Popular Pilgrimage Destinations in Rajasthan
Rajasthan the land of splendor is a visual delight of shrines, palaces, forts, mansions, fairs, festivals, culture and traditions. Some of renowned and spiritual pilgrimage places of India are found in Rajasthan. The fascinating pilgrimage places of Rajasthan attract huge number of pilgrims and devotees towards them all around the year. And apart from being a pilgrim destination these places are appealing to tourists as well, as they have various other attractions in them.
We have listed some of the most important pilgrimage destinations in Rajasthan.
1. Brahma Temple, Pushkar
One of the oldest cities of India – Pushkar is famous for housing the only Brahma temple in the world. Located on the banks of Pushkar Lake this temple is dedicated to Lord Brahma “the creator god”, who is believed to have performed penance here for 60,000 years to have a glimpse of Lord Radha Krishna. Steps of marble lead you to the interior of the temple where a silver turtle lies embossed in the floor and around it are hundreds of silver coins embedded in the floor only. This temple holds an important place in the Hindu religion and is visited by hundreds of devotees every year. Pushkar also has various other temples that can be visited such as Varah Temple, Mahadeva Temple, Gayatri Temple and Raghunath Temple etc.
2. Jain Temple, Ranakpur
Ranakpur the city holding a huge respect in the Jain community as it is one of the five main religious places of Jains. The city has incredibly carved Jain Temples in India. Well known for its magnificent white marble temples created in 15th century during the reign of Rana Kumbha and enclosed within a wall. The main temple is “Chaumukha Temple” which is dedicated to Lord Adinath and is a four faced temple. The breathtaking architectural style of the Temple is distinct and unique. There are 29 halls and 80 domes standing on the 1444 pillars of which amazingly no two are alike and has its own interesting carving. Ranakpur is undoubtedly one of the main religious destinations in Rajasthan.
3. Dargah Sharif, Ajmer
The city of Ajmer on Ana Sagar Lake is one of India’s most important pilgrimagesites for Muslims. It attracts its fair share of pilgrims and tourists from all over. Dargah Sharif is one of the most sacred Muslim shrines in India and is venerated by both Hindus and Muslims. Situated at the foot of a hill, this is the tomb of a Sufi saint, Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti who had come to Ajmer from Persia in 1192 and devoted his life to the upliftment of the poor. Millions of pilgrims come to Ajmer for the saint’s annual Urs or death anniversary in October.
4. Dilwara Temples, Mt Abu
Mt. Abu the only hill station in Rajasthan is known for various facts and the extraordinary Jain Dilwara Temples is one of them. The temples here are counted among India’s finest temple architecture with intricate carving that showcases the brilliant work of the artisans. The oldest temple in this complex is “Vimal Vasahi” which is dedicated to the first tirthankar, Adinath and took 14 years to build which was started in 1031. The “Luna Vasahi” is dedicated to Neminath the 22nd tirthankar and took 15 years to build which was started in 1230. The other three temples in the complex are “Bhimashah Pittalhar”, “Mahaveerswami” and “Khartar Vasahi”.
5. Karni Mata Temple, Deshnok
Deshnok is a small village in Rajasthan located just 30kms from Udaipur, is known for Karni Mata Temple which is dedicated to Karni Mata, an incarnation of goddess Durga. It is one of the most visited temples in Rajasthan and attracts large number of pilgrims to attend the annual Karni Mata Fair. It is a magnificent temple with huge silver gates and carved marbles. One strange feature of the temple that amuses everyone who comes here is that the temple is house to huge number of brown rats that wander all over the place without any hindrance and seeing the rats is believed to be auspicious.
6. Ek lingji Temple, Udaipur
Located 22kms from Udaipur on the banks of Indersagar Lake, Eklingji Temple is a huge temple complex consisting of 108 temples. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva with a 50ft high black stone statue with four faces depicting his four forms. The east-facing part is recognized as Surya, the west-facing part is Lord Brahma, the north-facing part is Lord Vishnu and the south-facing part is Rudra i.e. Lord Shiva himself. The other deities that are worshipped here include Parvati, Ganesha, Kartikeya and Saraswati. During the festival of Shivratri the entire temple complex and deities are beautifully decorated and attracts a large number of devotees.
7. Shrinathji Temple, Nathdwara
Nathdwara located just 48kms from Udaipur, is a holy town and known for housing Shrinathji Temple dedicated to Lord Krishna. The idol of this temple is carved out from a single piece of black marble and according to history the statue was being moved to Mewar kingdom from Mathura during the reign of the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb. But the chariot in which the statue was being shifted got stuck here and did not moved further; hence a shrine was established at Nathdwara.
8. Govind Devji Temple, Jaipur
The temple is a vital part of the City Palace complex – Govind Dev Ji Temple. It is one of the prominent temples of Rajasthan and situated in Jaipur it is visited by many people annually. Dedicated to Lord Krishna and has been well preserved by the earlier royal family. And the image was brought from Vrindavan, installed here by Sawai Jai Singh; Govind Devji is an incarnation of Lord Krishna. It is visited by many pilgrim and devotees along with tourists who visit the City Palace.
