Top Pilgrimage Destinations in North India

India is a land full of religion and spirituality from North to South , East to West. Indian pilgrimage is as old as Indian civilization. There are many holy and sacred places to visit in India like Vaishno devi Temple in Jammu and Kashmir, Mathura, Vrindavan in U.P, Rameshwaram Temple in Madurai , Bodh Gaya in Bihar etc. There are numerous temples built in our country and several of them are being classified as UNESCO world heritage sites. North India is huddled with numerous religious places.

Vaishno Devi Temple:

This is the city of Mata Vaishno Devi where spirituality and vibrancy lingers in the atmosphere. Revered and highly believed in, thousands of pilgrims come here to seek the blessings of Mata Vaishno Devi and show their unflinching faith. It is located in Katra at the Trikuta mountains. The holy cave is 13 Km from the base camp Katra. There are no idols or statues inside the cave of Mata Vaishno Devi Temple and the Darshans are open around the clock throughout the year. For those who are elderly and are of ill health, mule and pony rides are available to negotiate the steep incline.

Vaishno Devi Temple

Haridwar and Rishikesh:

Uttarakhand is a city known for it’s beautiful sightseeing and sacred places. There are two most religious places to visit- Haridwar and Rishikesh. Haridwar in Uttarakhand , one of the seven holiest places in India is “ the abode of Lord Vishnu”. It is located in the Garhwal district of Uttarakhand and is known as a land of legends and Myths. It is a perfect holiday option for anyone seeking for spirituality and wants to get indulge in and get closer to nature. Har Ki Pauri Brahmkund is the place where people dip into the Ganges and wash their sins. Rishikesh is an another pilgrimage spotted in Uttarakahand, famous for two bridges.”Ram Jhula”and “Lakshman Jhula” are the two important landmarks to visit in Rishikesh.

Haridwar and Rishikesh

Amarnath Temple:

Amarnath Temple is an another pilgrimage in North India which is also located in Jammu and Kashmir is like a heaven due to an enshrined image of ice, known as “Shivaling” which gets formed naturally and resembles Lord Shiva. This place is regarded to be the same cave where Lord Shiva shared the secret of life and eternity to goddess Parvati. People of Hindu faith in India consider this religious journey as a major task of their life which can lead them to heaven. The holy visit to this religious temple is made in the month of July to August in Savan.

Amarnath Temple

Badrinath Temple:

Badrinath Temple is also one of the sacred and holy places of North India which is located in Uttarakhand at the backdrop of Neelkanth Mountain Peak and is a holy place of Lord Vishnu. Badrinath will also give you the most splendid and magnificient sceneries and an abosolutely  awe inspiring natural beauty. It can also be our domain for numerous exciting activities. As this place is located at a high altitude, helicopter rides are also offered here for those who wish to take it. After getting the beautiful aerial site through helicopter, people pray to the lord and take bath in the river and wash their sins.

Badrinath Temple

Bodh Gaya:

One of the most important pilgrimage sites for Buddhists and is a village in the state of Bihar. It is under the Bodhi tree where Buddha attained enlightenment. The place is always huddled with a number of pilgrims who come to pay their homage in monasteries, shrines and temples. It also attracts tourists from India and abroad owing to it’s magnificient Buddha statue, The Mahabodhi Temple and the Bodhi tree. It is said about this place that one meets his/her inner self her and experiences peace. Millions of people flock at this place to do Pind Daan.

Bodh Gaya

Naimisharanya( Neemsar):

It is a land imbued with Hindu mythology linking to Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu, Goddess Sati and Lord Shiva. There is a belief that it is a divinity of 33 god and goddess where they reside. The place is located on the banks of the River Gomati, located in Sitapur district. Chakratirth is the most attractive place in Naimisharanya. Chakratirth is the place where Lord Brahma’s wheel cracked through the earth developing a large source of water. This spot is surrounded by a boulevard dotted with shrines honoring many Hindu deities and this tour gets covered under Naimisharanya tour package.

Naimisharanya

 

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Places to visit in Gangotri and Yamunotri

Rightly named devbhoomi or the abode of gods, Uttarakhand has a unique sense of deep seated spirituality which makes it different from the rest of India. The destinations of Gangotri and yamunotri are two of the most ideal destinations for every pilgrim and travel lover. There is no dearth of places to visit in this place of incredible wonders. The entire region is replete with deep green rolling meadows, snow capped mountains and thick thriving forests of oaks, conifers and rhododendrons which serve as a home to a thriving range of flora and fauna. The clear blue skies blended with a feeling of deep spirituality will definitely be one of the best options for your vacation.

