Himachal Pradesh is one place where pilgrimage and nature both blend in perfect harmony. With some world known temples and monasteries, pilgrimage is a natural tourist attraction here. The legends and mysteries of the pilgrimages here just go deeper than one can expect. The temples here turn into centers of huge gatherings and attraction during festivals and fairs.
Pilgrimages in Himachal Pradesh
It would not be wrong to say that Himachal Pradesh is the meeting point of many religions. The monasteries of Lahaul and Spiti are the epicenter of Buddhism, are world known. There are lots of people come to Himachal Pardesh to visit Lahaul and Sapiti for their religious inclination towards Buddha.
Himachal Pradesh is home to some of the most interesting and famous temples of India where faith draws people to the miracles of god. The temple of Jwalamukhi, where a flame has been burning since centuries, through a fissure in an age old rock, built over some natural jets of combustible gas. Himachal itself, though studded with temples, has a very special reverence for Hatkoti, the abode of Goddess Mahishasurmardini an incarnation of Durga. At Hatkoti, two other small mountain streams Bishkulti and Raanvti join the Pabbar. local belief says that the stream oozes out poison. With the convergence of the three water streams, according to the Hindu mythology makes Hatkoti a place fit to be a pilgrimage.
There are two another pilgrimages in Himachal Pradesh by the name of Panj teerthi and Mahakaleshwar of very good regional importance in Hinduism by the banks of river Beas which are closely associated with the exile of pandavas.
Kangra district has some of famous pilgrimages in Himachal Pradesh. One of the most remarkable monuments of the Beas Valley is the temple of Baijnath. The Temple is a good example of Nagri style of architecture. It consists of a puri or adytum, 8-feet-square inside and 18-feet outside, surmounted by a spire of the usual conical shape, and of a front hall, 20-feet-square inside, covered with a low pyramid shaped roof.
A major Sikh pilgrimage in Himachal Pradesh is Paonta Sahib. The shrine was made here after Guru Gobind Singh, 10th guru of Sikhs came here and stayed for 4 years at the age of 16 on the request of Raja Maidani Prakash.
Hot springs of Manikaran are situated under the snowy peaks of Parvati valley. The water of these springs is noted for its healing properties. The visiting deities are given a ceremonial bath. Manikaran, a place of pilgrimage for Hindus and Sikhs, has a temple and a gurudwara at a single place.