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Domestic Tours : Religious Circuits
AMARNATH - The famous Amarnath cave is situated at an altitude of more than 12,000 feet can be reached through Pahalgam town in Kashmir. Surrounded by snowy mountains, the cave itself is covered with snow most of the year except for a short period of time in summer (June to August) when it is open for pilgrims The shivalinga of ice stalagmite is formed inside the cave due to freezing of water drops that fall from the roof of the cave on to the floor and grows up vertically from the cave floor.
VAISHNODEVI - The shrine of Mata Vaishno Devi is in a Holy Cave at an altitude of 5200 feet located in the folds of the three peaked mountain named Trikoot attracts millions of devotees every year. One has to undertake a trek of nearly 12 km from the base camp at Katra at the culmination of which one can witness the Mother Goddess inside the Sanctum Sanctorum- the Holy Cave in the shape of three natural rock formations called the Pindies. There are no statues or idols inside the Cave.
VARANASI-PRAYAG - Varanasi is the oldest living city in the world. Situated on the western bank of the River Ganga as it takes a northward turn in eastern Uttar Pradesh, with its numerous temples and shrines, ashramas, bathing ghats and pavilions that stretch along the river for nearly 5 km was a great cultural centre of India for thousands of years. Many reputed gharanas or schools of music developed in Kashi. It is famous for its silk and muslin fabrics, perfumes, ivory works, brassware, gold and silver ornaments and wooden toys. In nearby Saranath or Rishipatana (10 km), Gautama Buddha (6th Century BCE) gave his first sermon.
- Its position at the union of the Ganges, Yamuna and mythical Sarasvati Rivers, Prayag, now the modern city of Allahabad is noted for historic, cultural and religious tourism. Historic sites include Alfred Park, the Victoria and Thornhill Mayne Memorials, Minto Park, Allahabad Fort, the Ashoka Pillar and Khusro Bagh. One can take a holy dip at the Triveni Sangam or the confluence of the three rivers and take a boat ride down the Ganga or Yamuna. Religious attractions include the Kumbh Mela, the largest religious gathering in the world, every twelve years and the Ardh (half) Kumbh Mela every six years and the Maghi Mela held in January-February every year.
CHAR DHAM - Char Dham (or four abodes) consists of the four Hindu religious sites in Uttarakhand viz. Gangotri, Yamunotri, Badrinath and Kedarnath in the lap of the Himalayas. Pious Hindus in aspiration of washing away their sins and to attain salvation undertake the yatra from Yamunotri, then proceeding to Gangotri dedicated to goddesses Yamuna and Ganga respectively and finally to Kedarnath and Badrinath- the former dedicated to Lord Shiva while the latter to Lord Vishnu. Added to the travel is the picturesque surroundings of the Himalayas.
TIRUPATI - Situated in the hill town of Tirumala, in Andhra Pradesh, Tirupati is also a famous pilgrimage spot. The presiding deity of the temple is Lord Venkateswara, an incarnation of lord Vishnu. Tirumala's Balaji shrine is among the more famous temples of India. It reportedly attracts the largest number of pilgrims for any shrine in India. It also has a reputation of being one of the richest shrines in the world.
SHIRDI - the abode of one of Maharashtra's most revered saint Sai Baba, Shirdi is a revered pilgrimage spots where one can go around the vast temple complex of Sai Baba and other places of interest. The Sai temple is a beautiful shrine that was built over the Samadhi of Shri Sai Baba who lived here between 1838 and 1918 as a spiritual guru and a fakir regarded with great reverence by followers irrespective of caste, creed, religion or community.
KAMAKHYA - revered as one of the most important Shakta temples and Hindu pilgrimage sites atop the Neelachal Hill in Guwahati, Assam, Kamakhya is visited by numerous devotees all the year round, especially the Ambubachi Fair held in the month of Ashad (June-July). The Bhuvaneswari temple on the hilltop provides a breathtaking view of the city of Guwahati as well as the meandering Brahmaputra flowing by.