Vaishno Devi Temple Entrance
Pilgrimage In J&K - One Land For All
Jammu and Kashmir is a state that is considered a holy place by people of all religion. The state brims with sacred sites, visited by pilgrims from all over the world. Most of these holy sites are situated amidst the picturesque surroundings of mighty Himalayas. And this attribute has now started attracting many tourists as well to these sites. That way, not only do they get to explore the stunning landscapes of Jammu and Kashmir, they also have the opportunity to worship the Lords and get their blessings. The state has many temples and mosques that in themselves are wonder creations. When it comes to religious tolerance, the state stands as an epitome. A pilgrim, who comes to J&K, should not leave without visiting the Hari Parbat Pilgrim center where a mosque, a temple and a Gurudwara stand side by side. The sight itself gives you the undiluted feeling of brotherhood.
Famous Pilgrim Destinations
The Cave of Amarnath is situated around 145 km away from Srinagar and is dedicated to Lord Shiva. Every year, the government of Jammu and Kashmir organizes a yatra to Amarnath in the month of July and August. It is during this time when the white Shivalingam build of ice starts to take form. On the full moon day, it attains complete form and it is this day that is believed to be the day when Lord Shiva told the secret of creation of life and immortality to Goddess Parvati that was overheard by two doves. Reaching here is not an easy task and only people with good health condition can complete the challenging trek without any trouble.
Situated 62 km away from Jammu, Vaishno Devi shrine is located at an altitude of 1615 m above sea level. It is one of the most important pilgrim place for Hindus around the world. The shrine is located inside a cave on Trikuta Hills. To reach here, one has to start climbing from Katra, which is around 14 km from here. Many pilgrims cover this distance bare foot to please the Goddess and get her blessings. Inside the cave there are three rocks cut statues that represent the three Goddesses. Goddess Kali in right, Goddess Lakshmi in center and Goddess Saraswati in the left. Every Hindu believes that his life is blessed id he visits the cave and gets a look of the three idols.
The shrine is located on the banks of Dal Lake in Srinagar and is one of the most important pilgrim places for Muslims in the state. This is the place where Prophet Mohammad's hair is kept inside a glass casket. The hair is kept for public display only on auspicious days. The Shrine was built sometime in the 17th century by Muslim Auqaf Trust. The main reason for its construction was to preserve the hair of Prophet Mohammad. The shrine is also known by many other names like Madinat-us-Sani, Assar-e-Sharif, and Dargah Sharif. The mosque is also famous for the many fairs that are held in the premises which attracts a lot of pilgrims as well as tourists here.
Monasteries In Ladakh
In Ladakh, Leh has maximum number of monasteries and the most important as well. The monasteries here are part of different sects of Tibetan Buddhism mainly Red Hat Sect (Kagyupa) like the famous Hemis Monastery and Chemrey Monastery and Yellow Hat Sect (Gelugpa) like Thikse Monastery and Spituk Monastery. There are few monasteries belonging to Nyingmapa and Sakyapa. The main monastery in Ladakh is Hemis Monastery, which is also the biggest in the region. Apart from the famous Hemis Festival, the monastery is also renowned for the biggest Thangka painting in the world, which stands two floors high in length.
Jammu and Kashmir is rich in all virtues that make it a land not to be missed. The many holy shrines that adorn this crown of India are worth a visit to fulfill your wishes and to purify your mind and soul. Many come here as tourist and adventurers, but leave as pilgrims who saw it all. Come to Jammu and Kashmir and discover the most valuable treasure, the treasure of pure life.