Here are a few places which you can include in your Gangotri Yamunotri tour package:

Places to visit in Gangotri:

Pandava gufa

  • Pandava Gufa – this ancient cave is located at a mere distance of 1.5 kms from Gangotri right on the Uttarkashi – Gangotri road. It is believed that this is the place where the pandava brothers are said to have stayed for a while and meditated on their way to mount Kailash. The beauty of this place is unmatched and filled with picturesque and enthralling vistas. The path leading up to the cave is extremely enchanting and filled with boundless natural beauty.

Gaumukh

  • Gaumukh – this adventure destination is located at a distance of 19 kms from Gangotri and is the source of Bhagirathi river. Literally translating into ‘face of a cow’, this place is one of the most popular trekking routes. Sitting at an elevation of 13,200 feet above sea level, this is famed for being the second largest glacier in India, first being the legendary Siachen. The trek is 3 days long and should be done during the summer months of May to October.

Pandava gufa

  • Tapovan – this idyllic hamlet is located at a distance of 23 kms from Gangotri and is known for its magnificently lush green meadows and sits at an elevation of 4,460 metres above sea level in the Garhwal Himalayan region. The name literally translates into ‘forest of penance’, this region is filled with immense greenery, clear streams and colorful flowers which sets the perfect vibe for performing meditation.

Harsil

  • Harsil – sitting amidst the serene natural beauty of Uttarkashi district, Harsil is located at a distance of just 24 kms from Gangotri and at an elevation of 2,620 metres above sea level. This quaint hamlet is known for its dense forests, apple orchards, tranquil surroundings and a beauty which is unmatched to anywhere else in India. the valley is nestled amidst the snow capped mountains and gives you the opportunity to sit back, relax and enjoy the quiet solitude.

Kedartal

  • Kedartal – also popularly known as Lord Shiva’s lake, this pristine and glimmering lake is situated at a distance of 17 km from gangotri. Located in the magnificent district of Uttarkashi at an altitude of 4,912 metres above sea level this lake is also famed for being the highest glacial lake in Uttarakhand. the trekking route leading up to this lake is strewn with colorful plants and scenic sites which makes it also one of the most beautiful treks in Uttarakhand. the clear water of this lake reflects the towering and majestic surrounding of snow clad peaks of thalay sagar, Meru and Bhrigupanth which is truly a sight to behold.

Places to visit in Yamunotri:

Janki chatti

  • Janki Chatti – known for being a sister for Hanuman chatti and located at an elevation of 2,700 metres above sea lvevel janki chatti is known for its natural hot water springs. You can stop at Janki chatti and relax there on your way to the main dham shrine of yamunotri. Surrounded by mesmerizing mountain from all sides this hot water spring is believed to carry medicinal properties which cures you of all your physical and mental ailments.

Saptarishi kund

  • Saptarishi Kund – sitting majestically at a distance of 10 kms from Yanumotri mandir this high glacial lake is known for being the original source of River Yamuna which is fed by the massive Champasar glacier. This peaceful lake can be reached after covering a distance of 2 to 3 days and is home to the rare Himalayan flower called Brahma lotus. The importance of this place lies in the fact that the seven important rishis had performed their penance there.

Kharsali

  • Kharsali – situated right off the route to janki chatti at a distance of just 1.5 kms and can be reached easily during your visit to Yamunotri dham. This place is primarily known for being a picnic destination among families and friends. the entire region of Kharsali is also home to a number of naturally occurring hot water springs, rolling meadows covered in conifers and oaks as well as a feeling of unmatched tranquility. Also known as ‘khushimath’ the quaint hamlet of Kharsali serves as the winter abode to the the presiding deity of Goddess Yamuna.
  • Barkot – located at a distance of almost 4 hours from the main dham shrine of Gangotri, this undisturbed hill town is an ideal location for everyone looking to escape for a while from the maddening city crowd. Sitting at an elevation of 1,220 metres above sea level amidst the gloriously snow clad peaks of Banderpooch this place is also a popular destination among outdoor sports enthusiasts and trekking lovers. this quiet village has managed to stay untouched and offers its visitors some of the most encapsulating views of the surroundings.

