The pious religion of Sikhism is only 500 years old, making it a fairly new religion. The religion took birth in the diverse land of India and spread all over the country. Its sacred ideologies and philosophies crossed boundaries, and now you might just find a gurdwara in every state of India.
The journey of Sikhism through the different states of India has led to many important events, making some of the cities quite an important pilgrimage spot in India for Sikhs. All these cities were significant in the life of the Sikh gurus. These places also have beautiful gurdwaras and wonderful history.
Here are some of the Sikh pilgrimage cities that you should visit when you plan your next vacation:
If you are looking for some soulful gurudwaras, and some holy Sikh chants, then Amritsar is your place. This beautiful city is resplendent with awe is noting gurudwaras, and rich history of the religion, making it the perfect stop for your Sikh pilgrimage. Guru Arjan Sahib, who was the fifth Sikh Guru designed the city of Amritsar. The Akal Takht is located here, making Amritsar the holy grail of Sikhism.
Amritsar also houses the iconic Golden Temple, which is a sight to marvel. However, there is so much more here than just the Golden Temple. This city is usually crowded with tourists and pilgrims, and you will always be in touch with God here.
Amritsar is the most important pilgrimage centre of Sikhs, so do not give this one a miss on your pilgrimage.
The picturesque state of Himachal Pradesh has quite a few pilgrimage centres for Sikhs:
- Paonta Sahib: A major gurdwara in Himachal, this shrine is quite important for Sikh pilgrims. This architectural marvel is mainly known for a legend that connects Guru Gobind Singh to this place. According to legends, Guru Gobind Singh’s horse halted in this region without being told you. Guru Gobind Singh too felt divinity in this region and decided to stay here for some time. After that, a beautiful Gurdwara was constructed here to mark this mystical incident.
- Manikaran Sahib Gurdwara: Erected by Guru Nanak himself, Manikaran Sahib Gurdwara is located by an ethereal river that gushes with all its might. There is also a wonderful hot spring that flows below it. Legends say that the steam from the spring is so hot that one can cook langar right above it! This is quite a popular place, and you will find it crowded with pilgrims all year round. The picturesque location and the Himalayas in the background also add allure and beauty.
- Rewalsar Lake: Anecdotes say that Guru Gobind Singh also stopped at this serene lake, making it an important pilgrimage spot for the Sikhs. The lake is also quite beautiful and worth visiting.
The state of Chandigarh is home to many Sikh pilgrimage destinations, making it quite a hustling pit stop for pilgrims. You will usually find tourists and pilgrims getting taking a night off at Chandigarh, before commencing on the many pilgrimage routes that this place has to offer
Making Chandigarh your base point, you can travel to Kiratpur Sahib (76 km), Anandpur Sahib (60 km), Fatehgarh Sahib (50 kms), Chamkur Sahib (56 kms) and Nishan Sahib (75 kms)
All of these places are extremely important Sikh pilgrimage sites, and you should visit some of them on your sacred journey.
Located close to Chandigarh, Anandpur Sahib houses many stunning Gurdwaras, that will steal your breath, and make you bow your head down in respect. Anandpur Sahib is also one of the Five Takhts making it quite revered.
The name loosely translates to Anandpur Sahib – The City of Bliss, and in you will feel that bliss from the moment you step foot into this divine centre.
This historic centre should be a stop on your bucket list. This was the shrine where the great saint Guru Gobind Singh Ji spent around 25 years of his life. In this place he shared his immense knowledge with his followers.
The moment you walk inside Gurudwara Sri Anandpur Sahib, you might still be able to visualise the great saint talking to his disciples under one of the large doorways.
This temple is truly the epitome of bliss and tranquillity. Just stand and stare, as the regal white monuments stand proudly under the blue sky.
Gurudwara Sri Anandpur Sahib is located amid the surreal Sutlej river and the Shivalik hills, making it all the more divine. With such a location, there is no doubt that the calmness will seep into your bones and make you feel at light as a breeze.
The lovely city of Bhatinda houses the all-important The Takht Sri Darbar Sahib Damdama Sahib, which is also part of the Five Takhts of Sikhism. Bathinda is also the city where Guru Gobind Singh sat in reverence and wrote the entire version of the holy book of Sikhs called Guru Granth Sahib.
No Sikh pilgrimage journey is complete without visiting this city, making this quite a revered place. The culture and atmosphere of Bathinda are also fun-filled and culturally rich, making your experience memorable.
An iconic Sikh pilgrimage centre, Nanded houses the famous Sach Khand Huzur Sahib Gurdwara. This gurdwara is the place where Guru Govind Singh’s ashes were kept. When you reach Nanded, you will encounter a sudden burst of positivity and divinity. It is a clear indication that you are in the land of the Gods.
Sach Khand Huzur Sahib Gurdwara, at Nanded, also has some holy relics of Guru Gobind Singh, and you can view them on your trip.
This is also part of one of the Five Takhts of Sikhism, making it an important pilgrimage stop.
To finish off your Sikh pilgrimage, you must visit the most sacred of the five takths. Located in the historic city of Patna, the Patna Sahib is truly a treat to the sore eyes. The beautiful gurudwara is located right in the heart of Patna.
While many do not associate Patna with Sikhism, this city is one of the holiest city according to religion. It is also an important stop on your pilgrimage trip, and not visiting Patna is almost blasphemous.
Patna is the place where the tenth Sikh guru Guru Gobind Singh took birth. He also spent most of his childhood here, making this city synonymous with his name. You feel the presence of Guru Gobind’s Singh in the narrow lanes of Patna.
When you visit Patna, make sure you also head over to the Handi Sahib, which is located only about 20 km. This gurdwara is also quite lovely and filled with interesting anecdotes and stories.
All of these places are highly pious and revered among the Sikhs, however, they are also worth visiting for people who are from a different religion. These cities radiate with a holy charm that blesses everyone who comes here as a pilgrim. It is also quite something to witness the grandeur of gurdwaras and to know the history of the religion. So, don’t wait any longer and embark on a religious Sikh pilgrimage to calm your mind and seek the holy blessings.