January 23rd, 2019 by Abhijit Chakraborty admin

India has been among the most important destinations for those seeking knowledge and peace. Right since the ancient era, travellers coming to India to rejuvenate their soul have never been disappointed.

Some of the world’s most famous and respected people including Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, and John Lennon not only visited India looking for spiritual direction but also spoke about how their Indian visit impacted their lives! Check out 7 of the most important religious destinations in India that are a must-visit for devotees and tourists alike.

35 Important Religious Places In India

  1. Uttarakhand
  2. Amritsar
  3. Jammu & Kashmir
  4. Ajmer
  5. Allahabad
  6. Varanasi
  7. Tirupati
  8. Shirdi
  9. Dwarka
  10. Bodh Gaya
  11. Katra
  12. Nathdwara
  13. Pushkar
  14. Nashik
  15. Rameshwaram
  16. Ujjain
  17. Madurai
  18. Sabarimala
  19. Puri
  20. Goa
  21. Kanchipuram
  22. Vrindavan
  23. Guruvayur
  24. Thanjavur
  25. Nashik
  26. Chitrakoot
  27. Gokarna
  28. Hampi
  29. Ranakpur
  30. Sarnath
  31. Srikalahasti
  32. Udupi
  33. Thiruchirappalli
  34. Velankanni
  35. Thiruchendur

Uttarakhand

The beauty of nature lies in this place. There are two main pilgrimages, Haridwar and Kedarnath. Thee two are the most important among the spiritual places. Haridwar, literally meaning is “ the abode of Vishnu”, the holiest water is in this place and Haridwar is considered one of the holiest place in India. Apart from it, Kedarnath is one of the fourth important pilgrims for Hindus. It is the temple of Lord Shiva.

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Amritsar

The famous Golden Temple, which all the tourists from all over the world come to visit it. The golden temple is the pride of the city of Punjab. The beauty of this temple attracts every tourist and the peace and togetherness of the people and the pure food of the Langar.

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Jammu & Kashmir

The heaven on earth, Jammu and Kashmir has not an only natural beauty but also has the most famous pilgrim of Hindus. Amarnath, one of the most important pilgrims of the Hindus, are the major attraction of the tourists. The journey to this spiritual place is a little tough one but it is filled with faith and adventure.

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Ajmer

Ajmer is a really amazing place where you can see a lot of colours of our country. Ajmer Shariff dargah is one of the most holiest and sacred places in India. This place is not only for the Muslims, but people from every religion can also visit this holy place.

More: Ajmer places to visit

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Allahabad

One of the holiest places in India, Allahabad has been known for its spirituality and the holy Sangam where thousands of people come at the time of Kumbh Mela and take a dip in the holy water. Allahabad now known as Prayagraaj, is a city filled with historical facts and heritage monuments. It is the largest city in Uttar Pradesh and the meeting point of the three rivers, Ganga, Yamuna and Jamuna which is called the Triveni Sangam.

Places to visit in Prayagraj

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Varanasi

A city where death and life come together. This city is way more than the spiritual capital of Uttar Pradesh. The famous Kashi Vishwanath Temple is a really popular religious place where hundreds of tourists come to visit this temple. Dashashwamedh Ghat is one of the popular ghats in Varanasi. The beautiful Aarti o the Ghat will make your visit complete.

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Tirupati

Tirupati, as the name suggests is one of the most important pilgrim centres in India. The name of this place is itself attracts tourists spiritually. It is situated in Chittoor and it is the home of several heritage sites and the temples.

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Shirdi

This religious place is really popular because of the  Sai Baba temple in Shirdi, it is the main temple of Sai Baba and the story of this saint lies in the place of Nasik. You will be amazed by the different temples and the heritage site in this beautiful place.

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Dwarka

Dwarka - one of the top religious places in India

The journey to this dham is no ordinary travel, but a yatra in itself. One of the seven spiritual cities, Dwarka is a land of mystics and myths, and was once the capital of Lord Krishna’s kingdom.

Home to numerous temples, the prime attraction here is the Dwarkadhish temple, with its beautiful architecture and gorgeous sculptures.

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Bodh Gaya

Bodh Gaya - one of the top religious places in India

Also known as the place where Lord Buddha attained enlightenment under the Bodhi tree, Bodh Gaya serves as a religious sanctuary to the sacred Buddhist circuit in Bihar.

Your first stop in Gaya should be the Mahabodhi temple followed by the Vishnupad temple, both of which will stun you and awe you with their grandeur and purity.

