The virtual pilgrimage destination
Tirthaguru - A guide to Spiritual Destinations in India

Tirtha means a spiritual destination. Guru means a guide. Tirthaguru will take you on a tour of top pilgrimages (Tirthas) of the Indian sub-continent. Tirthaguru is a tourist guide for the visiting pilgrims.

Also view Part II, Part III & Part IV

All major Indian scriptures — Rig Veda, Ramayana, Mahabharata, Puranas and Upanishadas are filled with the accounts of pilgrimages undertaken by the great sages and kings. These may be quoted as oldest examples of Pilgrimage Tourism in the world. Indian culture has emphasized the significance of pilgrimage for spiritual progress. The number of tirthas (Spiritual destinations) in India is so large that the whole of the country can be regarded as a vast sacred space organised into a system of pilgrimage centres.

The purposes and motives for pilgrimage are many. These may broadly be classified into two categories. First there are specific motives concerned with mundane existence. They involve a commitment or vow to the deity (Sukhna) whose blessing is sought for the solution of a problem. ‘Mundana’ and ‘Shradha’ also fall under this category.

The second category of motives consists of earning religious merit. It may include holy bath on a specific occasion (Snana), the ‘darshan’ (sight of the diety), or visiting holy men for spiritual guidance (Sadhu-sang). In the first category of motives, the Deity is the focus of pilgrimage, in second; the event of pilgrimage is more significant.

Shivling found in well at Gyanvapi mosque in Varanasi, exclusive pictures.
Nandi at Kashi

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