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 II Pilgrimage Tours of India II

In India we find the oldest continually operating pilgrimage tradition in the entire world.The practise of pilgrimage is so deeply embedded in its culture and the number of pilgrimage sites is so large that the entire sub-contienent may be regarded as one grand sacred space. The most sacred sities in India are known as tirathas (fords) between this world of ordinary experience and the divine realm of brahman(the godhead). They are often places of natural beauty, manifesting the power of the gods, and are usually found far from human dwellings-- in the depths of forests, at the tops of mountains or in the most inaccessible caves.

The sites themselves, whether they be temples, rivers, or natural lingas are believed to possess sacred power (shakti) which may be absorbed by the visiting devotee. Many pilgrims set out ona tour of specific sities. Like, Buddhists travel round the ganges basin, where the historical Buddha lived, visiting the places associated with his life and death. Followers of Krishna, may make the round of areas associated with this God, like mathura region. Similarliy Shiva worshippers, travel to Himalayan settings of shaivite myth, or tour the sacred jyotirlinga sities etc.

Looking deeper into this matter, let us take a pilgrimage tour of India --

Seven Sacred Cities of India The Ganges Tour
The Southern Shiva Tour Char-Dham Tour
Jain Tirthas Buddhist Tirthas



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