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Pilgrimage is an age old tradition firmly embedded in the religious beliefs of all world religions. Be it Mecca in Saudia Arabia, Jerusalem in Israel or Varanasi (ancient Baneras) in India- all these religious towns attract millions of religious traveler each year.

Religious Travel in India

Being a melting pot of most world religions India attracts millions of tourists to various religious shrines and temples every year. According to the World Tourism Organization, an estimated 300 million pilgrims visit the world's key religious sites every year. A country whose foundations are laid on firm secular beliefs, India is home to all major religions of the world namely, Hinduism, Islam, Christianity, Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism and other religious traditions. India is a unique country which has something to offer for pilgrims of every religion.

In North India religious travel for the believers of Hindu faith revolves around the Holy River Ganges. On the great banks of the holy river Ganges are located some of the ancient holy towns such as Rishikesh, Haridwar, Varanasi which, from centuries, have been attracting millions of pilgrims, sages, peace-seekers and travelers. River Ganges emerges from the Gangotri glacier in the Himalayas in Uttrakhand state which has several important Hindu shrines namely Kedarnath and Badrinath.
For the Buddhists Bodh Gaya in the state of Bihar and Mahabodhi Temple, located close to Bodh Gaya is a revered place of worship. The famous Golden Temple in Amritsar in Punjab in North India attracts thousands of Sikh followers every year. Hemkund Sabhib a famous high altitude lake in Uttrakhand is also a revered place of worship for the Sikhs. For the followers of Islam there are several revered places such as the Ajmer Sharif in Rajasthan, Jama Masjid in Delhi, Haji Ali in Mumbai and Fatehpur Sikri in Agra.
After Hinduism and Islam, Christianity is the third largest religion in India. Famous churches in India include, Basilica of Bom Jesus in Goa, St. Francis Church in Kochi in Kerala and St. Philomena's Church in Mysore.

Dilwara temples located near Mount Abu in Rajasthan’s only are world famous for their stunning use of marble. There are 5 Jain temples here, each with its own unique identity and named after the small village in which it is located. All the temples were built by the Chalukya dynasty between the 11th and 13th centuries.



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