Char Dham, meaning ‘four abodes’, is the pilgrimage circuit around the four most revered pilgrimage sites in all India. These are in Badrinath, Dwarka, Puri and Rameshwaram. Over time, another Char Dham pilgrimage circuit has developed, in Uttarakhand state in North India. It is known as Chota Char Dham, ‘the four small abodes’ or ‘Himalayan, Read More

Palani temple is one of the most important temples to the Hindu god Muruga or Kartik, being the third of his Six Holy Abodes (aarupadai veedu). Like most Muruga temples it stands on a hilltop, 100km southeast of Coimbatore and it is buzzling with pilgrims dressed in yellow and green exclaiming ‘Haro Hara’ and, Read More

The “Pancha Bhoota Sthalas” refers to the five temples dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva, each of these temples representing the five prime elements of nature; water, air, ether, fire and earth. “Pancha” means five, “Bhoota”, elements and “Sthalas”, place. These temples are all located in the South of India, four in Tamil Nadu, Read More

Char Dham, meaning ‘four abodes’, is the pilgrimage circuit around the four most revered pilgrimage sites in all India. These are in Badrinath, Dwarka, Puri and Rameshwaram, located at the four cardinal points of the Indian sub-continent. Hindus believe that a pilgrimage or yatra around the Char Dham cities opens the way to moksha,, Read More

The legend has to that Madurai was built where a drop of divine nectar fell from Lord Shiva’s hair. The town is best known for the huge temple dedicated to Meenakshi. This is a masterpiece of Dravidian art and an important spiritual centre. It is undeniably one of India’s loveliest temples. The temple stands, Read More

A stop at Tiruvannamalai is a mystical moment. The town takes its name from Annamalaiyar temple around which it grew, and Shiva worship is a key activity for the town. For Hindus, Arunachala Hill overlooking the town represents Shiva himself and is an object of special devotion. The town is full of hermitages and, Read More

Tirupati is one of the most important Hindu pilgrimages centres in India, famous for its Venkateswara Swamy temple, better known as ‘Balaji’, dedicated to lord Vishnu. It stands on the Venkatadri hill overlooking Tirupati town from 850m above sea level and surrounded by lush nature. Venkateswara temple is named after the Venkatadri hill also, Read More

Puri, a major Hindu pilgrimage town, is the abode of residence of Jagganath, “lord of the universe”, one of the aspects of the god Vishnu or his avatar, Lord Krishna. The town is entirely dedicated to him. Puri is one of the Char Dham, India’s four main pilgrimage centres. Devotion here reaches its peak, Read More

Omkareshwar is one of India’s holiest cities. It is the home of “the Lord of the sound Om“, one of the 12 Jyotir Lingams or “lingams of light”. At Omkareshwar the river Narmada divides into two channels around an island called Shivapuri. The island, 4km long and 2km wide, is said to be in, Read More

Ujjain stands on the right bank of the Shipra, an affluent of the Ganges. It is one of the oldest holy cities in India. Its various names are Avantika, Pratikalpa, Kanakasrnga, Amaravati, Shivapuri, Chudamani, Kumudvati and also Ujjainyini, “he who conquers with pride”, because it is said to be the place where Shiva triumphed over, Read More

People don’t come by chance to this ‘city of wonders’. Chitrakoot is a busy, buzzing pilgrimage town vibrating to the sound of the mantra ‘Ram Ram Sita Ram’. The legend goes that Lord Rama, his wife Sita and his brother Lakshmana spent 11 years in exile in the dense forests of Chitrakoot. In ancient, Read More

“Incredible India”, the country’s official slogan, is no exaggeration at Allahabad. Legend has it that the god Brahma named it Tirth Raj or “king of pilgrimage centres”. It is here that the incredible Maha Kumbha Mela is held once every 12 years. Allahabad is the second oldest town in India and a key pilgrimage, Read More

Govardhan is a sacred hill 26km from Mathura. It is an important place of pilgrimage for Hindus; to them, Lord Krishna and Govardhan hill are one. According to legend, in ancient times the villagers feared the wrath of Indra the rain god, and used to perform a fire ritual or yagna in his honour., Read More

Just as Agra is known for the magnificent Taj Mahal, Amritsar too has its emblematic monument, the famous Golden Temple, spiritual and cultural centre of the Sikh religion. Amritsar (“nectar of immortality”) is also called Guru Nagri, “city of gurus”, referring to the spiritual leaders of the Sikh religion. As well as the famous, Read More

Char Dham, meaning ‘four abodes’, is the pilgrimage circuit around the four most revered pilgrimage sites in all India. These are in Badrinath, Dwarka, Puri and Rameshwaram, located at the four cardinal points of the Indian sub-continent. Hindus believe that a pilgrimage or yatra around the Char Dham cities opens the way to moksha,, Read More

Haridwar, gateway to the sacred! Haridwar is one of India’s seven holiest places or ‘Sapta Puri‘. It is a major pilgrimage centre, with millions of pilgrims flocking to it each year for it it is one of the four places that host the famous Kumbh Mela, the world’s largest religious gathering. This holy city, Read More

To Hindus, the Sapta Puris are the seven holiest cities in India. Sapta means ‘seven’ and puri means ‘town’. These seven holy cities are also called the Sapta Moksha Puris, the ‘seven cities of liberation’ or the Sapta Tirtha, ‘seven places of pilgrimage’.

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