South India is blessed with spiritual destinations for Hindus. In fact, the southern and western India has an enormously large stretch of Hindu religious places that have turned into centers of pilgrimage, helping you connect with your spiritual self and cherish an altogether different experience.
We have listed a few of the most popular spiritual destinations in India below:
- Puri: One of the most renowned Hindu religious places, Jagannath Puri in Odisha promises to fill you with a sense of spiritualism and religiousness that is synonym of India’s cultural and religious society. Devotees visit the temple to seek blessings of the Trinity of Lord Jagannath, his sister Subhadra, and his brother Balabhadra. Metallic sounds reverberating with the prayers of the deities are sure to greet you to the temple, ensuring a blissful experience. There are four main temples in the huge complex, with four entrance gates. You can reach Puri from capital Bhubaneswar by bus or train. Private transportation facilities are also available.
- Shirdi: While on spiritual tour to India, you cannot forget to pay homage at Shirdi in Kpergaon, Maharashtra, close to another holy city – Nashik. A visit to Sai Temple and Dwarka Mai, the abode of the charismatic Sai Baba, leaves visitors with a sense of devotional intensity. Nashik is one of the most revered places in India, with a multitude of temples and ghats, promoting inner peace and spiritualism. Commuting to and from Nashik and Shirdi is no problem, with a good rail and road transportation network. The best time of the year to visit Shirdi is January through March. April to June is summer, followed by the monsoon. Pilgrim arrival peaks between September and November when many Hindu festivals occur. Baba’s death anniversary is commemorated in the month of October, the exact date depending on the Hindu calendar.
- Triputi : A religious sojourn to Tirupati will offer you an exceptional spiritual retreat while you are in search for devotion. With its breathtaking scenic surroundings, Tirupati is a spiritual mecca of south India and a symbolic representation of the spiritual heritage of the country. With tons of sacred shrines in its proximity, the Tirumala temple sits pretty on the Tirumala hills – the second oldest rock mountains in the world. You can reach Tirupati by air, with regular flights plying from Delhi and Hyderabad, or by rail or bus.
The Meenakshi temple, is the most impressive and important hindu temple in South India. Situated on the banks of river Vaigai – This temple covers 15 acres, has 4500 pillars and 14 gateway towers called gopurams and its sculptures are magnificent. There are estimated 33,000 sculptures in the temple and is visited by almost 15k visitors daily and around 25,000 on Fridays. The annual 10 day Meenakshi Tirukalyanam festival celebrated during April–May attracts 1 million visitors.
One of the most popular spiritual destinations for Hindus, Kanchipuram is blessed with a glorious Dravidian heritage and pilgrimage attractions built in impressive architecture. Known as the religious capital of south India, Kanchipuram can be reached by rail, road, and air, with the nearest airport in Chennai. Kamakashi Amman Temple, Kailashanathar Temple, Ekambareshwar Temple, Kumara Kottam, Varadaraja Temple, and Ulahalanda Perumal Temple are some of the most popular pilgrimage centers in Kanchipuram.
Very popular among worshippers of Lord Shiva, Chidambaram is a sacred site in Pondicherry, where pilgrims worship wholeheartedly at the sanctum sanctorum and find peace within. Home of the Dancing Shiva, the Nataraja Temple of Chidambaram is decorated with splendid architecture, where pilgrims discover their higher self. You can easily reach Chidambaram by bus or train from Chennai.
Situated near the seaside, the temple of Rameshwaram in Ramnathapuram, Tamil Nadu, is a blessed place, with splendid architecture and nicely carved pillars. The special feature at Ramanathaswamy Temple is its astonishing pillared hallway, regarded as the longest in India, lining its perimeter. The seemingly endless rows of carved pillars have a mesmerizing painted ceiling. A town of immense religious significance for spiritual Hindus, Rameshwaram is popular for its divine and spiritual atmosphere. Its strategic location at the confluence of the Arabian Sea, Bay of Bengal, and Indian Ocean makes it widely popular place for Hindus to perform religious rituals. Steeped in cultural heritage, this divine place in south India can be reached by rail or road.
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