More: 8 Best Places to visit in Gaya

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Katra

Katra - one of the most holy places in India

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The Shrine of Goddess Vaishno is located around 14 km away from Katra, the only connecting link between the devotee and the temple.

Travel facilities like palkis, horses, and even helicopters are available to ride to the top.

While returning from religious shrine of Mata Vaishno Devi, their are places to visit in Jammu, a city 45 KM from Katra.

More: Temples to visit in Jammu

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Nathdwara

Nathdwara - one of the top religious places in India

The banks of river Banas are home to Nathdwara in Rajasthan, a town that is said to have served as a home to Shrinathji.

The Shrinathji temple, a temple devoted to Lord Krishna’s divine form Pushtimarg is a marvellous example of modern Indian architecture, interspersed with lovely gardens and fruit orchards.

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Pushkar

Pushkar - one of the most holy places in India

One of the five sacred Dhams (pilgrimage site) in Hinduism, the town gets its name from the Sanskrit word Pushkarni which means a lake.

Legend also attributes the name to the Sanskrit words ‘Pushp’ and ‘Kar’ which refer to the lotus flower.

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Nashik

Nashik - one of the top religious places in India

Cradled by the holy waters of Godavari, the place gets its name from an episode in the epic tale of Ramayana, where Lord Rama’s brother, Lakshmana, chops of Srupanakha’s nose off.

Once in every 12 years, Nashik plays host to the grand Kumbh Mela, the largest religious gathering of pilgrims in India. It a colourful marriage of spirit, devotion, tradition, and heritage.

Related Searches: Places to Visit near Nashik

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Rameshwaram

Rameshwaram - one of the most holy places in India

Home to one of the richest cultures in India, Rameshwaram is the place where Lord Ram started to build a bridge to cross the waters to reach Sri Lanka, the home of Ravana.

The presiding deity is the Linga of Sri Ranganatha, and it is believed that a visit to Rameshwaram is necessary to attain moksa.

More: Temples to visit in Rameshwaram

Ujjain

Ujjain
Ujjain

Situated on the bank of Kshipra River in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, Ujjain is an ancient city with a lot of historical and religious importance. The city has many historic temples including the Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga, which is said to be one of the sacred abodes of Lord Shiva. Thousands of pilgrims and other tourists visit the place every year, to explore the structural masterpieces and the cultural heritage this town has to offer. The city also hosts the Ujjain Kumbh Mela, otherwise called as Ujjain Simhastha, every 12 years.

The best time to visit Ujjain is from November to February, when the weather is mild and pleasant.

Madurai

Madurai
Madurai

Tamil Nadu boasts of possessing the oldest language in the world as well as some prominent religious sites. The very famous Madurai Meenakshi Temple witnesses thousands of pilgrims and visitors daily, and forms the heart and soul of the holy city of Madurai. The temple is said to be 2500 years old, dedicated to Goddess Meenakshi (a form of Goddess Parvati) and Lord Sundareshvarar (a form of Lord Shiva). The holiness of this city can be easily felt from the religious hymns heard from the temple from early morning. The temple’s architecture is an example of ancient architectural marvel with beautifully sculpted pillars depicting the story of the wedding between Goddess Meenakshi and Lord Shiva.

The best time to visit Madurai is between October to March when the temperatures remain comfortable.

Sabarimala

Situated in the beautiful Western Ghats mountain ranges of Pathanamthitta in the state of Kerala, the Sabarimala Hills is famous for the Sabarimala Temple dedicated to Lord Ayyappan. The Sabarimala Hills are known for its rich flora and fauna, and the temple is located at an altitude of 914 metres, amidst 18 hills. The shrine is one of the largest pilgrimage places in India considering the estimate of up to 50 million devotees visiting it every year. The temple is open to devotees belonging to any caste and religion.

The pilgrim season begins in the month of November and ends in January, which is the best time to visit this place.

Puri

Puri, popularly known as the holy land of Lord Jagannatha, is a major religious destination for the Hindu pilgrims. The Jagannatha Temple, famous for its Kalinga style architecture and Ratha Yatra, is considered highly sacred by the Vaishnavas. This stunning temple in Orissa is situated at a distance of 35 kilometres from the Konark Sun temple. The Gundicha Mandir is also important for those pilgrims visiting Jagannatha Temple, as the Lord Jagannatha idol is transported to the Gundicha Temple for a short duration during the Ratha Yatra.

