Pilgrimage

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Introduction

Home to a myriad holy shrines, the name Uttarakhand is aptly associated with Devbhumi i.e. Land of Gods. Pilgrims from far and wide visit this Himalayan state, seeking salvation and self-purgation. Two of the most revered rivers of the country, namely Ganga and Yamuna originate from Gaumukh (Gangotri) and Yamunotri. The most esteemed pilgrimage circuit of the country incorporates Shri Badrinath and Shri Kedarnath, the holy seats of Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva respectively. Another prominent pilgrim-destination in Uttarakhand is the holy town of Haridwar, where the prestigious Kumbh Mela is held every twelve years, attracting millions of devout people from all over the world. Situated close to Haridwar, on the banks of the divine Ganga is Rishikesh, a major centre for Yoga and Meditation – people from several parts of the world have been visiting this town for decades.

There are countless other temples and shrines in the state, homes to local deities and various manifestations of Lord Shiva and Durga. It is not as though Uttarakhand is a pilgimage destination exclusively for Hindus – there are several important shrines related to other religions too, keeping in line with the secular traditions of our country. These include Hemkund Sahib, Nanak Matta Sahib, Ritha Metha Sahib, Piran Kaliyar Sharif near Roorkee, the Mind Rolling Monastery and its Buddha Stupa in Dehradun.


                                                        Pilgrimages


 

Chardham

Nestled among the serene heights of the great Himalayas are four pilgrim-destinations namely Yamunotri, Gangotri, Kedarnath and Badrinath, known collectively as Char Dham. These pilgrimage centres draw the maximum numbers of pilgrims each year

Rishikesh

In Hindu mythology Lord Vishnu is also addressed as Hrishikesh (or Rishikesh) meaning Lord of the Senses(In Sanskrit ‘hrishik’ means senses and ‘ish’ means master). Rishikesh is a sacred Hindu town located in Dehradun District of Uttarakhand. The name of the town

Haridwar

Haridwar, an age-old town of India, has kept generations of researchers and scholars curious and often wonderstruck. In Hindu mythology, the town is also recognized by the names Mayapuri.

Jageshwar

 Jageshwar is a major Hindu pilgrimage center in Almora district of Uttarakhand. Located 36 km from Almora (about 100 km from Nainital), at a height of 1900 meters, Jageshwar lays claim to a temple-city.

Baijnath

Enveloped in mythologies, anecdotes and a glorious past Baijnath reveals itself as a wonderfully enchanting destination. Once the capital of the great Katyri kings of Kumaon,

Piran Kaliyar

Over the centuries the great Indian culture has come to be renowned all over the globe for its religious and cultural accord. This feeling of harmony is the binding thread of India’s social patchwork. Piran Kaliyar,

Hemkund Sahib

One of Sikhism’s most important shrines, Gurudwara Hemkunt Sahib, is set amidst soaring snow-capped mountains and lies adjacent to a lake of spotless azure water. This Sikh shrine even to the not- especially – religious presents a destination of almost unbelievable beauty and peace.

Nanda Devi Raj Jat Yatra

Nanda Devi is the chief patronizing Goddess of Uttarakhand and several shrines are devoted to her all across the central Himalayas. Nanda Devi Fair is one of the most popular festivals in Uttarakhand and attracts people from near and far.