Badrinath, Uttaranchal Pradesh
Badrinath is one of the char dham, the four abodes of Vishnu. Badrinath marks the northern geographic compass point of India's sacred geography. Badrinath is set in a deep mountain valley high in the Garwal Himal.
Gangotri & Gamukh, Uttaranchal Pradesh
Gamukh, known in English as the cows mouth is located on a tounge of the Bhagirathi Glacier and is the exact source of the Ganga river. 10 miles down valley is the small village of Gangotri which houses a temple and ashrams.
Haridwar, Uttaranchal Pradesh
Haridwar is one of the seven sacred cities in India and is located where the Ganga River enters into the North India plains. Every 12 years a religious fair called the Khumb Mela attracts millions of pilgrims for a sacrificial bath. In March and April 1998 the last Kumbh Mela of the century will be held in Haridwar
Mathura, Uttar Pradesh
Mathura is the birthplace of Lord Krishna and is considered on the seven sacred cities in India. Mathura is located in the sacred region of Braj, celebrated and famous for the exploits of Krishna.
Allahabad (Prayag), Uttar Pradesh
A sacred city situated at the confluence of the Ganga, Yamuna and invisible Sarasvati rivers. Another home to the circulating Kumbh Mela bathing mela.
Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh
The mythological birthplace of the Lord Rama and one of the seven sacred cities in India. Ayodhya was the site where militant Hindu activists demolished a 400 year old Mosque built over the tradtional birth-spot.
Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh
Varanasi is a city of great antiquity and is one of the most important pilgrimage destinations in all of India. The city is situated along the banks of the Ganga River in a location where the river turns north. Along the river bank are a series of "ghats"( steps leading to the water) where pilgrims bathe, pray, and in some cases cremate their dead.
Ganga Sagar, West Bengal
A remote delta Island in the Bay of Bengal where it is considered the Ganaga River empties out into the ocean. Each January 13 on Makar Sankranti hundreds of thousands of pilgrims travel to the bathe and pray at the Kapil Muni Temple.
Site of the Jaganath temple and the famous annual chariot festival. For two weeks each summer the images from the temple are brought out onto huge chariots and dragged through the town by a teams of thousands. The word Juggernaut is derived from the name of Lord Jaganath - the principal idol within the temple.
Tirupathi, Andhra Pradesh
The temple of Venkateshvara located in mountains near the city of Tirupathi is both the richest and most popular temple (by number of visitors) in all of India.
Tiruvannamalai, Tamil Nadu
Site of the sacred mountain Arunachala and the Arunachaleswar Temple, reputed to be one of the largest in South India. Tiruvannamalai is also home to the ashram of the late Indian saint Ramana Maharishi.
Chidambaram, Tamil Nadu
Location of the famous Siva Natraja (dancing Siva) temple.
Madurai, Tamil Nadu
A large temple town in southern Tamil Nadu which is the home of the Meenakshi temple famous for its nine wildly decorated gopurams (temple towers) festoned with colorful depictions of mythological imagery.
Rameswaram, Tamil Nadu
Located on a peninsula in southern Tamil Nadu, Rameswaram is a major pilgrimage location. Rameswaram is the southern axis of the sacred space delineated by the four sacred abodes of Vishnu.
Kanyakumari, Tamil Nadu
The southern most tip of the Indian subcontinent and the home of the Kanyakumari Temple.
A mountain temple and pilgrimage site holy for the Ayyappan sect. Pilgrims to Sabarimala can easily be spotted throughout Southern India as they wear black clothing as a symbol of the rigerous practices they undergoe during their pilgrimages.
Another home to the Kumbh Mela bathing festival.
The western node of the four great Vishnu temple. Dwarka has 12th and 16th century temples and is the home to the Janmashtami festival.
Pushkar is a city of great antiquity located around Pushkar lake and home of the only Brahma temple in all of India. In the fall a large camel and animal fair takes place here.