Top 14 Spiritual Places to Visit in North India
Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh
Varanasi is the primary holy place of the Sapta Puris, and sees millions of visitors, pilgrims, and tourists. It is believed that dying here leads to moksha. People from all over India come to dip in the Ganges, and cremate their loved ones. The Varanasi Ghats are the most famous and prominent feature of the city. One can spend the whole day sitting on the Ghats and crowd-watching or admiring the stunning sunsets.
Amritsar Golden Temple, Punjab
Amritsar owns a high religious importance for the Sikhs. But, the holy city of India is visited by people of almost every religions. The iconic Golden Temple is the center of attraction and takes spiritualism to a whole new level. This gilded temple tells the tales of many historical Sikh events. Savoring the delicious Langar here is a must. Many other divine places dot the beatific land.
Haridwar is one of the holiest and busiest pilgrimage sites of India. This city in Uttarakhand is the gateway through which the holy river Ganges emerges from the Himalayan Mountains and flows into the Northern Plains.
Considered as one of the Sapta Puris (seven holy places), Haridwar is visited by thousands of pilgrims every year. It is a place where one can attain moksha (liberation) from the cycle of life, by washing away their sins in the holy river Ganges. Despite the chaotic crowds, the city is a peaceful place to visit.
Vaishno Devi Temple, Jammu and Kashmir
At a height of 1560 meters, this is a holy cave temple is located in the tirkuta hills. This temple holds a lot of people’s belief and a wide number of people visit here to seek blessings, they literally walk 13km from Katra to the temple, which is among one of the 108 Shakti peetha. Though the trek is very enjoyable but would be difficult for kids and elderly people, for them there are ponies and palanquins available to easily take them to the destination above. Overall it’s a great place to visit if you love nature and believe in Hinduism.
Kedarnath Temple, Uttarakhand
Kedarnath is a holy Hindu town located in Rudraprayag district of Uttarakhand in India. It is one of the Char Dhams located in the Himalayas. Kedarnath is situated at an astonishing height of 3584 meter above sea level near the head of Mandakini River.
The panoramas and peaks are just awe-inspiring and the blissful aura of temple engulfs you once you enter the premises of this holy shrine. Kedar is believed to the name of the Lord Shiva and it was constructed in 8th Century A.D. over employing numerous stones on a huge rectangular platform. This currently built temple was constructed by Adi Shankaracharya and its basis can be found in the Mahabharata.
Kedar meaning powerful is another name of Lord Shiva the protector and the destroyer. The beautiful ambiance around the temple looks like quite peace on heaven causes a beautiful place to do meditation.The main attractions here is the Shiva Temple, which is a popular Hindu shrine and pilgrimage, attracting devotees from all over the world.
Rishikesh is also known as gateway to the Char Dham. Char Dham is four popular holy temples on the hills (Kedarnath, Badrinath, Gangotri, and Yamunotri) Thousands of people attracted every year to Rishikesh for spiritual relief, peace, learn yoga, adventure and to take a dip for salvation. It is believed that meditation in Rishikesh brings one closer to attainment of moksha, as does a dip in the holy river that flows through it.
Located near the foot of the Himalayas in the Indian state of Uttrakhand, Rishikesh is the7th largest city in India. It is also called as the “Gateway to the Garhawl Himalayas”.
Hemkund Sahib, Uttarakhand
Situated in one of the most scenic locations in the country, Hemkund Sahib adds charm to religious tour in India. Unlike other Sikh pilgrimages in India, Hemkund Sahib has a pentagonal structure. The scenic beauty of the place is worth mentioning as this shrine is nestled amidst lofty hills that are covered with snow. One shall be stunned with the kind of devotion that the pilgrims show here despite the adverse climatic conditions. The spiritual ambiance at Hemkunt Sahib may pursue you to stay a bit longer here.
Ajmer Sharif Dargah, Rajasthan
Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti lay in peace here, listening to people’s wishes and fulfilling them. Once you enter through the gate of the Dargah, a queer peace takes over you. A sacred shrine in Ajmer, Gharib Nawaz Dargah Sharif is visited by millions of devotees every year from all over the world. The Dargah for many reasons captivates one’s heart; there is certainly something that is magical about this place that people from different faith come and worship here. Although the dargah is always crowded, the best time to visit Ajmer Sharif is during the Urs festival. The place comes to life during this festival that is held annually.
