While a trip to some hill station or major city might sound tempting, you have not seen India if you haven’t been a part of its festive celebrations; and not just any celebrations. This article talks about a visit to two of the top pilgrimage sites in India and witnessing the festivals in the respective cities which host, probably the biggest turnouts of devotees compared to any other pilgrimage sites in India.
If you are a Hindu and looking for the perfect pilgrimage journey, where better on earth than India? The country has a wealth of some of the most prominent Hindu sites in the country. From the far north of India to the extreme south, the country is dotted with pilgrimage sites all over. One of the most popular pilgrimage site in India is the city of Puri, owing to the Jagannath temple the city shelters. Each year, the city gets millions of visitors all thanks to the festivals held in the temple. Another major pilgrimage site in India is the city of Haridwar. Haridwar is a city in Uttarakhand and is one of the sites for the grand Maha Kumbh celebrations. These two destinations can be approached by the Kalinga Utkal express (train) which originates at Puri and stops at Haridwar as its last stop. You can check the 18477 running status online to see the live status of where the train is and at what time will it arrive or depart at a particular train station.
Widely known all over the world for being the abode of Lord Jagannath, The city of Puri is hands down one of the most popular and sought after pilgrimage sites by the hindus all over the world. It is one of the four sacred char dhams and attracts a huge horde of devotees each and every year during the main festival held in its majestic Jagannath temple. The city not only works as a pilgrimage site but also as a brilliant heritage visit as the age old monuments, temples and the various ancient architectures make up for some great sightseeing, and also helps you learn alot more about Hinduism and the devotion and faith of the devotees towards their religion. The Jagannath temple of Puri is undoubtedly the main tourist attraction to Puri. It is the main reason which puts Odisha in the global tourism map. During the festivals in this temple. The whole city comes to halt. If you are a tourist or simply a traveller wanting to explore Puri, it is best advised you do not pick your time of travel during the festive seasons as keeping aside privacy and getting through sites easily for sightseeing, it is not even safe. You can visit during the off seasons and take your time around the city. However, if it is the festive seasons is the time you want to see when the city is fully decorated, colourful and lively, there’s nothing wrong with it! Just be cautious and enjoy your stay!
Regarded as one of the seven most holiest places to Hindus all over the world, the city of Haridwar is the holy grail of pilgrimage sites in India. The city is everything from exciting, beautiful and charming. It has an air of divinity, beautiful landscapes and also an exciting place for people looking for an adventurous getaway. One of the prime attraction to Haridwar are its festivals. There are various festivals celebrated in Haridwar on a yearly basis however the standout amongst all is the Maha Kumbh Mela, which happens only once in 12 years in Haridwar. The Mahakumbh mela is celebrated only in 4 destinations (Ujjain, Allahabad, Haridwar and Nashik) around the world after every 3 years. Hence, it happens in Haridwar after every 12 years and draws a crowd of several millions. The other yearly festivals the city celebrates on a yearly basis are Kartik Purnima, Baisakhi, Somwati Amavasya and Kanwar Mela. Of these yearly festivals, the Kanwar Mela is the most popular drawing a crowd of about 3,00,000 visitors each year. Another thing that makes Haridwar unique is the fact that, it is the starting point of your journey towards enlightenment in the two most sacred rivers in India — Ganga and Yamuna. It is also among the top four pilgrimage site of Uttarakhand named as the Char Dham Yatra of Uttarakhand.
So, a visit to two of these top pilgrimage sites in India should give you a fair idea of how the people of India celebrate their religion and how strongly and dearly they hold their faith in their religion.