India is a secular country and is the homeland for people belonging to different race, culture and religion. Our country is known as the ‘Land of Faith’ and home to the pious char dham yatra which makes it the hub of spirituality. Walk through the mountains or travel across the valleys, you will get the feel of spiritualism and divine presence.
Indian diversity can often be seen in the existence of numerous ashrams, churches, temples, mosques, monasteries and gurudwaras which attract thousands of pilgrims every year from different parts of the globe. Due to its fascinating history and the unparallel faith of the people, this power of spiritualism resides in the traditions and culture of the country.
Spiritual tourism in India often takes you to places which are of spiritual as well as religious significance. A tour of these divine destinations nurture spiritual beliefs and allows you to delve deeper into the essence of spirituality. Here is a list of spiritual hubs that will let you immerse in rich experiences and discover the reason for your existence as a human being.
Varanasi, also known as Benaras is the oldest city in India. It is located on the banks of the Ganga River in Uttar Pradesh. It is believed that a dip in this holy river washes away sins and let human beings attain salvation.
The historical city of Varanasi is not only sacred to the Hindus, but also to the Jains. People offering prayers on the ghats of the Ganges are a sight that you would never really forget. Witnessing the spectacular sunrise at the ghats is a must when you are here. The ancient practice of yoga and meditation is also very common in Varanasi and a yoga master can only help you to unlock this treasure.
Rishikesh is situated on the foothills of the Himalayas, on the banks of the river Ganga in Uttarakhand. This place has a number of yoga centres where you can learn the art of yoga and meditation. The beautiful surrounding will soothe and heal your inner self and help you to reach your true potential.
Rishikesh is very popular among foreign tourists who want to seek spiritualism. However, Rishikesh is not only a spiritual destination, but also the hub of adventure sports in India.
Allahabad is the second oldest city in India after Varanasi and is a crucial part of one’s travel to Uttar Pradesh. It was earlier known as Prayag. This city comes to life during the very popular religious festivals of Kumbh Mela and Maha Kumbh Mela taking place at an interval of six and twelve years respectively.
Allahabad also celebrates a smaller version of these Hindu festivals which is known as the Magha Mela. This Mela takes place every year during the month of Magha that is mostly between January and February every year. The holy places are situated close to the river Yamuna, Ganga and the mythical Saraswati River. This charismatic city often symbolizes holiness and revitalizes every visitor to lead a happy and peaceful life.
The scope of spiritual tourism is growing immensely in Pondicherry. It has a spiritual aura especially due to the existence of the Aurobindo Ashram, commonly known as Auroville. This ashram was founded in the year 1926 by the great philosopher, poet and yogi Sri Aurobindo Ghose.
His writings inspired Mirra Alfassa who is regarded as the mother of this ashram. She was the one who developed this place into a town so that when travellers are visiting Pondicherry, they can celebrate a spiritual holiday. You can practice yoga or meditate in the beautiful garden of Auroville which brings a sense of inner peace and tranquillity.
Bodhgaya in Bihar is regarded as the spiritual capital in India and is a major pilgrimage site for the Buddhists. It houses the famous Mahabodhi tree by sitting under which Gautam Buddha attained enlightenment. Visiting the Mahabodhi temple will give you an enriching experience and even today, one can find the remnants of the ancient Mahabodhi tree.
Bodhgaya is also the home to innumerable Buddhist monasteries and temples. In addition, the architectural masterpieces in this town will leave you awestruck. It has now become a UNESCO World Heritage site and many foreign countries are helping the Indian government to build proper facilities for the pilgrims visiting Bodhgaya.