Amarnath Cave, Jammu and Kashmir
Baba Barfani calls out to his devotees spread all over the world to first take up an enthralling trek and then receive bountiful blessings from him. The holy Amarnath Cave is situated in the beautiful state of Jammu and Kashmir and can only be reached after a rigorous trekking expedition. The cave holds importance as one of the ancient pilgrimages in India. The legend has it that Lord Shiva revealed the secret of immortality to his consort Goddess Parvati here, which was overheard by a pair of pigeons. It is also believed that even today, a pair of pigeon can be seen in the cave. Amarnath is famed for the Linga that is created naturally by ice here every year. The Amarnath Yatra is an annual event in which pilgrims are allowed to trek to the cave temple.
Hazratbal Shrine, Jammu and Kashmir
The Hazratbal Shrine, considered to be the holiest Muslim shrine in Kashmir, is located on the left bank of the Dal. The mosque was established by Inayat Begum who was the custodian of the holy relic – the Moi-e-Muqqadas, which is believed to be a hair of the Prophet Mohammed. The relic was brought to Kashmir in the year 1700. The original building of the shrine was constructed in the 17th century by Emperor Shah Jahan’s subedar Sadiq Khan.
Hazratbal Shrine is the most important Srinagar tourist place to visit as it is flocked by many devotees, irrespective of religion. The sacred hair of the Prophet is displayed occasionally and such occasions are attended by many devotees and tourists. The mosque is set amidst carpets of green meadow, which adds to its beauty. A vital part of the Jammu & Kashmir tourism, Hazratbal shrine must be visited on any tour to Kashmir Valley.
Bangla Sahib Gurudwara, New Delhi
Gurudwara Bangla Sahib is one of the most prominent Sikh Gurdwara of worship, located in Connaught Place Delhi and known for its association with the eighth Sikh Guru, Guru Har Krishan, as well as the pool inside its complex, known as the “Sarovar.”
The complex of Gurudwara Bangla Sahib includes a large holy pond, temple, a kitchen, a school and a huge art gallery. As practiced in all Gurudwaras all over the world, here too Langar (holy vegetarian food) is practised. The food in these langars is prepared by Gurusikhs who work in gurudwara. Volunteers are always welcome to help in serving food to the devotees. Generally, Hindus from any religion are welcome inside Gurudwara and no discrimination is made in their coming inside and praying. Inside the complex, a detailed white marble work is done in the entire place. Bangla Sahib looks really beautiful from a distance with a perfect combination of white building and Golden dome. The structure is huge and it can take half day to see the entire place in one go.
ISKCON Temple, Vrindavan
Sri Krishna-Balaram Mandir is a Gaudiya Vaishnava temple in the holy city of Vrindavan. It is one of the main ISKCON temples in India and internationally.
Near the temple, at the entrance to the complex is located samadhi shrine (mausoleum) of Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, built of pure white marble.
The Sri Sri Krishna Balaram Mandir, situated in the Raman Reti area of Vrindavan, holds a special significance for devotees of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness. This grand temple represents the fulfilled dream of Srila Prabhupada, founder acharya of ISKCON, who wished to construct a temple of unparalleled beauty for the worship of the transcendental brothers Krishna and Balaram in the same village where they played more than five thousand years ago.
Banke Bihari Temple, Vrindavan
The beautiful and peaceful city of Vrindavan lying on the banks of Yamuna River is one of the most important pilgrim centers in India for the Hindus. Both Mathura and Vrindavan are known to be the domain of Lord Krishna. Lord Krishna is said to spent a considerable time of his youth here with his gopis and his beloved Radha. Most of the 4000 temples here are dedicated to him. Some of these temples are fine specimens of North Indian type temples. While in Vrindavan you can avail the different Dharamshalas and guest houses that offer you good accommodation at a reasonable rate. Take a leisurely walk through the many Holy Places in Vrindavan to understand the true essence of the city. Banke Bihari Temple is dedicated to Lord Krishna
Sarnath, Uttar Pradesh
Located 13 km from Varanasi, the deer park in Sarnath is the place where Gautama Buddha first taught about Buddhism and Dharma to his five companions. The foremost of these disciples, Kondanna attained enlightenment in Sarnath after Buddha’s teachings. He founded the first Buddhist monastic community. Sarnath is one of the four main Buddhist pilgrimage sites in the world, apart from Bodh Gaya, Lumbini, and Kushinagar.