Pilgrimage in Kashmir
Pilgrimages of Kashmir are as famous as its picturesque natural beauty. The valley abounds in pilgrim sites, both within as well as nearby. There are a number of Hindu, Muslim and Buddhist holy places in Kashmir, dotting the landscape. These temples, mosques and Buddhist gomphas attract numerous tourists to the valley. Along with being spiritual and meditation centers, the pilgrim destinations of Kashmir are also a treat to the eyes. A look at the shrines, located amongst beautiful and scenic surroundings, is enough to leave you spellbound & speechless.
Kashmir pilgrimage tour includes visits to a number of ancient temples, shrines and monasteries. The best point about the pilgrimages of Kashmir is that they reflect the peaceful co-existence of various religions in the state. A number of famous Hindu temples exist along with equally renowned Muslim shrines. And the best part is that these shrines are visited by people of every religion. The living proof of this harmony is the Hari Parbat pilgrim center. Here, a temple (Hindu), a mosque (Muslim) and a gurudwara (Sikh) are standing side by side. Some of the famous holy places in Kashmir are: Amarnath, Charar-e-sharif, Hazratbal Mosque, Jama Masjid, Kheer Bhavani, Khanqah-e-Moula, Martand Sun Temple, Shankaracharya Temple, Shiv Khori, Vaishno Devi, Awantipura, Chatti Padshahi, Makhdoom Sahib, Sharika Devi Temple etc.
Amarnath Yatra in India is dedicated to Lord Shiva, one of the Trinity gods. The Amarnath shrine is located approximately 145 km from Srinagar, 4,175 m above sea level. The path leading to the holy cave of Amarnathji is inaccessible in the winters. <more..>
Mata Vaishno Devi shrine is located near the Katra district at a height of 5200 ft. The Devi resides inside a cave on Trikuta, a three-peaked mountain. After reaching Katra, one has to undertake a trek of approximately 12 km to reach the cave of Mata Vaishno Devi. <more..>
Martand Sun Temple
The Martand Sun temple is situated on top of a plateau, near the town of Anantnag. It is a medieval temple dedicated to Bhaskar, the Sun God. King Lalitaditya, a Kshatriya of Surya (Solar) dynasty, got the Martand Sun temple constructed to commemorate Surya.
The Shankaracharya temple is situated in the Srinagar district on the hill known as Takht-e-Suleiman. It is housed at a height of 1100 ft. above surface level of the main city on the hill.
Charar-i-sharif counts amongst the most sacrosanct Muslim shrines in India. It is situated approximately 40 km from Srinagar, enroute to Yusmarg near POK (Pakistan Occupied Kashmir). A wooden shrine, the Charar-i-sharif is approximately 600 years old.
The Hazratbal mosque is situated in Srinagar district, on the western banks of the picturesque Dal Lake. Facing the beautiful Nishat Bagh, the mosque offers a spectacular view of the lake and the mountain afar.
Jama Masjid Srinagar
The Jama Masjid of Srinagar is situated at Nowhatta, in the middle of the old city. An important mosque in Srinagar, it was built by Sultan Sikandar in 1400 AD. Later, the son of Sultan Sikandar, Zain-ul-Abidin got the mosque extended.
Khanqah-e-Moula is situated in Srinagar, on the banks of the river Jhelum. One of the oldest Muslim shrines in Kashmir, the khanqah was built by Sultan Sikander built in 1395
Buddhist Pilgrimage in Ladakh
Buddhism, especially the Trans-Himalayan Buddhism from Tibet is the very essence of living in Ladakh . Partly because of the royal patronage, the central part of Ladakh has the greatest concentration of major Gompas or monasteries. Monasteries of Phiyang, Hemis and Chemrey belong to the Namgyal dynasty period and are a major attraction during their monastic festivals. The reformist group monasteries are also well represented in central Ladakh by Thikse, Likkir, Rhidzong and Spituk. Buddhist study centers have been set up at both Leh and Choglamsar. Summer meditation sessions are held at the Mahabodhi Meditation Center on Changspa Lane.
It is mainly along the course of this valley system that the region's 10,000 strong, mainly Buddhists population lives. Spread over an estimated geographical area of 5000 sq. kms, High rise, mountains and deep gorges surround Zanskar. The area remains inaccessible for nearly 8 months a year due to heavy snowfall resulting in closure of all the access passes, including the Penzi-la. To-day, Zanskar has the distinction of being the least interfered with microcosms of Ladakh, and one of the last few surviving cultural satellites of Tibet. Within the mountain ramparts of this lost Shangrila stand a number of ancient yet active monastic establishments. Some of these religious foundations have evolved around remote meditation caves believed to have been used by a succession of famous Buddhist saints for prolonged meditation in pursuit of knowledge and enlightenment.