itself in large sections of our society. The idea of India is heavily impregnated with the multitude of its religious identity. Religious devotees and pilgrims dedicate much of their time, money, and resources in the fervent service of God. They undertake pilgrimages to places like Amarnath in dangerous terrains, enduring much physical pain. They part with their wealth, indulge in daily prayers, and renounce their possessions to be in God consciousness.

The idea of renouncing possessions and making a ritualistic offerings in a temple may seem vague to many, but it is a great form of devotion towards God. The idea behind making an offering in a shrine is a reflection how one is willing to part ways from materialistic things. It should be seen as an act of detachment. A first step towards detaching oneself from the materialistic world.

Those who have undertaken a journey in South India, maybe familiar with how thousands of people offer their own hair at the Tirumala Tirupati Temple, an act that absolves one from all ego and repays the debt to God. A lot of Hindu temples also receive massive donations (in cash or gold) from Indian and NRI devotees, which  is used for the temple infrastructure, food for devotees, or other charity work.

The Sabrimala pilgrimage (Ayyappan pilgrimage) attracts millions of male Hindu devotees from Kerala, and South India as a whole. Preparations for the pilgrimage usually start in November, and the pilgrims adhere to a vratam, a 41 day period of abstinence. This is akin to the Kavar Yatra undertaken in the sacred month of Saawan (July to August) by Shiva devotees (Kaavariyas) in north India.

Many partisans have of course, gone beyond and gone astray with the whole concept of sacrifice fundamentally. Commercialisation of a few temples in India takes away the piety of a place of worship. One is reminded of Nepal; the nefarious killing of 100,000 animals during the quinquennial Gadhimai Festival which last took place in 2014. Before we point our finger, however, remember there have been horrendous cases of sacrificial rituals in our own country. In 2002, for instance, 105 children were buried alive for ‘just one minute’in Perayur Village, Tamil Nadu, during the Kuzhi maatru thiruvizha—or the festival of the pits. Family members ‘bury’ their own children in the hope that their wishes will be fulfilled.

Where do we draw a line between moralistic rituals as social practice and an actual unquestioning, spiritual devotion to God?