The best time to visit is from October to February, when the pleasant winter sets the ideal weather conditions for all.

Goa

Goa
Goa

Goa is a popular tourist destination owing to its beautiful palm groves, pristine white beaches, and picturesque sunsets. Those visiting the state will not miss enjoying the elegance of the many churches they pass through while on a sightseeing spree. The small state is host to the Basilica of Bom Jesus where the mortal remains of Saint Francis Xavier are kept. Besides the charm of the churches, the state also is home to a few beautiful temples such as the Chandreshwar Temple, situated on the top of a wooded hill. The spectacular view of the countryside and the Arabian Sea coastline cannot be missed while on a visit to Goa.

The ideal time to visit Goa is between November and March.

Kanchipuram

This ancient city in Tamil Nadu is not just famous for its sarees. The city known as the City of Thousand Temples is one of the famous pilgrimage places in India owing to the myriad of ancient and magnificent temples it is home to. The Kailasanathar Temple, Ekambareswarar Temple, and Kamakshi Amman Temple are a few of those sanctified temples that display the grandeur of the Dravidian architecture and represent the rich Tamil culture.

The best time to visit is from October to February, although the monsoon months (June to September) are ideal for sightseeing as well.

Vrindavan

Vrindavan
Vrindavan

The name is just enough to understand how holy the town is. Situated on the banks of river Yamuna, Vrindavan is special owing to the belief that Lord Krishna spent his childhood here. This historical city belongs to the Mathura district of Uttar Pradesh. The hundreds of temples here are dedicated to Lord Krishna and Radha, and they attract huge crowds during the festivals like Janmashtami and Radhashtami. The city and the temples here are perfect places to reminisce the wonderful stories surrounding the life of Shri Krishna.

December to February are the ideal months to visit the very holy city of Vrindavan.

Guruvayur

Guruvayur, a town in the Thrissur district of Kerala, has a rich history dating back to thousands of years. This temple town is home to the very famous Sri Krishna Temple popularly referred to as the Guruvayur Temple. According to popular legends, the temple and its deity are about 5000 years old. That says a lot about the huge crowd it attracts daily. Also known as the Dwarka of South India, Guruvayur also has other famous shrines situated beautifully amidst palm groves and trees.

Kerala’s mild winter conditions from October to February make it ideal to visit Guruvayur during this time.

Thanjavur

Like Kanchipuram, Thanjavur is also an ancient historical site from Tamil Nadu. The city is home to a few UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Most of the temples here are beautiful stone structures that are rich in architectural carvings and beautiful paintings. The spirituality in the air of this town cannot be ignored. A few temples that you must visit are the Brahadeeswara Temple, Airavateshwara Temple, and Gangaikonda Temple.

Like most other warm places in India, the ideal time to visit Thanjavur is from October to March.

Nashik

Nashik
Nashik

Nashik, an ancient holy city in the state of Maharashtra, is famous for its pilgrim destinations. Closely associated with the Ramayana since the epic says Panchavati area of Nashik was once home to Rama during his 14 years’ exile. The Nashik-Trimbakeshwar Simhastha, which is one of the 4 Kumbh Melas held every 12 years, is held at the Trimbakeshwar Shiva Temple and the Ram Kund here, on the banks of the river Godavari.

October to March is the favourable period for a pilgrimage to this holy abode.

Chitrakoot

Like Nashik, Chitrakoot is another place associated with the epic Ramayana. This small pilgrimage centre is situated in the Vindhyan Range and has a lot of spiritual and historical importance. Legend has it that, Lord Rama, Goddess Sita, and Lord Lakshmana stayed approximately 11 of their 14 years’ exile in Chitrakoot. With the place having such spiritual connections to boast of such as Ram Ghat, Janki Kund, and Kamadgiri are visited by the devout pilgrims.

Pilgrims visiting Chitrakoot find the months of July to March as the best time to visit.

Gokarna

Gokarna
Gokarna

Very few pilgrimage places in India are located near the sea, and Gokarna is one amongst the few. This temple town located in the Uttar Kannada district of Karnataka is famous for its idyllic beaches and laid-back landscape. The Mahabaleshwar Temple of Gokarna is an ancient temple with beautiful Dravidian architecture, and is located on the shore of the Karvar Beach on the Arabian Sea. Owing to the mythological legends and accounts associated with the temple, it attracts a lot of pilgrims, and the piousness of this temple has gained it the name Dakshin Kasi.

