A pilgrimage is a journey or search of great moral or spiritual significance. Typically, it is a journey to a shrine or other location of importance to a person’s beliefs and faith. Many religions attach spiritual importance to particular places: the place of birth or death of founders or saints, or to the place of their “calling” or spiritual awakening, or of their connection (visual or verbal) with the divine, or to locations where miracles were performed or witnessed, or locations where a deity is said to live or be “housed,” or any site that is seen to have special spiritual powers. Such sites may be commemorated with shrines or temples that devotees are encouraged to visit for their own spiritual benefit: to be healed or have questions answered or to achieve some other spiritual benefit. A person who makes such a journey is called a pilgrim. In America, the term pilgrim is typically associated with an early colonial Protestant sect known for their strict rules of discipline.
Most Hindu places of pilgrimage are associated with legendary events from the lives of various gods. Almost any place can become a focus for pilgrimage, but in most cases they are sacred cities, rivers, lakes, and mountains.Hindus are encouraged to undertake pilgrimages during their lifetime, though this practice is not considered absolutely mandatory. Most Hindus visit sites within their region or locale.
Kumbh Mela: Kumbh Mela is the largest pilgrimage recorded in history. Kumbh Mela is also credited with the largest gathering of humans in the entire world. The location is rotated amongAllahabad, Haridwar, Nashik, and Ujjain.
Char Dham (Famous Four Pilgrimage sites): The four holy sites Puri, Rameswaram, Dwarka, and Badrinath (or alternatively the Himalayan towns of Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri, and Yamunotri) compose the Char Dham(four abodes) pilgrimage circuit.
Major Temple cities: Puri, which hosts a major Vaishnava Jagannath temple and Rath Yatra celebration; Katra, home to the Vaishno Devi temple; Three comparatively recent temples of fame and huge pilgrimage are Shirdi, home to [Sai_Baba_of_Shirdi]], Tirumala – Tirupati, home to the Tirumala Venkateswara Temple; andSabarimala,where Swami Ayyappan is worshipped.
Shakti Peethas: Another important set of pilgrimages are the Shakti Peethas, where the Mother Goddess is worshipped, the two principal ones being Kalighat and Kamakhya.
Following is a comprehensive list of Pilgrimage sites:
The last four sites in the list together comprise the Chardham, or four holy pilgrimage destinations. It was traditionally believed that one who undertakes a pilgrimage to all four sites will attain moksha, the release fromsamsara (cycle of rebirths), at the time of death. The holy places of pilgrimage for the Shaktism sect of Hinduism are the Shakti peethas (Temples of Shakti).