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Pilgrimage of india
 
India is a religious land. Ever since the dawn of civilization, India has been the birthplace of many religions. Being so, the country boasts of a lot of pilgrim destinations within its precincts. Rich in mythology, it has a number of temples, mosques, monasteries, churches and gurdwaras, which attract lakhs of devotees every year. People belonging to various religions come here to visit the various pilgrimages and obtain the divine blessings of God, seeking forgiveness for all their sins.

Hinduism, the oldest religion of the world, has many shrines all over India. Hindus settled in various parts of the world come to India to visit their scared temples and get darshan of the Divine Being. Similarly, the country has numerous shrines belonging to other religions as well. Buddhists come to visit Bodhgaya, where Lord Buddha received enlightenment, and Sarnath, where He delivered his first sermon.

There are also many Buddhist monasteries in Himachal Pradesh and Ladakh. For the Sikhs, there is Anandpur Sahib, Golden Temple and Gurudwara Bangla Sahib. It is said that Christianity was introduced in India by St. Thomas or Doubting Thomas, in 52 AD. Indian Churches, with their distinct archaeological British, Portuguese, French and Indian designs, serve as a reminder of the same. If this was not enough, India boasts of housing shrines of Jains and Muslims too.

The multi hued country, India is probably the ultimate destination of all kinds of pilgrims following any faith around the world. The great religions like Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Islam, Christianity and Sikhism are the integral part of Indian culture and heritage whose values and faiths are mingled with the air, soil and the sky of India. You can feel the blissful serenity of the Indian atmosphere where Lord Buddha, Mahabir Jain, Shri Sathya Sai Baba and Guru Nanak once walked turning the Indian soil pious and blessed at the different circle of time wheel. There are numerous destinations in India which are considered sacred by people following different faith because of their religious importance. A visit to the Kedarnath or Badrinath will take you to the Himalayas which is believed to be the abode of 330 million gods and goddesses and you can feel the immense divinity in the air itself. It is widely believed that after breathing in the holy atmosphere of Varanasi or Haridwar or taking a dip into the sacred Pushkar Lake or river Ganges washes away the sins and helps one to attain nirvana (salvation). The divine Buddha pilgrimages, Bodhgaya and Sarnath are the destinations of thousands of Buddhist pilgrims every year coming from each and every corner of the earth.

India is a nation that believes in the ideology of unity in diversity. It is an abode to different religions, cultures, traditions, ethnic values and customs. Over 80% of India's population practices Hinduism. Other major religions in India are Sikhism, Jainism, Christianity, Buddhism and Islam.

The holy Ganges flow abundantly in North India which makes it a popular destination for devotees. North India is dotted with popular pilgrim places like Rishikesh, Kedarnath, Haridwar, Gangotri, Badrinath, Mathura, Ayodhya and Ujjain. Gangotri, Yamunotri, Kedarnath and Badrinath are the four major shrines that constitute the Char Dham. The Char Dham tour is considered to be the most scared of all Hindu religious tours.

North India also has various Buddhist Pilgrim sites like Kapilavastu (Piprahwa), Kaushambi, Kushinagar, Sanchi, Sankisa and Sravasti.

Harmandir Sahib, popularly known as the Golden Temple, is located in Amritsar. It is considered the holiest shrine for Sikhs.

Western India includes states of Goa, Gujarat and Maharashtra. Goa is a state of diverse religious cultures and attracts tourist from all over the world. Goa has beautiful churches, elaborate temples and mosques.

The state of Gujarat has important Jain temples, besides several Hindu shrines. The most prominent Jain shrine is the rectangular Neminath temple. Akshardham Temple, Dwarkadhish Temple, Sun Temple and Somnath Temple are other popular religious places in Gujarat.

In Maharashtra, there are many popular pilgrimage sites like Shirdi, Hazi Ali tomb, Mount Marry Church, Nashik and Shri Hazur Abchalnagar Sahib of Nanded (Gurudwara) to name a few.

Eastern India includes pilgrimage sites of West Bengal, Orissa, Bihar and Jharkhand.

West Bengal has holy places like Katra mosque, Adinath Temple, Hare Krishna Mandir and Kali Mandir. Sacred places in Darjeeling are St. Andrew?s Church and Bhutia Busty Monastery.

In Odisha, one can visit famous religious places like Jagannath Temple in Puri and Temple at Konark.

Religious places in South India are: Amaravati, Guruvayoor Temple, Kalpathi Temple,?Meenakshi Temple, Udupi, The Thousand Pillars Temple and Sabarimala Temple.