India is synonymous with spirituality, culture, and of course, religion. It is the only nation that is the birthplace of four major world religions. These are Hinduism, Sikhism, Buddhism, and Jainism.
Although Hinduism comprises almost 80% of the country, the latter three religions also make up a considerable part of the population.
Therefore, there is so much to unfold when it comes to India and religion. In this article, you will come across important places of worship of the religions mentioned above.
For travelers, these are goldmines of culture, architecture, history, and heritage.
So, watch out for the next time you book airline tickets to India.
1. Meenakshi Amman Temple
Located at the heart of the temple city, you can imagine the significance of Meenakshi Amman Temple. It is dedicated to Hindu deities and a divine couple of Parvati and Shiva.
It is also one of the most important pilgrimage sites in Hinduism. However, People from around the planet catch flights to Madurai to witness the spectacle.
One of the fascinating features of this 14-acre temple is architecture. It is a historical temple that emerged as a center of art, literature, education, and culture over the years.
Meenakshi Temple is brimming with sculptures, paintings, masterpieces, and structures such as the pond with a golden lotus.
One stroll across the temple is guaranteed to blow anyone’s mind.
2. Virupaksha Temple
Virupaksha Temple is one of the landmarks of a group of monuments at Hampi. Although this temple may seem like the centerpiece of the city, it is only one component of the same.
Moving on, this is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that you cannot skip to visit next time you book flight tickets to Karnataka.
The main deity of the temple is Virupaksha, a form of Lord Shiva. The Dravidian architecture consists of intricate carvings, pillared halls, and other marvels.
For instance, Tungabhadra River makes its way into the temple along the terrace. It then descends to the temple kitchen, and finally flowing out through the outer court.
1. Golden Temple
Harmandir Sahib, also known as the Golden Temple, is the holiest shrine of the Sikh community. It is located in the holy city of Amritsar.
Built around a manmade pool, Golden Temple has four doorways, in four directions that symbolize the welcome of people of all religions, color, caste, gender, and so on.
Respecting other religions and serving humanity is one of the main teachings of Sikhism.
The most mindboggling feature of this gurudwara is that it is covered with about 750kg of pure gold. This place is also one of the most-visited places in the world for all the right reasons.
Book airline tickets to Amritsar and soak in the pure ambiance of Golden Temple.
2. Takht Sri Keshgarh Sahib
One of the four most important pilgrimage sites for the Sikh community is Takht Sri Keshgarh Sahib. This historical place is where the 10th guru of Sikhs initiated the order of pure ones or Khalsa in the year 1699.
If you book tickets to India to visit Keshgarh Sahib, March is the best time. During this time, the gurudwara celebrates the festival of Holla Mohalla. The place comes to life with all sorts of social and religious ceremonies.
One of the most common sights is the graceful display of martial arts by the Sikh warriors. The Gurudwara is decorated profusely during the three-day occasion. You must not miss this religious fest on your visit to Punjab.
1. Mahabodhi Temple
‘Mahabodhi’ translates to ‘The Great Awakening.’ Gautama Buddha achieved enlightenment at this very place. Hence, you can imagine the historical importance of the temple for Buddhists.
This iconic temple is one of the most replicated Buddhist temples in the world. You can find replicated structures in many countries, such as China, Thailand, and Burma.
Mahabodhi Temple is also home to the legendary tree under which Gautama attains Buddhahood. According to the Buddhist scriptures, this place is the navel of the universe.
You can definitely feel an aura, unlike any. To visit the place you can book flight tickets to Patna Airport and cover the remaining 60 miles by road.
2. Sarnath Temple
Another important center for Buddhists is the Sarnath Temple. It is located in the town of Sarnath. You can reach the temple by booking flights to Varanasi. The location of Sarnath Temple is where Lord Buddha preached his first sermon.
This sermon was named Dhammachakkapavattana, which translates to ‘Setting in motion the wheel of the law of Buddhism.’ On the receiving end of the sermon were five disciples of Buddha.
Sarnath Temple was built by the great emperor Ashoka along with some other Buddhist monuments in close vicinity. During the 4th through the 6th century, the place was at its pinnacle, emerging as a significant educational and cultural hub.
1. Ranakpur Jain Temple
Situated in the Rajasthan’s Pali district, Darna Shah built Ranakpur Jain Temple as a result of divine intervention. The layout of the temple is in the form of heavenly vehicle that Shah saw in his dream.
The unique architecture and intricate carvings throughout the temple are a breath of fresh air for even the most experienced architects. Today, Ranakpur Temple is not only the most important but also the largest Jain temples in the world.
When you book flight tickets to place and reach here, you will observe numerous other temples within the main complex. These include Sun temple, Suparshvanatha Temple, Chougan ka Mandir, and Sethi ki Badi Mandir, each as fascinating as the other.
2. Gomateshwara Temple
Gomateshwara Temple, also famous as Bahubali Temple, is not only an important site in Jainism but also a popular Indian heritage site.
One of the most prominent aspects of the temple is the 57-feet high statue of a historic Jain figure, Bahubali. This makes it amongst the largest monolithic statues in the world.
There are two more statues called Yaksha and Yakshi on either side of Bahubali. The temple also has a plethora of carvings. Forty-three such carvings are featured on the pillared structure. Similarly, the wall enclosing the temple has several beautiful carvings of animals and females.
These are 8 of the countless temples and worship places in India. Visiting them is a rejuvenating experience not only for spiritual and religious travelers but also for explorers in general. Booking air tickets to India is going to take you a step closer to history, heritage, and culture.