Religious Places in India

Map of Religious Places in India
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Map of Religious Places in India
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*Map showing religious places in India. Disclaimer


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 practice Hinduism. Other major religions in India are Sikhism, Jainism, Christianity, Buddhism and Islam.

There are a large number of temples, mosques, gurudwaras, churches and monasteries which are visited by people from different religions. These religious sites are the places where the physical world meets the spiritual world and where the hearts are filled with divine holiness and spirituality. India is a 'Land of Faith', where the spiritual air has a fragrance of Karma, Dharma and Forgiveness. The secular India believes in the philosophy of sarva dharma sambhava, which means equality and respect for all religions. The religious places in India are not confined to any particular region or state but are spread across the country.

Following are some religious places categorised on the basis of religions in India:

Hinduism

Char Dhams: For a Hindu, Char Dham Yatra is a complete pilgrimage - Badrinath in the North, Jagannath Puri in the East, Rameswaram in the South and Dwarka in the West. In the Himalayas, there is a pilgrimage circuit known as Chota Char Dham- Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri and Yamunotri.

Amarnath: Located in Jammu and Kashmir, the holy shrine Amarnath is devoted to Lord Shiva. Every year, a yatra to the Amarnath cave is held for the pilgrims to worship the ice stalagmite Lingam.

Vaishno Devi: Located in the hills of Jammu and Kashmir, Vaishno Devi is worshipped as one of the 108 Shakti Peetha.

Mathura and Ayodhya: Mathura and Ayodhya, the birthplaces of Hindu deities Krishna and Ram respectively, are the holy places that every Hindu wishes to visit.

Haridwar: It is located in Uttarakhand and is considered as an ideal place to start a pilgrim journey to Mount Kailash.

Varanasi: It is considered as the holiest of the seven sacred places (Sapta Puri) in Hinduism and Jainism. It is believed that death at this holy place brings salvation.

Kamakhya Temple: Located in Guwahati, Assam, it is one of the oldest Shakti Peethas dedicated to Goddess Kamakhya. Thousands of tantra devotees attend the annual festival, Ambubachi Mela, held in this temple.

Tirumala Venkateswara Temple: Located in Tirupati, this temple is devoted to Lord Venkateswara, who is also known by different names such as Balaji, Srinivasa and Govinda.

Siddhivinayak Temple: Devoted to Lord Ganesha, this is one of the most popular temples in Mumbai. It has also gained popularity due to visits by politicians and bollywood celebrities besides common people.

Shirdi Sai Temple: Located in Shirdi, Maharashtra, it is a holy shrine of Shirdi Sai Baba. The temple, visited by a large number of devotees every year, is spread in an area of approximately 200 sq. meters.

Somnath Jyotirlinga: Dedicataed to Lord Shiva, this place is a source of spirituality and divinity among many Hindu pilgrims. It is the first among the twelve jyotirlinga shrines of Shiva in the country.

Pushkar: The Brahma Temple in Pushkar is the only temple in the world dedicated to the deity. The temple is believed to be about 2000 years old.

Besides the above mentioned prominent places, religious destinations like Allahabad, Ujjain, Nashik, Rishikesh, Vrindavan, Gaya, Madurai, Mahabaleshwar and many more hold their significance and importance especially among the Hindus.

Islam

Hazratbul: The shrine of Hazratbul is located in Srinagar and is popular because it contains the relics of Prophet Mohammad. The devotees are allowed to view the relic only once a year and therefore, it attracts a large number of pilgrims during this occasion.

Dargah of Moinuddin Chisti: Popularly known as Ajmer Sharif, this Dargah has a belief that no prayer gets unanswered here. The grave (Maqbara) of Moinuddin Chisti, a revered saint, is situated in the shrine. Not only Muslims, but people from different religions offer their prayers at this holy place.

Haji Ali Dargah: Located on an islet in Mumbai, it is one of the recognisable landmarks of the city. The tomb of Shah Bukhari and Sayed Peer Haji Ali are situated in this dargah. Thousands of devotees visit this shrine every year to offer Chaddar and prayers.

There are numerous mosques and dargahs in India. Some of the important mosques in India are Aasfi Masjid, Lucknow; Jama Masjid, Delhi; Charminar, Hyderabad; Moti Masjid, Delhi; Sir Syed masjid, Aligarh; Tipu Sultan, Kolkata and many more.

Sikhism:

Golden Temple: Also known as Harminder Sahib, it is considered as the most prominent shrine of the Sikhs. As the upper levels of the gurudwara are completely gold-plated, it is commonly known as Golden Temple.