Divya shila

  • Divya Shila – sitting at an elevation of 3,000 metres above sea level the rock pillar of divya shila is situated right next to the holy surya kund and is another ideal attraction for every pilgrim there. As per the age old ritual pilgrims and devotees visit this rock pillar structure, offer their prayers there prior to entering the temple. also popularly known as the ‘slab of divine light’, this pious slab has been of incredible importance to the devotees and pilgrims.
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Places You Cannot Miss Out on During Your Visit to Gujarat

Located in the westernmost end of the Indian subcontinent, Gujarat ranks among one of the top tourist destinations in India. This ‘jewel of the west’ welcomes all types of visitors with open arms and has something or the other to offer them. This majestic place is home to a variety of sightseeing and visitation options which range from the holy site of Somnath to the enigmatic wildlife of Gir national park. There is no dearth of places to visit in Gujarat and the entire landscape is replete with mesmerizing and unique avenues like the stunning salt desert of Rann of Kutch and the islands of Daman and Diu. Adorned with opulent palaces and intricate temples Gujarat is an ideal destination for everyone.

Here are some of the places to visit in Gujarat which cannot be missed out on during your visit there:

Bhadekeshwar Mahadev Temple Gujarat
Bhadekeshwar Mahadev Temple Gujarat

Somnath Temple

Situated in the holy town of Prabhas Patan in the Saurashtra region of Gujarat, Somnath holds a special place in the hearts of devout Hindus. It is believed to be the very first temple in the collection of 12 Jyotirlinga which pan across India. This iconic temple is built with incredible love, care and a defined style. The temple has a rough history of being destroyed and reconstructed over a period of time. Somnath represents the and perfectly symbolizes the infinite nature of Lord Shiva. Apart from the main shrine the temple also houses a number of different entertainment options including a sound and light show.

Temple Timings – 6 am to 8 pm

Somnath Temple
Somnath Temple Gujarat

Girnar Jain Temples

Dedicated to the Jain population, this collection of 866 Hindu and Jain temples are located in Junagadh district and are important sites of pilgrimage for Jains. This sacred hill site is believed to be the spot where Neminatha – the 22nd Tirthankara – had achieved the life of an ascetic. He had decided to lead a life of complete asceticism after having witnessed the slaughtering animals for consumption on his day of wedding. It is named after its location on the very first plateau of Mount Girnar after climbing almost 3,800 steps.

Temple Timings – 6 am to 5 pm

Gir National Park

Popularly known as Sasan Gir, Gir national park is famed for being the only home available for the majestic population of Asiatic lions. Established in the 19th century with an aim of protecting the wildlife of Gujarat, this national park has been ranked among one of the most popular tourist places in India. Covered in a dry deciduous forest, this eco region of Gujarat offers glimpses into the lives of some of the most unique and vibrant biodiversity culture. You can opt for a thrilling and fun filled jeep safari ride to this national park and experience nature in a more personal manner.

National Park Safari Timings – 6 am to 9 am / 8:30 am to 11:30 am / 3 pm to 6 pm

Gir National Park Gujarat
Gir National Park

Sabarmati Ashram

Located in the suburbs of Ahmedabad, Sabarmati ashram is of huge importance to the nationalist sentiments. The father of the nation Mahatma Gandhi is believed to have stayed here for 12 whole years with his better half Kasturba Gandhi. A distinguishing feature of this ashram is the fact that everyday Bhagavad Gita used to be recited here strictly. This place is also an important part of Indian history since this was the spot from where Mahatma Gandhi is said to have commenced his Dandi march in 1930 which had shaken the British raj from within.

Ashram Timings – 8:30 am to 6:30 pm

Sabarmati Ashram
Sabarmati Ashram

Dwarkadhish Temple

Dedicated to Lord Krishna this Hindu temple is one of the most iconic holy sites of India. Celebrating the ‘king of Dwarka’, Dwarkadhish is of incredible importance to Hindus. Located in Dwarka this 5 storied holy shrine is supported with the help of 72 magnificent pillars. It is a vital pillar in the all India Char Dham Yatra along with Puri, Rameswaram and Badrinath. Each wall at this temple is intricately adorned with fine decorations and impressive artifacts. Archeological findings suggest that this temple can be dated back to 2,200 – 2,000 years and during the 15th / 16th century it was enlarged.

Temple Timings – 6:30 am to 9:30 pm

Dwarkadhish Temple Dwarka
Dwarkadhish Temple Dwarka

Adalaj Stepwell

This fine work of Indian architectural masterpiece is located in Gandhinagar district and is one of the most prominent sites of tourist attractions in Gujarat. Built in the year 1498 by Rana Veer Singh of Vaghela dynasty this Stepwell is one of the most artistically glorious representation of art and architecture in Gujarat. The walls of this Stepwell are filled with intricately drawn representations from the holy Hindu books. Built by utilizing the Solanki architectural styles this Stepwell seems like it has been frozen in time. The impeccable architecture blended with a touch of serenity is what makes this place special.

