The greatest place of pilgrimage of the Hindu Pantheon, this picturesque spot is located at a distance of 384 km from Haridwar in District Chamoli (Uttaranchal). It is located on the bank of the river Alaknanda, one of the tributaries of the Holy Ganges. Its height is 3,133 m above the MSL. The distance between badrinath and Joshi Math is 51 km. The small town of Badrinath is perched in the valley surrounded by lush green mountains.
The valley is almost flat, with occasional patches of hillocks here and there. The scared temple of Badrinathji (Lord Vishnu) is located in the middle of the town on the bank of the holy Alaknanda. After visiting Kedarnath, the Pandavas had visited Badrinath. The temple has the idols of Lord Badrinath and Goddess Laxmi.
On the left, of Badrinathji, the statues of Lakshmi Sridevi and Bhoo Devi have been erected. On His left, the statues of Kubera and Ganeshaji have been erected. The Pooja ceremony is held at 4:00 am every morning, though devotees can go the temple throughout the day. It is mandatory for them to take bath in the holy water tank (tapta kunda) that is located outside the main temple. It is opened from May to October every year. It is believed that Lord Jagannath is worshipped for six months by humans (during summer period) and for six months by gods led by Narad Muni (during the winter period). From October onwards, snowfall starts and it is impossible to visit the place.
Priests leave the sanctum sanctorum during the winter period and move to Joshi Math. The valley remains covered by clouds and rains are quite frequent here. Bhim Kunda and Lakshman Jhoola are other spots that are visited by tourists. Mata Moorti Mandir is the temple dedicated to the mother of Lord jagannath. The Indo-China border is at a distance of 65 km from Badrinath; it can be visited during the daytime. The shrine is one of the four places of pilgrimage (Chaar Dhamas) of the Hindu Pantheon.
Tourists are advised to visit Gangotri, Gauri Kund, Yamunotri, Kedar Nath and Badrinath, in that order. This itinerary would take 9 days. The mighty Himalayas are at their best at badrinath. The road is treacherous and landslides are common. Cars, taxis, vans, small buses and four wheelers can go up to Badrinath. The unmarried priests of the famous Namboodiri Brahmin clan (of Kerala) worship Lord Jagannath and His consort, Laxmi.
Hotels and small inns abound in the town. The rate of stay per night varies from Rs 50 to Rs 500. Food and snacks are also available in abundance in local restaurants.
The local markets offer a variety of religious items like photographs of the deities. Shiva Lingums, imprints of feet of Lord Jagannath and Rudrakha.
3. Chamundeshwari Devi’s Temple:
It is located at Dhanaulti, which is an 8-hour drive from Mussourie. The temple is located on the top of a hillock. People come from far and wide to pay their respect to the deity. Dhanaulti is a cold spot with a small string of hotels and eateries. Tall pine trees and beautiful green glades surround it.
It is far away from the maddening crowding but difficult to reach in winters.
4. Chilika Lake (Kalijai Temple):
It is located at a distance of 100 km towards south-west of Bhubaneshwar. It is well connected by road to Bhubaneshwar. Within the lake, Satpara, Kalijai temple and Nalavana Island are also worth visiting.
5. Church of Born Jesus:
It is located in Old Goa. The remains of Saint Xavier have been kept in a casket in this church.
After every 12 years, these remains are taken out for public view. A few parts the body was taken away by disciples to Europe. The body is still preserved.
6. Church of Our Lady of Miracles:
This church is located at Mapusa (North Goa). It was built in.
It is located at a distance of 4 km from Cuttack (by river). It can also be approached from Cuttack (Orissa) by road. It is located on an island on the river Mahanadi. It houses the image of Lord Dhabaleshwar, an incarnation of Lord Shiva, the Lord of the universe, according to the Hindu Pantheon.
The temple is a glorious testimony to the Lord. The sculptures date back to tenth century AD. The main festival of the temple is Shiva Ratri.
8. Dilwara Jain Temples:
These are located at Dilwara, which is half-hour drive from the famous tourist spot,. Mount Abu. Tourists can go to visit these temples either by road or by foot. Taxis and buses can take them to these temples and then, bring them back to Mount Abu.
Located in Upper Himalayas in District of Uttaranchal, the Gangotri glacier is the lifeline of India. It is located at a height of 3, 140 m above the MSL and at a distance of 248 km from Rishikesh.
