India is a country devoid of disharmony although people with different belief in faith prevail here. Different communities reside peacefully. This coexistence is reflected by the religious pilgrimages present in India. All of them are spectacular and rich mythologically as well as architecturally. Millions of devotees visit these areas every year to change themselves spiritually and be more close to being holy. There are many popular pilgrimage sites in India and the topmost in the list are:-
1. PURI JAGANNATH TEMPLE:- This is a very old temple located about 60km away from Bhubaneshwar in Puri, Odisha. This popular temple was built in the 12th century and is believed to be made from the ruins of the ancient temple. It has 21 shrines in it along with 6 gopurams, numerous sculptors and inlay paintings. The temple is entirely made up of granite stone which makes it a site of spectacular beauty. This is the largest temple in the state.
2. RISHIKESH:- Located in Uttarakhand the Rishikesh has always been an important pilgrimage center for Hindus. It is settled across the river Ganga and against the backdrop of the Himalayas making this whole place iconic. Rishikesh is a hub of many temples. Some among Them are the Kunjapuri temple, Swarg Ashram, Neelkanth Mahadev Mandir and many more are present.
3. SHIRDI:- This holy place located in Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra was home to the respected sai baba. The most popular spot in Shirdi is the gurusthan where sai baba used to spend most of his time. The Samadhi Mandir also attracts a huge crowd as it still preserves the remains of sai baba. Every year a huge number of devotees visit this place.
4. MAHABALIPURAM:- Mahabalipuram is located in southern India about 58 km away from Chennai, Tamil and. This place has monuments and temples which shows the architectural brilliance of the Pallava artists who prevailed here earlier. Some pieces of excellent work are Ganesha Ratha, Dharmaraja Ratha, shore temples, cave temples, Draupadi rath, etc.
5. VARANASI:- Varanasi located in Uttar Pradesh is believed to wash away the sins of the people. This is the most colorful pilgrimage in India dotted with numerous temples of ancient times. There are many ghats and temples present her. The ghats have holy water Ganga meandering through the city. The rituals performed near the ghats are believed to be what frees a person from their sins.apart from temples many mosques are also present here. The Durga temple, Sankat Mohchan temple, tulsi manas temple, Bibi Razia, Abdul Razzaq are some among them.
6. KAMAKHYA:- This popular temple dedicated to goddess Kamakhaya is located in Assam. It is one of the most important and oldest temples of the 51 Shakti Pithas. It is a very important place for tantric worshippers. As a form of worship goats are sacrificed and made as offerings to the goddess Kamakhya who is believed to be the yielder of all wishes.
7. VAISHNO DEVI:- This popular cave temple is located in the foothills of Jammu and Kashmir. They are at an elevation of about 5,200 ft .people believe that most people hear the goddess calling their name and those who hear it must go to visit it no matter what. It is difficult to access although many modes of transportation have been introduced. A 13 km expedition has to made to reach this shrine. Although the difficulties of millions of devotees visit this destination to gain enlightenment.
8. SIDDHIVINAYAK TEMPLE:- This temple built in 1801 is located in Maharashtra and is a prominent temple of Lord Ganesh. The temple is an example of architectural beauty as the inner roof is coated with gold while the wooden doors all mark in excellence. The images of Ashtavinayaka are carved on the doors which make them even more attractive. Millions of people visit this place throughout the year.
Apart from this, many other places like Rameshwaram, Kedarnath, Somnath, etc have extraordinary temples which are a hub of devotees. India being a secular country has temples and holy places throughout the map making it remarkable and secular.