Stepwell Timings – 8 am to 6 pm

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Interesting Facts about Somnath Temple

Somnath Temple
Somnath Temple

The grand shore temple of Somnath is a much revered Lord Shiva Jyotirlingam located in Gujarat’s Saurashtra region in vicinity to Veraval. The temple is deeply linked with Indian culture, mythology and folklore. Brilliant architecture and religious grandeur makes Somnath temple a much revered Lord Shiva shrine. A travel to Somnath is an experience worth cherishing all through life. The temple is often referred to as the ‘eternal shrine’ as several times the temple has been demolished and then reconstructed down the ages. There are many interesting or lesser known facts associated with this much revered Lord Shiva shrine. Read on to learn more about the lesser known interesting facts about Somnath temple:

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Light and fluffy Nankhatai Recipe

The festive season is all around the corner! In India people celebrate festivals with sweets and when sweet is made at home, what else one can ask for.

Today, I am sharing a recipe of authentic, delicious Eggless cookie, called “Nankhatai”, that can be very easily prepared at home.

I still remember when I growing up, was very fond of having nankhatai any time during a day. So, what my mom use to do, she makes them in a bulk and store in an airtight container. So, that I can enjoy it for a couple of days. Feeling nostalgic!

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Mouthwatering Strawberry sundae Ice cream

If you an ice cream lover like me, then you probably plan to eat some over the holiday season and during summer people begin their fun with having a cup of ice cream. I am sure many of you will agree that there is no greater pleasure on a warm summer’s day than eating a cool, delicious ice cream. No matter where you are at home, office or shopping your ice cream cravings will never stop.

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Interesting facts about Gangotri Dham

Perched magnificently at a whopping elevation of 3,100 metres above sea level, on the mighty Himalayan ranges Gangotri Dham is a gleaming representation of Hinduism and deep spiritualism. This seat of Goddess Ganga which is situated in the Uttarkashi district of Devbhoomi, Uttarakhand, is one of the most crucial pillars of the chota char dham yatra. Surrounded by unparalleled natural beauty and enchanting grace of the nature, Gangotri dham holds a special place in the hearts of all the Hindu yatris who make this journey. A Gangotri yatra package will take you to this stark white temple structure which radiates spirituality and positive energy.

Gangotri
Gangotri

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Top 5 spiritual destinations in Bihar

With the holy Ganga River flowing through west to east and bordering on the neighboring country of Nepal, Bihar is known for its extreme spiritual importance. In the ancient and classical ages, Bihar was the centre of learning and pilgrimage and now has garnered its reputation for being one of the prime destinations for Hindus as well as Buddhists. From Bodhgaya and Patna to Vaishali and Gaya Bihar has a myriad of places for a keen devotee. Bihar is also the prime destination for a number of yatra and pilgrimage circuits like the Buddhist circuits, Jyotirlinga pilgrimage circuit and Jyotirlinga pilgrimage yatra among a number of other Sikh, Jain and Islamic pilgrimage circuits. This is the place where one can truly feel the pleasant and serene vibes of this divine and holistic centre of pilgrimage.

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Exotic Eggless Cake Recipe

 

Eggless Cake
Eggless Vanilla Cake By Palak Jain

Yes, you read it right. Cake can be made without eggs! And people call it vegetarian cake too.

While making a cake, eggs are usually known to make the batter smooth and light with stable air bubbles. It gives a structure and consistency to the cake, but it’s a myth, cake can be made without eggs even at home – Tested and tried recipe.

Being a vegetarian since birth having cake outside was a taboo for me and was a biggest concern when I use to go to my friend’s birthday, parties, anniversary and farewell the one thing was always common ie a cake which having eggs and the sad part is I can’t have it. (more…)

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A Summer Cooler – Watermelon Juice

Watermelon juice
Watermelon Juice By Palak Jain

As summers are here and the temperature is started raising so your body needs something cooler and watermelon juice is perfect to beat the heat – 100% natural all full of vitamin C which keeps your body cooler and also gives benefits to your skin. It’s also automatically very sweet, so sans of sugar will help you to keep healthy and people who are having sweet tooth will help them having natural sweetness instead artificial. (more…)

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