Anandpur Sahib: It is known as 'the holy city of bliss' and is a place linked to the traditions and religious history. Takht Sri Keshagarh Sahib is the main gurudwara and major attraction in Anandpur Sahib.

Damdama Sahib: This is a place where the tenth guru of Sikhs, Guru Gobind Singh took repose from raging upheaval. It is also known as the 'Seat of Temporal Authority' and is one of the most revered takhts of the Sikhs.

Patna Sahib: Takht Patna Sahib, also known as Takht Sri Harmandir Ji, is the birthplace of the tenth guru Sri Guru Gobind Singh. The Patna Sahib Gurudwara is also considered as the epicenter of the popularity of Sikhism in East India. The gurudwara was built by Maharaja Ranjit Singh.

Hazur Sahib: Takht Sachkhand Shri Hazur Abchalnagar Sahib is one of the five takhts of the Sikhs. It is also one of the highest temporal seats of authority and is a place where Guru Gobind Singh Ji took his last breath.

Hemkund Sahib: Located in Chamoli district of Uttarakhand, it is dedicated to the tenth Sikh Guru, Guru Gobind Singh Ji.

Gurudwara Paonta Sahib: The Paonta Sahib Gurudwara is dedicated to Guru Gobind Singh Ji and is situated in Sirmour district of Himachal Pradesh. It has a religious significance as it houses the book Dasam Granth, written by Guru Gobind Singh Ji.

Bangla Sahib Gurudwara: Located in central Delhi, it is associated with Guru Har Krishan, the eighth Sikh guru. Earlier, it was a palace that belonged to Raja Jai Singh but, was later transformed into a gurudwara in the memory of Guru Har Kishan Ji.

Rakab Ganj Gurudwara: Located in Delhi, it stands as homage to Guru Tegh Bahadur, the ninth Sikh Guru. It is the place where Guru Tegh Bahadur's headless body was incinerated after he was slaughtered by the Mughals.

Sis Ganj Gurudwara: It is one of the oldest and the historical gurudwaras in Delhi. It is dedicated to Guru Tegh Bahadur and his disciples who were beheaded in chandni chowk by the Mughals.

Christianity:

Bascilica of Bom Jesus, Goa: It is the first Indian church to be brought to the status of Minor basilica and is known for the tomb of St. Francis Xavier. It is one of the best examples of the baroque architecture in India and the special highlights of this church are the paintings depicting the life of St. Francis Xavier.

St. Cajetan Church, Goa: Its structure is similar to that of St. Peter's Church in Rome. The church is an example of Renaissance and Christian architecture.

St. Francis of Assisi, Goa: It is a former palace of the Archbishop and connects the Se Cathedral to the Church of St. Francis of Assisi and the Convent. It had been a convent before it was converted into a church in 1521 for the Franciscan friars.

Santa Cruz Basilica, Kerala: It was originally built by the Portuguese and was elevated to a cathedral in 1558 AD by Pope Paul IV. After experiencing demolition and reconstruction, it was finally proclaimed a Basilica by Pope John Paul II in 1984.

Velankanni Church: Velankanni town is located at the shores of Bay of Bengal in Tamil Nadu and is one of the most sacred Christian pilgrimages in India. It is popular for the Basilica of the 'Lady of Health' and was built in honour of Virgin Mary.

Little Mount Church, Chennai: The Shrine of Our Lady of Good Health is a popular church in South India and is one of the oldest churches in the country.

Cathedral Church of St. Thomas, Mumbai: This is the first Anglican Church of the Mumbai city. Its foundation was laid in 1672 and was completed in 1718 after which it was open for general public. Christ Church & St. Michael's Cathedral, H.P.: Situated on the popular Mall Road of Shimla, this church is considered to be the second oldest church of North India.

Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, Delhi: This Roman Catholic cathedral is one of the oldest churches in Delhi. The architecture of the church was designed by Henry Medd. Here, the Christian religious services are held throughout the year.

Kanpur Memorial Church: Originally known as All Souls' Cathedral, it was built in 1875 in the honour of the British who lost their lives during the war of 1857.

Other popular churches in Goa are Church of St. Andrew, Church of St. Francis Xavier, Cathedral Church, Church & Cathedral of St. Monica, The Chapel of Our Lady of the Mount, Mater Dei Church and many more. Roman Catholic Church, Sardhana and St. Joseph's Roman Church, Gorakhpur are some of the important religious places in North India. Some other important churches in South India are St. Thomas Shrine, Palayur; St. Francis Church, Cochin; Parumala Palli, Kerala; Santa Cruz Basilica, Cochin and many more.

