Where to go for spiritual enlightenment in India

India is home to many different religions, and is a favorite of pilgrims and devotees all over the world. People sometimes travel thousands of miles to be blessed at some scared places that India has to offer.

If you are looking for spiritual enlightenment, or simply wished to be awed by the meaningful and intricate rituals of different religions, your trip to India is incomplete without visiting these places!

Vrindavan, Uttar Pradesh

According to Mahabharata , it is believed that Krishna spent his childhood days in Vrindavan. He was born in the city of Mathura, which lies in close proximity to Vrindavan, and it is no doubt that it’s mythological significance has resulted in Vrindavan becoming a major religious hub of India. People, mostly Hindus, flock here from all over the world to pray at the numerous temples built around the city in honor of Radha and Krishna.

Devotees seeking blessings from the holy fire at Vrindavan. Photograph by Marji Lang
Devotees seeking blessings from the holy fire at Vrindavan. Photograph by Marji Lang

Places of worship in Vrindavan: Shri Radha Krishna Temple, Meera Bai temple, Madan Mohan temple and more.

Amritsar, Punjab

The city of Amritsar is a divine place for followers of Sikkhism. Every year millions of people visit Amritsar to bow their heads at Harmandir Sahib, perhaps better known as the Golden Temple. In fact, the Golden Temple attracts more visitors than the Taj Mahal annually! Amritsar is also a heritage city under the HRIDAY scheme of the government of India.

Golden Temple in Amritsar
Golden Temple at night

Places of worship in Amritsar: Golden Temple, Durgiana temple, Mandir Mata Lal and more.

Kanyakumari, Tamil Nadu

Kanyakumari is the southernmost point of India and is actually named after a temple; the Devi Kanyakumari Temple. This city has a lot of religious significance attributed to it. It is said that the stones found on the beach are actually grains of uncooked rice from the marriage of Kanya Devi, which was never solemnized. Now she is considered to be a virgin goddess blessing all those who visit Kanyakumari.

kanyakumari temple
Photo by Himadri Karmakar

Places of worship in Kanyakumari: Devi Kanyakumari temple, Bhagavathy Amman Temple, Our Lady of Ransom Church, Ayya Vaikundar Nizhal Thangal and more.

Rumtek, Sikkim

Rumtek is actually a monastery in Sikkim and is also known as the Dharmachakra centre. The monastery was built (or rather rebuilt) by Rangjung Rigpe Dorje. He chose Rumtek because of its auspicious significance and its setting among the hills, with clear streams flowing around it. Later, sacred relics from Tsurphu Monastery were transferred to Rumtek. Today it is the largest monastery in Sikkim, where you can watch ancient rituals being performed and find your inner Zen.

Rumtek Monastery
A shot of the Rumtek Monastery.

Trimbak, Maharashtra

The village of Trimbak is famous for the Trimbakeshwar Temple. This temple holds a very high spot in Hindu culture because here lies the origin of the Godavari, a sacred river of the Hindus. Behind the temple is the Brahmagiri hill, and it is said that Gautum Rishi completed his tapsya, or penance, on this hill. Shiva, pleased with his devotion, brought the rivers Ganga, Godavari and Gautami to earth from heaven. It is believed that a dip in the river Godavari will cleanse a person of his sins.

A hilltop view of Trimbak. Photgraph by Ravikanth Kurma
A hilltop view of Trimbak. Photgraph by Ravikanth Kurma

Places of worship in Trimbak: Trimbakeshwar Temple.

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