9. Galtaji temple Jaipur
Located on the outskirts of Jaipur, there are a number of notion related to Galtaji temple. It is believed that area surrounding Galtaji temple used to suffer from scarcity of water at one point of time. As a result, a sage named Galva meditated for a period of 100 years in order to appease the God. Pleased with the effort, it is believed that God blessed the region with a stream of water which solved the problem of dearth of water. To offer their tribute to the sage, the people constructed a temple known as the Galtaji temple. Once you visit the temple, you will realize the presence of a spiritual aura around the temple. As a huge number of devotees visit the temple throughout the year, they take part in the chanting of the religious hymns, people paying curtsy to God and that imparts such an ambiance to the place surrounding the temple. The particular aura of the temple added with the mystic beauty of the place makes it a great experience for the visitors.
10. Motidungari Temple Jaipur
Located in the midst of serene natural beauty, the Moti Doongri temple is a wonderful tourist spot that portrays jaw dropping architecture. Built on the lines of Scottish castle, the very sight of the temple will make your visit to the temple truly worthy. Then add to it, the spiritual importance of the temple which draws a huge number of devotees as well. There are several attractions in the Moti Doongri temple. The temple complex that boasts a Ganesh temple is a great attraction for devotees as thousand of devotees visit the temple to witness the Ganesha temple. Coming to Jaipur and not visiting the particular temple will make your Jaipur trip incomplete. The sheer beauty of the temple added with a picturesque location makes it a wonderful experience for the tourists.
11. Randevji Temple Runicha, Jaisalmer
Shri Randevji is believed to have been incarnated on earth for the welfare of humanity and was born in the houses of Ajmalji in the Tomar Rajput family. He had some innate divine powers. Since childhood, he performed many miracles and won the hearts of the people. He is also believed to have killed a demon called Bhairav. Ramdevji chose Ramadevra as the place where he attained a Samadhj and went into a divine state of meditation. Nevertheless many people claim to have seen him on horse-back. The present cenotaph was constructed by Maharaja Shri Ganga Singhji of Bikaner at Shri Ramdevra Runecha.
Fairs are held here twice a year when people flock to the temple and chant the glory of Ramsa Pir, so that their prayers may be answered. Many cultural events are also organized during this fair. Mainly two principal fairs are held in honor of the great sage. The first fair is held in the month of January and February and the second fair is held in the month of August and September. Thousands of devotes visit Ramdev Shri Ramdev Temple. People have great belief and faith in the temple. Entry to the tomb has been allowed to all irrespective of caste and religion. Devotees offer sweets, coconuts, makhanas, misri and cloth made horse-image on the tomb. Inside Shri Ramdev Temple complex in Ramdev there is a water tank also. A dip in that is considered to have a curative effect on skin diseases. Some followers come from great distances on foot, while some creep on their belly to reach the temple. Bus service and various private vehicles from major cities of Rajasthan will take you to Shri Ramdev Temple in Ramdev.
12. Parshvanath Temple Nakoda , Barmer
ParshvanathTemple at Nakoda has a history that dates back to 1224 A.D during the Vikram Era. The idol of Parshvanath was kept under covers for protection. Earlier this temple was of Mahavira. This temple holds an important place amongst the various other Religious Places in Rajasthan. This temple is an important stopover for the travelers who are on their pilgrim tour of Rajasthan. The ambience in and around this temple is very calm and offers a bliss which is simply captivating. It is surrounded from all the sides by the valleys. The hills have an elevation of 1,500 feet. The image of the Jain saint (tirthankara) Parshvanath is in the black stone apart from the other statues the different parts of India and also the world as well to come and pay visit to this lovely piece of architectural wonder. There are also the other temples that are located in the vicinity of Parshvanath Temple at Nakoda such as the Charbhuja temple and the Shiva temple that are around 500-600 years old.
13. Birla Temple Jaipur
Built by Birlas, this temple is one of the major Jaipur Touristattractions. Though the construction of the temple started in 1985, it is not yet completed yet. The construction is still being carried with significant additions made from time to time. These additions make the temple look even more beautiful and continue to draw tourists, even the ones who have visited the temple previously. Compared to other temples of Jaipur, this temple is quiet young but that does not take away its appeal to the tourists. Built in a place that is surrounded by verdant trees, the temple made of white marble is a great sight for the visitors. The magnificent white marble used in the construction of the temple is responsible to a great extent for imparting such a beautiful look to the temple. It truly fascinates the visitors.
14. Kaila Devi Temple Karauli
KailaDevi Temple built by the devout king Bhompal when he received instructions from Goddess Kaila as he was true devotee of hers. Hence, he built the temple and since then it has attracted many pilgrims since ages. Devotees come to the shrine from length and breadth of country. The Shakta cult of Hindus hold sway of the temple but it is worshiped by all Hindus and all others alike. Kaiala Devi has strong hold on the pilgrims and she is believed to be an incarnation of Goddess Durga. Besides, being an important pilgrimage center for Hindus, the shrine is also significant for its architecture. You can worship two idols in the sanctum sanctorum.
As the neck of Kaila Devi is bent, the idol is bit reclined. The temple is the best example of medieval architecture. The shikhar of the temple is very high, towering like a pyramid. The engravings, carvings and ornamental works on the walls and pillars is very intricate yet interesting. It is a marble structure with a large courtyard of a checkered floor. In one place are a number of red flags planted by devotees.