Hinduism is the predominant religion of India. Hindus hold their religion very close to their heart. The word of their scripture is the word of the Lord to Hindus. Worshipping idols of the Ultimate Reality and having faith in innumerable forms of the Supreme Power is an integral part of every Hindu’s life. Although there are atheists to be found in India yet the majority truly believe and abide by their holy scriptures. Many Hindu families have their own family patron deity known as the Kuldevta.
Hindus believe in the existence of 330 million gods. There are temples all over the country dedicated to the God the region believes in. Temple is the place of worship for followers of Hinduism. Every temple has a statue or ‘murti’ of the Hindu god to whom the temple is dedicated. Many temples are built on account of religious significance or a legend associated with a place. The idols remain decorated with ornaments and precious jewels. Offerings of fruits, flowers and sweets are made to the Gods by every disciple in the temple.
The diversity in India in terms of language, culture, history and religion accounts for the variety in terms of temples too. Hindu temples all over the country differ in terms of architecture, rules, beliefs and customs. The temples of North India are different from that of South India. The rituals performed in latter are much more complex and elaborate as compared to the former. Lord Sri Venkateshwara Temple, Thiruvannaamalai temple in Tamil Nadu, Guruvayur temple in Kerala, Thiruvanaikaval temple of Tiruchi are some of the most famous among South Indian temples while the Kedarnath Temple in Uttarakhand, Vaishno Devi, Akshar Dham are amongst the popular North Indian temples.
These are pilgrim sites. Hindus visit these famous temples at least once in their lifetime. The live darshan of Indian temples, becomes the innate desire of every Hindu once they reach their old age for in the embrace of God, they find mental, physical and spiritual peace. It soothes and comforts their restless soul. Three temples of fame and huge pilgrimage are Shirdi- home to Sai Baba of Shirdi, Tirupati- home to the Tirumala Venkateswara Temple; and Sabarimala, where Swami Ayyappan is worshipped. It is believed that those who visit such pilgrim sites attain salvation.
Whether a person is Hindu, Muslim, Sikh or a Christian, every individual instils great faith in the almighty. At the end of the day spiritual quotient is what holds utmost importance and it can be felt best in no other place but in the religious abodes of the Gods.