Buddhism:

Bodh Gaya: It is the biggest pilgrim center for the Buddhists and holds significance as Gautama Buddha is believed to have obtained 'enlightenment' here under the 'bodhi tree'.

Sarnath: Sarnath in Uttar Pradesh is a place where Buddha delivered his first teaching on Dharma.

Kushinagar: This place holds importance as here Buddha attained Parinirvana after his death.

Jainism:

Vaishali: It is the birthplace of the last Jain Tirthankara, Mahavira, and is therefore an important religious place for the Jains. It also holds significance for the Buddhists as Gautama Buddha preached his last sermon here before his death.

Pavapuri: This is a holy place where Lord Mahavira attained salvation.

Besides these places, there are many other famous Jain temples in the country. Few of such renowned temples are:

Gomateshwara Temple: Lord Gomateshwara or the Great Bahubali is located at Shravanabelagola and is one of the largest temples in the city.

Dilwara Temples: Situated in Mount Abu in Rajasthan, these temples are known for their architecture. Built between 11th and 13th century, they are famous for the marvellous use of marbles.

Lal Mandir: Sri Digambar Jain Lal Mandir situated in Chandni Chowk, New Delhi, is dedicated to Lord Parshavanath.

Palitana Temples: Dedictaed to Svetambara Jains and situated in Bhavnagar, Gujarat, they are about thousand in number and are scattered on Shatrunjaya hills. The Jains believe that a visit to these temples at least once in a lifetime is essential in order to attain salvation or nirvana.

Bawangaja Temple: It is known for the world's tallest statue of first Jain Tirthankar, Adinatha and is situated in Barwani district of Madhya Pradesh.

Judaism:

The religious places of the Jews were divided and built by three different Jewish groups:

Cochin Synagogues: The Paradesi Synagogue in Cochin (Kochi) is the oldest synagogue in Commonwealth of Nations. The people of Cochin Jewish community or the Malabar Yehudan built it in 1567.

Bene Israel Synagogues: In the late 18th to early 19th centuries, the Bene Israel Jews settled in Ahmedabad, Mumbai and Pune and built most synagogues in the country. Sha'ar HaRachamim, Mumbai; Magen Abraham, Ahmedabad; and many more in Konkan, Panvel and Alibag, Maharashtra; are few of the synagogues of Bene Israel.

Baghdadi Synagogues: The Sassoon family (descendants of Iraqi Jews) supported the construction of the Baghdadi synagogues in India. These synagogues generally have Holy Arks where Sefer Torahs are stored.

Zoroastrianism:

The place of worship of the Zoroastrians is known as fire temple. There are about 150 fire temples in India with majority of them in Mumbai and Gujarat. The Zoroastrians also take pilgrim trips to the eight Atash Behrams (fire temples) in Mumbai, Udvada, Navsari and Surat.

Bahá'í

The Lotus Temple: This Bahá'í House of Worship built in 1986 in New Delhi is notable for its flowerlike shape. A large number of people visit this temple everyday despite their religion and faith.

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  Religious Places in India  
Andhra Pradesh
SrisailamTirupati 
Assam
 Guwahati 
Bihar
BodhgayaGayaNalanda
Vaishali  
Delhi
New Delhi  
Gujarat
DwarkaSomnathUdwada
Haryana
Kurukshetra  
Himachal Pradesh
Dharamsala  
Jammu and Kashmir
AmarnathVaishnodevi 
Karnataka
BadamiSravanabelagolaSringeri
Kerala
ErnakulamThiruvananthapuramTrichur
Madhya Pradesh
Ujjain  
Maharashtra
MahabaleshwarNashikWardha
Shirdi  
Manipur
Imphal  
Odisha
BhubaneswarKonarkPuri
Puducherry
Pondicherry  
Punjab
Amritsar  
Rajasthan
Ajmer SharifBikanerJaisalmer
Mount AbuPushkarUdaipur
Tamil Nadu
ChidambaramKanchipuramKanyakumari
MaduraiRameswaramThanjavur
Telangana
BhadrachalamWarangal 
Uttar Pradesh
AllahabadAyodhyaFatehpur
MathuraSravastiVaranasi
Sarnath  
Uttarakhand
BadrinathHaridwarKedarnath
Rishikesh  
West Bengal
Kolkata 


Last Updated on : January 29, 2015

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