Aptly dubbed as the ‘Land of gods’, Himachal Pradesh is a land of numerous pilgrimage centers. Devotees and tourists come from across the globe to visit the pilgrimage centers. Some of the pilgrimage centers of Himachal Pradesh are roosted amidst breathtaking natural surroundings offering amazing travel experiences. This state has been a home to great sages since time immemorial.
The religious centers of the state are not only popular for their religious significance but also for their beautiful and peaceful surroundings. From temples to Buddhist monasteries and Gurudwaras, several religious sites belonging to different religions can be seen here. This state beautifully demonstrates ‘unity in diversity.
The architectural beauty of the pilgrimage centers of Himachal Pradesh also reflects the rich heritage of the state. The glorious religious history of the state beautifully manifests in the temples, monasteries and gurudwaras. During the festive season these pilgrimage sites serve as the venues for various cultural activities.
Some of the most popular Pilgrimages of Himachal Pradesh are:
Dedicated to Bhagwati Jwalamukhi, it is a must visit temple as it emits perpetual flames representing the deity. These natural flames are worshipped as the incarnations of the goddess. The temple has a gold plated dome.
This beautiful temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. Reflecting the Nagari style of architecture, the temple enshrines the images of Sun god, goddess Chamunda and Kartikeya( son of Lord Shiva). The entrance of the temple has a life sized stone Nandi, the carrier of Lord Shiva. The lingam enshrined in the sanctum sanctorum is one of the 12 Jyotirlingas in the country.
It is a sacred land famous for its hot water springs which are said to possess medicinal and curative properties. It is believed that taking bathing in the springs can cure muscular and bone diseases.
Naina Devi Temple
This Hindu temple is one of the 51 Shakti Peeths of India. Roosted on a picturesque hillock, the temple is the place where the eyes of Lord Shiva’s consort Sati fell. There is a holy cave near this temple. A colorful fair is held here during Shravan Ashtami every year.
Chintpurni Devi Temple
Many a devotees come from across the country to this temple to receive the blessings of the goddess Chintipurni.
Laxmi Narayan Temple
Boasting of sheer architectural beauty, this temple is held in high reverence by the Hindus.
It is the oldest and the biggest monastery of Himachal Pradesh, which is a must-visit destination. Located on a hill close to the Spiti River, this monastery was established in the 11th century. It houses a rare collection of ancient murals and books of high aesthetic value.
Chamunda Mata Temple
It is a well known temple dedicated to Bhagwati Chamunda. There is a bathing ghat near the temple. The legend goes that in the past goddess Chamunda vanquished the demons Chand and Mund to save the people on earth.
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Tourism in Himachal Pradesh relates to tourism in the Indianstate of Himachal Pradesh. Himachal Pradesh is famous for its Himalayan landscapes and popular hill-stations. Many outdoor activities such as rock climbing, mountain biking, paragliding, ice-skating, and heli-skiing are popular tourist attractions in Himachal Pradesh.
Shimla, the state capital, is very popular among tourists. The Kalka-Shimla Railway is a mountain railway which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Shimla is also a famous skiing attraction in India. Other popular hill stations include Manali and Kasauli.
Dharamshala, home of the Dalai Lama, is known for its Tibetan monasteries and Buddhist temples. Many trekking expeditions also begin here.
The Ridge is a large road in Shimla which is the centre of most cultural activities of Shimla.
- Spiti Valley
- Kheerganga trek, Parvati Valley
- Paragliding sight (Bir Billing)
Outline of Tourism in India
Himachal Pradesh Tourist Places