We go on vacations to unwind and relax, but sometimes we never take a spiritual vacation. Now I’m not talking about “finding yourself” in the mountains, or any of those self-discovery trips into the wilderness. Spiritual destinations offer knowledge and awareness about traditions and cultures. It’s an unforgettable experience that one should take up atlas once in their lives. As far as meditation retreats go, you’ve probably done and dusted the most common ones – Shirdi, Varanasi, etc but here are destinations that are often looked.
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Visited by believers of different faiths year-round, this sacred destination is a prominent pilgrimage center. Mainly visited during the ‘Urs’ festival where singers of the qawwali programs leave listeners in awe. Ajmer has beautiful places within the city to visit, some including the Nasiyan Jain Temple, Daulat Bagh, and the Ana Sagar Lake
Often overlooked by visitors, Madurai has it’s own grand spiritual jewel – the Meenakshi Amman Temple. The Dravidian-style structure is dedicated to the goddess Parvati and it’s the heart of the 2,500-year-old South Indian city. This temple isn’t the only one to visit while in Madurai as they have no shortage of temples to offer visitors. Do visit: Koodal Azhagar Temple, Alagar Koyil, Thirupparamkunram Murugan Temple.
Jagannath Puri is one of the four Char Dam pilgrimage sites of India and is home to Jagannath temple. Interestingly enough, this temple is an infamous Hindu temple that is dedicated to Jagannath, one of the many forms of Lord Vishnu. The Rath Yatra (Chariot festival) is what brings in thousands of visitors to this temple, making it a popular spiritual destination.
4. Kanya Kumari
Kanya Kumari is popular for being the most Southern tip of India but is also known for pilgrimage and tourism. Visitors pray to the goddess Devi Kanya Kumari at the Shakti Peetha temple. Who is known as the goddess who takes away the “rigidity” of the mind.
Pondicherry is considered one of the trendy “vacation” spots, but it also doubles as a spiritual retreat, all thanks to Auroville. Founded by Sri Aurobindo and Mirra Alfassa, known as the ‘Mother,’ the township is popularly visited by countless people from all over the world. The Matrimandir, the giant golden orb located in the center of Auroville, symbolizes what “the birth of a new consciousness.” Auroville is visited for those who wish to indulge in meditation and experience the tranquil township that adds to Pondicherry’s charm.
About the author:
Kavya Sridharan is our newest Content Intern at The Silver Lining. When she isn’t busy typing away, she loves to travel and eat (a lot) – a delicious combination.