Often described as “Dev Bhoomi”-(the abode of the Gods), Himachal Pradesh is dotted with religious entities, housing thousands of temples and monasteries along with many other religious hubs. This is the place where pilgrimage and pure nature beauty both blend in perfect harmony, making this small hilly state the holiest of all.
Surrounded by snow-clad peaks, glaciers, and splendid ranges of the majestic Himalaya, Himachal seem the natural home of the Gods. There are 2000 or more temples in Himachal scattered over various places in the state, which is situated in the northern part of the country.
The popular pilgrim places that attract thousands of devotees each year from different parts of the country and abroad are Chamba, Kangra, Manikaran, Dharamshala, Paonta Sahib, Shimla, Bilaspur, and Kullu.
Chamba: Lakshmi Narayan Temple is regarded as the oldest, largest and most famous temple in the district, attracting a whole lot of devotees and regular visitors. There are six temples in the Temple complex that are dedicated to either Shiva or Vishnu. There is another important pilgrimage spot in Chamba, Manimahesh Kailash Lake where pilgrims assemble in large numbers to take a dip in the holy waters.
Kangra: Kangra Valley is home to several Goddesses and Deities. Chamunda Devi, Jawalamukhi Temple, Chintpurni Temple, Brajeshwari Temple and Masrur Temple are the famous sites visited by thousands of pilgrims and tourists every year.
Manikaran: Manikaran gurdwara Sahib is a pilgrimage destination for Hindus and Sikhs. Located 45 km from Kullu, this holy site is believed to be constructed by Sri Guru Nanak Dev when he paid a visit to Manikaran. This place is also famous for the sulphur hot springs, the water of which is known for its curative powers. The famous Sri Ramachandra temple, the temple of Lord Shiva and the Vishnu Kund at Manikaran are other places of religious importance.
Dharamshala: Just 3kms from Mcloedgunj Town there is a renowned pilgrimage site, Bhagshu Nag, a Shiva temple which is well visited by Indian devotees. A monastery located 8kms uphill from Dharamsala is one of the famous Pilgrimage Places in Himachal for the followers of Buddhism and Dalai Lama.
Paonta Sahib: It is one of the most visited Pilgrimage Places in Himachal Pradesh. A humongous Gurdwara can be found in Paotna Sahib. It is believed that the tenth Sikh Guru, Guru Gobind Singh stayed here for more than four years.
Raghunathji temple in Kullu, Bijli Mahadeva temple in Kullu, Naina Devi temple in Bilaspur and Sankatmochan temple in Shimla are other important Pilgrimage Places in Himachal Pradesh.