The bustling city of Delhi, with its chaotic streets and fast-paced lifestyle, often leaves its residents searching for a tranquil escape, especially during long weekends. As the G20 long weekend approaches, it's the perfect opportunity to embark on a spiritual journey to rejuvenate your mind, body, and soul. Fortunately, Delhi is surrounded by many spiritual destinations offering solace and serenity. Here is a look at 5 spiritual places near Delhi that you should consider visiting during the upcoming G20 long weekend.
Located in the Garhwal region of Uttarakhand, Haridwar is a must-visit destination for any spiritual journey. Its name translates to "the abode of Lord Vishnu," and it is one of India's most significant holy cities. Every year, millions come to Haridwar to pay their respects to the Lord and cleanse themselves of sins by taking a dip in the sacred Har ki Pauri. It is also renowned for hosting the Kumbh Mela every twelve years and the Ardh Kumbh every six years. Legend has it that drops of the elixir, Amrit, fell into the Brahmkund of Har-Ki-Pauri, making a dip in the Brahmakund on these auspicious occasions highly significant. Besides, the city offers more than just temple visits and holy baths. It exudes a mystical aura and provides a unique opportunity to connect with spirituality and nature simultaneously.
Distance from Delhi: Approximately 4 hr 21 min (246.6 km) via NH334
Another must-visit spiritual haven in Uttarakhand is Rishikesh, an ideal destination for nature lovers and spirituality seekers. The city offers a serene atmosphere with its temples and ghats.
Triveni Ghat, a renowned spot, is perfect for a peaceful walk along the riverbanks. For those interested in temples, visiting Neelkanth Mahadev Temple is a must. Here, amidst Dravidian-style architecture, you can have a spiritually enriching experience by offering prayers to Lord Shiva.
Rishikesh is also famous for its iconic suspension bridges, known as jhulas. Ram Jhula and Laxman Jhula, named after Lord Ram and Lord Laxman from the epic Ramayana, provide a picturesque view over the tranquil Ganges. Another heartwarming experience is the Ganga Aarti, where devotees can participate in the rituals by the riverbanks. Moreover, yoga retreats like the Himalayan Retreat offer a unique way to spend quality time in this spiritually rich city.
Distance from Delhi: Approximately 4 hr 54 min (262.7 km) via NH334
In the beautiful city of Amritsar, a typical day starts with spiritual prayers at the historic Golden Temple, also known as Harmandir Sahib Gurudwara.
The Golden Temple is famous for its impressive golden dome. It's built on a 67-ft square of marble and has two stories, with Maharaja Ranjit Singh having adorned the upper half with about 400 kg of gold leaf. On top of the Clock Tower, you'll find the Central Sikh Museum. The "Guru Ka Langar" offers free meals to about 20,000 people daily, which swells to 100,000 on special occasions.
Before entering the Temple, visitors should cover their heads. The holy Granth Sahib is displayed in the Temple during the day and is kept in the Akal Takht, or Eternal Throne, at night. The Akal Takht also houses ancient weapons once used by Sikh warriors. Renowned temples like the Durgiana Temple surround the Golden Temple, adding to the city's spiritual allure.
Distance from Delhi: Approximately 7 hr 33 min (448.9 km) via NH 44
Just an hour's drive from Uttar Pradesh's Agra, on the banks of the Yamuna River, lies the birthplace of Lord Krishna. This area is adorned with magnificent temples dedicated to various aspects of his life. The twin cities of Mathura and Vrindavan, where Krishna was born and raised, still reverberate with his childhood memories. These cities truly embody the legend of Lord Krishna, with folklore, cultural traditions, and daily life steeped in a divine presence.
Amongst the temples, gardens, music, art, and dances, the legend of Lord Krishna comes alive each day in all its vibrancy. Events like the Charkula dance, Raasleela, and soulful folk music create an atmosphere of devotion and love.
The Mathura Museum holds precious artefacts for history enthusiasts that offer a glimpse into a glorious past, leaving you eager for further exploration. Some of the renowned places in the region include Kusum Sarovar, Govind Dev Temple, Rangaji Temple, Dwarikadhish Temple, Bankey Bihari Temple, and the ISKCON Temple.
Distance from Delhi: Approximately 3 hr 18 min (181.7 km) via Yamuna Expy
Pushkar, one of India's oldest cities, is located in the northwest of Ajmer, in Rajasthan. This city is a popular destination for both tourists and devotees alike. Sitting at an elevation of 510 meters, Pushkar is nestled amid hills on three sides, with the "Nag Pahar," or Snake Mountain, serving as a natural border between Ajmer and Pushkar. It's renowned as the "rose garden of Rajasthan," with the famous Pushkar rose being exported worldwide. Beyond its mythological history, Pushkar hosts a timeless architectural heritage that adds to its allure. Legend has it that Lord Brahma, the creator of the Universe, dropped a lotus to the ground, immediately forming a lake. He named the place after this flower, giving rise to Pushkar.
Interestingly, Pushkar is home to the world's only temple dedicated to Lord Brahma. For Hindus, embarking on a journey to Pushkar is considered the ultimate pilgrimage for achieving salvation. And, of course, the Pushkar Mela, a vibrant fair, is one of its top attractions.
Distance from Delhi: Approximately 7 hr 52 min (466.1 km) via NE 4