Uttarakhand is situated in the foothills of the majestic Himalayas in the northern ranges of India. These places of Uttarakhand are visited by a numerous of peace lovers, spiritual seekers and religious lovers. This land is also known as the abode of Hindu gods and goddesses because of the famous spiritual destinations in Uttarakhand.
It is interesting to note the wealth of mythology and spiritual symbolism that flows around the two most sacred rivers of India; Ganga and Yamuna in Uttarakhand. Although there are many holy places in Uttarakhand you can visit, here are the top 5 spiritual places that you should not miss out on during your visit to Uttarakhand.
Hemkund Sahib in Joshimath
Joshimath is one of the most attractive places in the spiritual state of Uttarakhand. Hemkund is situated at an altitude of 4329 meters above sea level and is religiously important for both Hindus and Sikhs. Legend has it that Guru Gobind Sahib interceded at Hemkund Lake and attained spiritual liberation. Hindu mythology is also abundant in Joshimath and a century old Lakshman temple is built at this place. Many devotees and pilgrims have said that a visit to Hemkund Sahib nestled amidst the snow-capped peaks and the ancient Hemkund Lake is a source of great spiritual peace.
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Har Ki Pauri
Hinduism shows its serene presence in every street of Har Ki Pauri in spiritual tourism. Most of the spiritual seekers and religious enthusiasts have named Har Ki Pauri as one of their top choices for a spiritual journey. Many ancient sages have made Himalaya their home in search of God. Each temple in Harki Pauri Uttarakhand has its own religious story and rich lineage which is the stuff of legends. The setting of Har Ki Pauri is gorgeous as it is surrounded by spectacular views and majestic mountains.
The best time to visit Har Ki Pauri is Kumbh and Ardh Kumbh. When thousands of devotees and saffron-clad sannyasis light lakhs of lamps and float them in the river Ganges; The entire river is lit up with an awesome divine power that is sure to make you bow your head in devotion.
Nanda Devi is one of the most religious places in the whole of Uttarakhand as Nanda Devi is known as the Isht Devi (the principle deity) of Uttarakhand. Nanda Devi Yatra is the second most popular and spiritually significant pilgrimage in Uttarakhand after the famous Char Dham Yatra. According to legends Gaura (name of Nanda Devi) married a famous sage and returned to her maternal home in the mountains during the Krishna Paksha of the second week in August. At the same time, Nanda Devi fair is organized in Uttarakhand.
The Nanda Devi fair sees the highest cultural participation by the women of Uttarakhand. Folk songs, sacred chants, delicious offerings and bodies stained with ashes and saffron make the Nanda Devi fair one of the most beautiful occasions in Uttarakhand.
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Rishikesh has been a spiritual magnet for domestic and international tourists since the Beatles took it by storm in the late 60s. Known as the yoga capital of the world, it attracts thousands of tourists every month. The northern region away from the main town of Rishikesh is a major hotspot for spirituality which is augmented by the exquisite natural beauty of the place. Strong winds blow throughout the city in the evening, bells ring in the temple and chants recited by sadhus provide appropriate background music. Interestingly, Rishikesh is also a very good place to go if you want to play musical instruments like sitar, veena etc. or want to take a course on crystal healing and humming.
Triveni Ghat, Ram Jhula, Laxman Jhula and the famous Swarg Ashram are some of the major tourist attractions visited by the pilgrims in Uttarakhand.
Rudraprayag is a town in Rudraprayag district in Uttarakhand and is one of the centers of spiritual tourism in Uttarakhand. This place is revered as one of the Panch Prayag or five confluences of rivers. The sacred Alaknanda and Mandakini rivers also meet here. There are many temples of Lord Shiva, the devotees of Lord Shiva come to see the famous Rudranath Temple, Koteshwar Temple, Chamunda Devi Temple, Tungeshwar Mahadev Ji, Kartik Swami, Basukedar Temple in the city of Rudraprayag. Rudraprayag is highly sought after by several thousand domestic and international tourists as a spiritual destination in Uttarakhand.