October to March is the ideal time to visit Gokarna.

Hampi

Once the magnificent capital of the Vijayanagara Empire, Hampi is now famous for the ruins of the empire and is, therefore, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The ancient temples here display splendid architecture and reveal the rich history of the once-prosperous city. The ruins have a lot of stories to silently unveil about the glorious past it had, and undoubtedly it is one of the reasons tourists want to come back to this place again.

The best time to visit Hampi is from October to February. 

Ranakpur

Ranakpur
Ranakpur

Ranakpur is famous due to the presence of the Ranakpur Temple, which is very popular amongst the Jains. This marble wonder located in the Aravalli Hills of Rajasthan is a grand display with 1444 marble pillars carved with intricacy and perfection. This distinguished architecture is undoubtedly worth exploring, not only by the followers of Jainism but also by all those who enjoy such architectural marvels.

Ranakpur is best visited between the months of October to February because of the pleasant weather conditions.

Sarnath

Sarnath
Sarnath

Located around 10 kilometres from Varanasi, Sarnath holds a special place in the hearts of Buddhists. It is one of the four main pilgrimage places in India for the Buddhists. Sarnath Temple is said to be where Lord Buddha first delivered his spiritual discourse to his disciples. The sanctity of this Buddhist site made Emperor Ashoka build monuments around it. The Dhamek Stupa at Sarnath is a special spot as it boasts of housing some of Lord Buddha’s remains.

Due to the hot summer in Sarnath, the best time to visit is between October to March.

Srikalahasti

Srikalahasti

The enchanting landscape of Srikalahasti is blessed by the divine presence of some ancient temples including the Srikalahasti Temple. Situated around 37 kilometres away from the famous Tirupati Temple in the Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh, Srikalahasteeswara Temple is one of the prominent Shiva temples in South India. The temple structures are located beside river Swarnamukhi. The Vayu Linga in the Srikalahasti Temple is one of the Panchabhoota sthalams. Many legends surround this temple that add to its mythical vibe such as Goddess Parvati had done a period of penance here to get rid of a curse that had given her a mortal form. 

The right time to visit Srikalahasti is between October and March.

Udupi

Situated amidst the Western Ghats and the Arabian Sea, Udupi district of Karnataka is famous for its enchanting temples and the eight mathas of Dvaita philosophy. Udupi Sri Krishna Matha is one of the holiest temples of Lord Krishna and attracts thousands of devotees from all over the nation. The temple architecture resembles an ashram and has a different worshipping pattern than other temples in India. Owing to its religious significance, the temple is also called as the Mathura of South India.

The famous Kollur Mookambika Temple is another temple that shouldn’t be missed while in Udupi. The temple is beautifully situated at the foothills of the Kudajadri Hills and on the banks of river Souparnika and is situated 74 kilometres from the Sri Krishna Matha. The mesmerizing landscape and the divinity of the place surely encourage the pilgrims to visit again.

For a comfortable pilgrimage, visit Udupi between September and October.

Thiruchirappalli

A visit to the Thiruchirappalli district of Tamil Nadu can make you stand in awe seeing the large and elegant temple structures exclusive to this place. Many temples adorn and sanctify this city. The Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple at Srirangam features mesmerizing Dravidian architecture, and is one of the largest temple complexes in the world. The temple is located on the island of Srirangam beside the Kaveri River. The Jambukeswarar Temple and Erumbeeswarar Temple are two other beautiful temples that one must not miss.

The best time to be here is from November to March.

Velankanni

Velankanni is a small town in the Nagapattinam district of Tamil Nadu, famous for its Christian shrine, Basilica of Our Lady of Good Health. The site is said to have witnessed many miracles performed by Mother Mary, and as a result, this Gothic-style shrine is one of the most frequented pilgrim centres in India. It is estimated that the shrine attracts around 2 million visitors every year. It is a popular religious destination amongst the devout Christians in India and abroad.

Like most other places in Tamil Nadu, it is best to visit Velankanni between October to March.

Thiruchendur

The coastal town of Thiruchendur is famous for the Thiruchendur Murugan Temple situated on the Thiruchendur Beach overlooking the Bay of Bengal. The temple is one of the most famous abodes of Lord Murugan and witnesses millions of visitors flocking here every year for blessings. The unique feature of the temple is that, this is the only Murugan temple situated on the sea shore. The rest of the temples are usually situated on hill tops.

The ideal time to visit Thiruchendur is from October to March.

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