The river Bhagirathi originates from this glacier, which has a length of 29 km. The glacier is visited by Hindu devotes from May to September. According to Legend, the Ganges had come down to the earth from the heavens at this very point. Bhojwas (2,500 m above MSL) and Gaumukha (3,970 m above MSL) are located at a distance of 14 km from Gangotri. Note that, Gaumukha is the origin point of Bhagirathi,. Tourists are advised to arrive at Chamoli and take the road route to the glacier. A temple (dating back to eighteenth century AD) also exists near the glacier where the devout offer prayers.
10. Harimandir Sahib:
This is located at Amritsar. It is the most sacred of the Sikh Faith. The Fourth Guru of the Sikhs, Guru Ram Das, had got it constructed. Its foundation was laid by Mian Sain Pir in 1577.
The son of Guru Ram Das, Guru Arjun Dev, got the actual temple built at the spot (1589-1601). Later. Maharaja Ranjit Singh had got it covered with gold. Its premises comprise a large tank and the Akal Takht from where, the religious’heads of the Sikh issue orders and take vital decisions related to the Sikh faith. The distance from the main entry gate to the temple (in the middle of the sarover) is 60 m.
11. Jama Masjid at Delhi:
Situated opposite the Red Fort in the walled city of Delhi, this is probably the best example of the Mughal architecture.
It was got constructed by emperor Shajahan during 1650-56. The cost of its construction was Rs 10 lakh. It was constructed after the capital of the Mughal Empire was shifted from Agra to Delhi. It is built of red store and is deemed the largest mosque in India.
12. Jama Masjid at Jaunpur:
It is situated at Jaunpur (UP). It was got constructed by the Sharqui ruler, Hussain Shah (1458-79). It is somewhat similar to the Atala Masjid but larger than that in terms of size.
It is one of the four scared dhamas of the Hindu Pantheon.
It is located at a distance of 425 km from Haridwar. Its height above the MSL is 11, 750 ft. From Chamoli, tourists would be required to go to Gaurikund. From Gaurikund, they would be required to cover a distance of 14 km by foot. Ponies and horses can be used to arrive at Kedarnath (from Gaurikund). Legend says that the Pandavas had come to this place of the last journey of their lives.
In all probability, they had gone to Kedarnath and spent the last moments of their lives in the mountains surrounding those mountains. The temple at Kedarnath was built by them. Later, Adi Shankaracharya had got another temple built on the same spot in Eighth century AD. Outside the main temple, there is another temple; it is known as the temple of Bhairavnath.
Lord Bhairavnath is the protector of the temple of Kedarnath. The main temple has been constructed on a square-shaped platform. The construction of the temple is in southern architectural design and relief. Inside the temple, there is a central place (garbhagriha).
There is a large Shiva Pindi in this central place. Around this is a waterfall made of stone. In the centre of the sabha mandapa, exactly opposite to the Shiva Lingum, there is a large statue of Nandi the carrier (vahana) of Lord Shiva. There are statues of Krishana, Draupadi and five Pandavas around the temple. In the vicinity of the temple, there are three places that must be visited by the devout.
The first one of these is Hansa Kunda; travellers put the janma kundalis (horoscopes) of their forefathers in this tank. The second one is Udak Kunda; travellers put the janma kundalis (horoscopes) of their forefathers in this tank. The second one is Udak Kunda; here, travellers take water from the Kunda and perform the ceremony of Jala Achamana. The third one is the Reta Kunda, which is also famous due to its religious importance.
It is located in AP. The renowned Sri Ramchandra Temple is located on the bank of Godavari, Further,. Kaleshwaram is a popular religious shrine that is located at the confluence of Godavari and Pranhita rivers.
One of the trilling’s is located here.
It is located at a distance of 8 km form Konark (Orissa). Antiques of Lord Buddha were found here. He is seated Bhumispara Mudra at this place, along with the image of Heruka.
Lord Buddha had attained nirvana at this place. It is located at a distance of 55 km from Gorakhpur. The Mukutbandhan Stupa is associated with the Mala dynasty. The Nirvana Stupa, quite close to it is associated with the Ashokan era.
It is located at a distance of 90 km form Bhubaneshwar (Orissa) on National Highway Number 5 (Jaraka-Langudi road). It has 34 rock-cut Buddhist stupas, which date back to second to third century AD.
The Mahapurusha Charvartin image is located here and probably dates back to seventh to eighth century AD.
It is located at a distance of 18 km from Panchagani. It has many old temples.
19. Moti Masjid:
It is located inside the Red Fort of Delhi. Emperor Shahjahan used to offer namaz (prayers) in this mosque.
It is a prominent example of Mughal architecture. We have discussed it elsewhere.