India Sikh Pilgrim Centres

Chandigarh

Historians and specialists in Eastern religions generally believe that Sikhism is a syncretistic religion, originally related to the Bhakti movement within Hinduism and the Sufi branch of Islam, to which many independent beliefs and practices were added. Keeping that argument open we move on to our Sikh pilgrimage destination – Anandpur Sahib. From Chandigarh, barely 75 km up the highway towards Dharamsala and Manali, lies Anandpur Sahib, the impressive gurudwara that is one of the holiest Sikh shrines.

The holy City of Bliss is located on the lower spurs of the Himalaya surrounded by picturesque natural scenery, with the river Satluj forming a shimmering and shiny blue border on the south west barely four miles away. This shrine consecrates the memory of an earlier visit of Guru Gobind Singh to the place in course of his return from Kurukshetra. This Shrine ranks second (after the Golden Temple) in every Sikhs pilgrimage itinerary.

Getting There: The nearest airport is Chandigarh (75 km away), while the nearest railhead is Nangal. If you plan on taking the road you couls always start hitchhiking Chandigarh (75 km away).

Amritsar

Amritsar is one of the most ancient and legendary sites in the Punjab. This pious city plays host to millions. The origin of the place where the Sri Hari Mandir stands is shrouded in mystery. Here lies the famed Tmple which ranks high in Sikh pilgrims.

The Golden Temple
Every Sikhs goal is to build a close, loving relationship with God. And in the process the Golden Temple is the prime pilgrimage spot. The glorious temple has seen it all, from controversies to varied pilgrims. Also referred to as Harimandir the temple is a symbol of freedom and spiritual independence. Millions come to the Temple from all over the world to enjoy its environs and offer their prayers.

This place of peace and calm is brilliantly orchestrated around a small lake. The 16th century temple was re-built in the 1760s after the Afghan attack. All the gold and exquisite marble work were conducted under the patronage of Ranjit Singh, Maharaja of the Sikh Kingdom of the Punjab. There are four doors to enter the Harimandir and anyone who wants to enter may do so, irrespective of religion, colour, creed or sex. The Akal Takht (Eternal Throne) is part of the Golden Temple complex and is situated on the other end of the causeway connected to the Harmandir Sahib. Akal Takht symbolizes the dispensing of justice and temporal activity. From the Harimandir to the Akal Takht, the varied architectural influences are spun out into a splendourous unison.

If you happen to be in Amritsar in the month of April you could witness the Baisakhi celebration with fervour in Harimandir Sahib.

Getting There: Amritsar is 234 km from Chandigarh and 445 km from Delhi. The station is situated in the northern part of the city and is connected to Delhi, Kolkata and Mumbai.

Uttar Pradesh

Shri Guru Nanak Dev Ji, (1469-1538) born in the Punjab area of what is now Pakistan was the founder of the religion. He preached the brotherhood of humanity. He has been revered and remembered by the millions of Sikhs all over the world through various landmarks. And the Hemkund Sahib is every pilgrims fancy.

Set at an altitude of 4329 m above sea level, Hemkund Sahib is one pilgrim destination on every Sikhs list. The Gurudwara is no the banks of the glacial Hemkund Lake surrounded by seven peaks. Its an awsome sight. The uphill trek starts from Gobindghat, which is about 275 km from Rishikesh. You really have to be good shape to do this trek. The 10,000 ft hike uphill from Gobindghat is through cliffs, pine forests.

Getting There: The nearest airport is Jolly Grant (307 kms) and railhead is Rishikesh (293 km). By road Hemkund Saheb is 5 Km from Ghangharia, which is approachable on foot from Govindghat which is connected by road with Rishikesh, Kotdwara,Dehradun, Haridwar, Nainital, Ranikhet and other important hill stations of Garhwal and Kumaon Hills.

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