Hotels in India  »  Top 10 - Your Traveling Guide to India  »  Top 10 Pilgrimage Spots in India

Top 10 Pilgrimage Spots in India

Religion is integral to the cultural of India that is home to a diverse population and a constitution that allows free thinking and right to follow any religion. The most prominent religions that evolved over the ages in this subcontinent are Hinduism, Islam, Sikhism, Buddhism and Christianity. Christianity came in much later while Hinduism remained dominant. The various religious shrines and sites are thus part of India's pilgrimage tour. India Profile offers online information on top 10 pilgrimage spots in India.

Vaishno Devi

Vaishno DeviVaishno Devi yatra is crucial in the religious contexts of India and occupies an important place in the heart of devoted Hindus. This holy shrine is located in the Trikuta Mountains of the Jammu district. It is part of the Shivalik range of the Himalayas and is abode of the principal deity "Mata Rani". There are newly weds, pilgrims and even business persons who travel to Vaishno Devi shrine to seek prosperity and blessings. The hundred feet cave opening is the sanctum. Apart from this, there are several other temples around such as Bhairon Temple, Ban Ganga Temple, Bhumika Temple and Ardh Kuwari. Tourism in and around Vaishno Devi is centered on this Hindu shrine itself. This pilgrimage site in India is well linked by air, rail and roadways from Jammu and New Delhi.


VaranasiVaranasi is another Hindu pilgrimage center besides being one of India's oldest cities. This city in Uttar Pradesh is a revered Hindu worship site with mythological references. The Dashaswamedh ghats along the River Ganga are considered sacred for a holy bath. Replete with traditional structures, old bathing ghats and the temples, Varanasi will be a memorable experience. The Benaras gharana evolved here. The Vishwanath Temple remains the top attraction and pilgrims throng mostly during the Annapurna puja at the Devi Annapurna Temple here. Vishwanath shrine is dedicated to Lord Shiva and shivaratri is an important festival here.

Tirupathi Balaji

Tirupathi BalajiMost popular shrine of southern India, Tirupathi is one of the country's richest temples where people offer jewelry and cash for prayers to Venkateshwara Temple. The Tirumala Hills is the abode of the deity and the shrine reflects the typical Dravidian architecture. Tirupathi is often dubbed as Mecca for the Hindus. There is a pilgrimage yatra planned every year and there are several places to stop over such as Kapileswaraswami Temple and Govindrajaswamy Temple. There are numerous places for accommodation and food for the convenience of tourists and pilgrims. The Kailasakona waterfalls and Horsley Hills are interesting places close to Tirupathi that are worth visiting.

Golden Temple of Amritsar

Golden Temple of AmritsarThe Mecca for the Sikhs in India, Golden Temple is the most revered Sikh shrine in India situated in Punjab. Situated in the center of the Amritsar, Golden Temple is visited by people from all walks of life. The shrine is erected on a platform of 67 square feet and it represents the valor and chivalry of the Sikhs who have fought several battles over the ages. The integral part of this shrine is the Amrit Sagar located inside the temple premises. People take a holy dip before visiting the man shrine. The sanctum of the main shrine contains the holy texts for the Sikhs from all over the world- The Guru Granth Sahib. The topmost part of this shrine has gold-gilt.

Bodh Gaya

Bodh Gaya A significant place for the Buddhists, Bodh Gaya is a holy town in Uttar Pradesh. It is acclaimed as the place where Lord Buddha attained enlightenment. The Mahabodhi Temple complex is the ultimate place of visit here. The place shot in the limelight at the 18th century end. The main monastery came to known as Bodhimala Vihara and now it is Mahabodhi Temple. In 2002, it became a World Heritage Site. This place is a 110 km drive from Patna and from city of Gaya, it is 12 km. There is also daily bus service from Varanasi to Bodh Gaya.


HaridwarHaridwar holds both religious and cultural significance for the Hindus. It is one of the seven holy sites in the country. Every 12 years, Haridwar hosts the Kumbh Mela. Millions of devotees, priests, monks and tourists particularly visit during this time. Bathing in the sacred Ganga waters is an important activity. It is believed that you can wash off the sins and attain moksha. The Haridwar ghats, the Brahma Kund and Har Ki Pauri are the topmost attractions.


KanyakumariAt the southern tip of India, Kanyakumari is an important pilgrimage center for the Hindus. An old seaside town, Kanyakumari has several cultural attractions too. Swami Vivekananda Mandapam and the Gandhi Memorial should have a special mention. Also known as Cape Camorin, pilgrims from all over the country travel to the Kanyakumari Temple to offer their prayers. Around 85 km from Kerala, this temple town is a prominent tourist place also known for its beach. The Kumari Amman Temple or Kanyakumari shrine is located on the coast. Also Kanyakumari is the meeting point of the Indian Ocean, Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea. The shrine is considered a Shakthi Peetha, dedicated to the unmarried form of Parvati and is a virgin Goddess who was angry at the refusal of Lord Shiva to marry her.


MaduraiMadurai is a holy city in Tamil Nadu and one of the oldest in the state. It is home to several to several Hindu temples that are credited for their unique architectural splendor. The Meenakshi Amman Temple of Madurai is of utmost importance to historians, pilgrims and tourists. Situated in the middle of the town, tourism in Madurai is mostly centered on this shrine that has a number of gopurams and a large complex. The gopurams or the gateways have images of all God and Goddess who owe their origin to the Hindu mythology.

Goa Churches

Goa ChurchesChurches in Goa are some of the oldest structures existing since the time of Portuguese invasion. Most of them also reflect the Portuguese style of architecture and acclaimed by world tourists. These churches are most visited during the Christmas when it is a carnival in Goa. Churches here are lit with colored lights and dominate the landscape of Goa. The most prominent ones are Basilica of Bom Jesus, Se Cathedral, Church of St Francis of Assisi and Chapel of St Catherine.

Kedarnath and Badrinath

Kedarnath and BadrinathThe two of the Char Dham places, Kedarnath and Badrinath is well known for its yearly yatra tours. Badrinath is a two day long trek from Kedarnath and is situated in the Chamoli district of Uttarakhand. It has an altitude of 3415 meters above sea level and River Alakananda passes from here. It is believed that Adi Shankara discovered Badrinath that is among the top most pilgrimage sites in the country for the Hindus. Badrinath Temple is the main place of visit. Kedarnath is located in the Rudraprayag district of Uttarakhand and has a height of 2584 meters above sea level. The best time to visit Kedarnath-Badrinath is May-October.