India is known to be the birthplace of several religions that are now widespread over the globe. It is also seen as a really religious country with different kinds of places of worship. These places are exceedingly beautiful and spiritual. Many devotees travelling from far and wide come to India to surrender themselves in the abode of their God. This journey is so divine and beautiful that it warms the heart.
India has a lot of pilgrimage places and each of them witnesses a miraculous number of pilgrims chanting the name of their God. The places are enhanced by the presence of these pilgrims.
Some popular pilgrimage places in India are – Varanasi, Jagannath Puri, Sabarimala, Pushkar, Ayodhya and many more.
However, while visiting these magical places one has to keep in mind certain rules and even tips that make sure that their journey is nothing except mystical and spiritual.
Be Medically Fit
Certain pilgrimage places in India are located in precarious places and require a lot of physical fitness to access them. Many of these places like Vaishno Devi is located atop a hill, and one has to climb a lot to reach and seek blessings. This journey can be tiring for many, and some might even fall sick. To ensure such a thing doesn’t occur, it is advisable to get and check up done and be absolutely fit. Many places of worship which are located at high altitudes have helicopter services. One can choose to take the helicopter instead of climbing all the way if they want. But, these services are a little expensive.
Religious places in India have a strict dress code which tourists and others should adhere to. It is important to respect the religious sentiments and follow the dress codes. In most places of worships, you cannot wear sleeveless tops or halter necks. Covering arms and legs are also mandatory. In some places like the Golden Temple in Amritsar, also requires you to cover your head.
Pilgrimage places attract a lot of crowds especially during festivals and other peak seasons. The crowds are so large that it is easy to misplace things. One has to be extremely vigilant and take care of their belongings properly. Even if you are giving your luggage to the hand porter or are in a horse cart, it is best to keep an eye on your luggage. Make sure whatever is important to you like wallet, mobile is with you and not with the hand porter or any other stranger. Keep your essential things close to yourself and keep a check on them.
Pilgrimage places require some amount of strenuous walking. Some are located atop hills where the only way to reach is by trekking. Keeping all these things in mind, one must choose footwear that aids in this journey. Women or girls should avoid wearing heels. Proper footwear also makes one less exhausted.
Carry The Necessities
Most people make the mistake of carrying every little thing on the hunch off that it might come in use. But that is not true. Try and lessen your burden as much as you can, and carry a light weighted luggage. Only pack the essentials at the start of your tours like sunscreen, wallet, water bottle, sunglasses and identity cards. Carrying a lot of heavy luggage will just tire you faster and make this journey uncomfortable.
Make Friends With The Guide
Your guide is the one who knows the in and outs of the place. If you behave decently with the guide then he or she is bound to show you some more and what was asked for. He or she will be more conversant and will tell you fascinating stories about the place of worship where you are at. This will add so much more spice to your journey. Every guide will be more conversant with people who are into listening to him or her rather than with people who are not interested at all. But, make sure you are not over friendly with your guide.
Respect Local Cultural And Religious Sentiments
Indians have a very deep faith and devotion towards religion. They hold religion at the highest regard and give it the utmost respect. In such a scenario it is mandatory to respect it and learn about it. Every tourist must respect the traditions that these pilgrimage places have. Like one should cover their head in a gurudwara, and walk bare feet in a temple.
Pilgrimage places have a lot of people who always try to act a little over friendly. Try and be aware of such people. They try to extract money or ask for donations to earn some quick bucks. When visiting a pilgrimage place always try and visit an official website of the place. If they don’t have one then make sure you buy your tickets or hire a guide through the official counter. Don’t trust any layman with your money if he or she promises to get you tickets in return for your money. Try and hire officially recognized guides instead of people standing just like that.
These places of worship have a lot of beautiful history behind them. There are some amazing myths and legends that are associated with these pilgrimage places. To enhance your knowledge and to fully experience the spiritual divinity of the place, try and learn about these legends. Once you know them you will feel as if the walls of the place of worship are talking to you. You will understand so much more as to why this temple is a popular pilgrimage place, or how it came into existence.