Tuesday, January 15, 2019

5 Pilgrimage Destinations in Uttarakhand

Credit: Namaste India Trip
Badrinath Temple

Uttarkhand is known for its beautiful and deeply spiritual destination which attract thousands of devotees and spiritualists. Here are some important religious destinations you must not miss visiting.


Purnagiri is at a stunning altitude of 3000 meters above sea level and is 20 km from Tanakpur and 92 km from Pithogarh. Devotees flock to this temple in huge numbers from all parts of India specially during the time of Chaitra Navaratri which falls in the month of March. The nearby valleys all echo with sacred chants of devotees who clamber to the top for obtaining Darshan.

Purnagiri is also known as Punyagiri in many parts of India and it is from there that the river Kali flows down into the plains and is also known as the Sharda. It is advisable to reach Thuligarh by vehicle if one wants to visit the Punyagiri shrine. As the road is undergoing construction work devotees have to trek onwards this point. Some points of interest covered in the trek route are Bans ki Charhai and then Hanuman Chatti. The southern part of Punya Parvat can be viewed from here. Lots of temporary shops and huts for residence are available en route. From the Punyagiri temple which is the highest point, one can see the whole expanse of Kali region, its numerous islands, Tanakpur Township and some colorful Nepali villages. Tamli and Jhulagat are two trekking points close to Purnagiri.


Rishikesh is also known as the Yoga Capital of the world and is a hub for foreign tourists, spiritualists and Yoga enthusiasists. The town is situated on the banks of the Ganges and is flanked by hills on three sides. Meditating in Rishikesh is believed to bring peace to the soul. Rishikesh lures knowledge seekers and peace lovers with its multiple ashrams and Yoga centers. The town retains a beautiful old world charm and is a good place to unwind and spend time with nature. There are two suspension bridges Ram Jhula and Laxman Jhula near Rishikesh which provide an excellent view. The Ganga Arti is an un-missable part of life in Rishikesh. Dehradun is the nearest Airport and the town has its own railway station.


Haridwar is an old city in the Haridwar district of Uttarkhand that is regarded to be one of the seven holiest places for Darshan. Every 12 years the magnificent Kumbh Mela is celebrated in Haridwar and millions of pilgrims, tourists and devotees come here to take the customary dip in the Ganges. One of the most famous spots in Haridwar is Harki Pauri and according to legends drops of Amrit had fallen on Brahma Kund there. The evening Aarti at Haridwar is considered to be one of the most uplifting experiences in Hinduism. The town of Haridwar has a glorious reputation as a center of Ayurvedic medicine and herbal cures.

Some famous temples in Haridwar are Chandi Devi, Mansa Devi, Maha Devi, Dakshnasewara Mahadeva and Dudhadhari Mahadev Temple. There are other attractions like Neel Dhara Bird sanctuary, Tank of Bhimgoda and Bharat Mata Mandir here.


Kedarnath is a small town in Uttarkhand which has gained a lot of popularity amongst Hindus because of its inclusion in the Char Dham Yatra. The famous Kedarnath temple is on the Garhwal Himalayan range alongside the Mandakini river. In 2013 the town suffered from drastic floods but the temple remained unscathed. The Kedarnath temple is said to be built by Pandavas and later revived by Adi Shankaracharya. The Kedarnath temple is the highest amongst all 12 Jyotirlingas and has total height of 3583 m. One can reach Kedarnath from Rishikesh, Dehradun, Kumaon etc by bridle path or horseback.


Like Kedarnath, the small town of Badrinath in Chamoli district of Uttarkhand is famous for its temple. Badrinath is also included in the Char Dham pilgrimage. Badrinath temple has a total height of 3133 m and is one of the most visited pilgrimages in India. There is a magnificent 3.5 m long Vishnu statue in the temple and the statue is considered to be one of the few rare self manifested forms of Vishnu. There are mentions of the temple in ancient Hindu texts like Vishnu Purana. There is a sulphur spring called Tapt Kund near the temple and pilgrims are supposed to bath here before taking a dip.

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