Category Archives: Pilgrimage in India

Buddhist Pilgrimage…..Mahabodhi Temple

Mahabodhi Temple is a Buddhist temple which is located at Bodh Gaya which is 96 Km from Patna, Bihar state of India. It is a major Buddhist site and the temple finds mention in the ancient literature. It is visited regularly by both Buddhist and Hindu pilgrims (many Hindus honor the Buddha as an incarnation of Vishnu). Among the four holy sites that are related to the life of Lord Buddha and his enlightenment, Mahabodhi temple is one of those holy sites. Literally the meaning of Mahabodhi Temple is “Great Awakening temple” and it is the place where Lord Buddha attained enlightenment. The Mahabodhi temple was once known as Bodhimanda-vihara (Pali) and the Bodhi tree is the old sacred tree which is located adjacent to the Mahabodhi temple of Bodh Gaya. Bodhgaya is the second most sacred place of pilgrimage. In June 2002, the Mahabodhi Temple became a UNESCO World Heritage Site specifically nominated for the international World Heritage program. Mahabodhi Temple is acclaimed to be the property of Bihar State Government. The nearest airport is located at Patna that lies at a distance of 96 kms from Gaya. The holy town Bodh Gaya or Gaya has its own railway station. The town is also connected with major cities by network of roads. According to Jatakas, Bodhgaya is the navel of the earth. This is only place that could abide the power of the Buddha’s attainment.

Pilgrimage of Sikh….The Golden Temple

The Golden Temple is the spiritual centre of the Sikh Religion.It is located in the heart of the city Amritsar (Punjab) and was built in between 1589 and 1601. It is a superb example of synthesis of Islamic and Hindu styles of architecture. It is the Sikh community’s holiest shrine.It is surrounded by a maze of lanes and 18 fortified gateways.  The foundation stone of this temple was laid by a Muslim saint, Ian Mir. In 1761 it was almost destroyed by an Afghan invader named Ahmad Shah Abdali but was rebuilt by Maharaja Ranjit Singh. He was the ruler of Punjab and he not only rebuilt it but also covered the dome in gold and its interiors were embellished with lavish decoration.

Festivals of India

India is a vast country with 28 states and seven Union Territories where over hundreds of sects and sub-sects reside. It is a land of gaiety and tradition. It is said that India celebrates one festival each day in some part of the land. If you look at the variants in its topography and rich cultural heritage then you can see that it is quite true. So this estimate is in fact a reality. Though from the month of October to December the grandest of festivals are celebrated in India which includes Navratri, Dusshera, Diwali, Christmas and finally the New Year arrival. But along with these grand festivals there are many more festivals and cultural events that are celebrated in India throughout the year.

Varanasi,the Holiest Hindu City

Varanasi is also known as Benaras or as Kashi which means the “City of Light”. It is one of the holiest city of Hindu’s and situated on the west bank of Ganges. This city is the City of Lord Shiva. Among the 12 Jyotirlinga, Varanasi is the foremost. There are almost 90 ghats along the bank of river Ganga and these ghats define the life and identity of the city. All the ghats together covers almost 6 Km which stretches from Asi Ghat in southern side to Adi Keshav Ghat on the northern side. These ghats are lined with many temples and shrines. They reverberate with the endless cycle of Hindu religious practice—-from daily rituals to profound rites of passage. The spiritual and religious legacy of the city goes back to nearly 3,000 years.

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