Top 5 North India Pilgrimage Places You Must Visit North India is dotted with numerous places of immense spiritual importance. If you are a staunch God believer, the North Indian pilgrimage destinations and the spiritual aura associated with those would fascinate you a lot. To know more about the top-rated pilgrimage places of North India, read on- If there is one thing you can say about India, it is that there is no lack of pilgrimage spots. For Vaishnavites there are temples dedicated to Lord Vishnu in the North, East, South and West. Shiv devotees can visit the site of 12 jyotirlingas and devotees of Shakti have so many shaktipeeths they can visit. Then you have places of pilgrimage made famous by one saint or the other, such as Shirdi. It might take a lifetime for a pilgrimage to all the spots but if you plan to go on a short and sweet pilgrimage in the North, there are at least five places that must be on your list. Badrinath badrinath Ji Dham Badrinath Dham Badrinath is Lord Vishnu country, located in Chamoli district of Uttarakhand. Located at a height of 3100 metres and set against the Nilkantha mountains, Badrinath nestles alongside the turbulent Alaknanda and is at a distance of 301 km from Rishikesh. Badrinath forms one of the panch badris and is also part of 108 divya Desams, with a special significance for Hindus in that Lord Vishnu meditated under a Badri tree for a thousand years just for the welfare of mankind. The Badri tree was none other than Laxmi, his consort, who shielded him during his meditation. Pilgrimage to Badrinath and a dip in Alaknanda frees you from sins and the cycle of birth-death is one of the beliefs of devout Hindus who visit this site at least once in their lifetime. Vaishno Devi Vaishno Devi Temple Vaishno Devi Temple VaishnoDevi is one of the most important pilgrimage spots for devout Hindus with over 10 million visiting the shrine each year. Vaishnodevi is one of the divine manifestations of Mata Durga and one of the characteristics of this shrine is that devotees can pray and make a wish, knowing it will be fulfilled. The shrine is in a cave located at a height of 5200 feet and devotees start their pilgrimage on foot or on pony from Katra. The distance is 12 km over hard, rocky and steep terrain to reach Trikuta and the shrine where the devi manifests in the form of a natural rock formation known as Pindi. Devotees have to stand in a queue for hours for a darshan and for the aarti, a religious ritual lasting 2 hours and worth beholding. The pilgrimage fulfills a sacred desire and is also enjoyable since it takes you across some scenic destinations of Kashmir. Varanasi varanasi ghats Varanasi Ghats Varanasi is one of the oldest living, inhabited cities of the world and a prime pilgrimate spot for Hindu devotees because if one dies here, one attains moksha. Still known as Kashi in the Hindi belt, the city is more than 3000 years old and is said to be home to Lord Shiva. The Ganges flows serenely through the middle and it is the scene of religious fervour. Take an early morning boat ride and you will see thousands of pilgrims bathing in the river. By evening the sight is magically different as people set afloat hundreds of lamps on the river in remembrance of their ancestors and as offering to the Gods. One must visit the Bharat Mata Temple, the famed Kashi Vishwanath temple and the Sankat Mochan temple. Interestingly, it is the streets and bylanes that give you a flavor of how the city lives. Varanasi is also famed for its silk sarees and handicrafts so when you return be sure to carry along some mementoes. Haridwar Haridwar Haridwar Haridwar is another important holy destination for Hindus. Better known as the starting point to char dham yatras, Haridwar is also famous in its own right as one of the places where the Maha Kumb Mela is held once in 3 years. It is said when Garuda was carrying nectar in a pitcher, a few drops fell at a spot here, now known as Har Ki Pauri. It is a ritual for every Hindu to perform ceremonies here in memory of their departed ancestors. Like Varanasi, the banks of the Ganga come aglow with thousands of lamps floating on the serene waters of the Ganga. Rishikesh Bhootnath Temple Rishikesh Bhootnath Temple Rishikesh Rishikesh in Uttarakhand is better known as the land of yogis and ashrams and it is also the starting point to char dham yatra. Located in the foothills of the Himalayas in Garhwal, Rishikesh is where the Chandrabhaga joins Ganges and this place is holy in that one attains salvation by taking a dip. Rishikesh is full of ashrams and you can join a yoga or meditation camp any day. In another direction, Rishikesh is also the point from where adventure tourism starts.
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