Holy Places



The Indian cities of Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, Tirupati (city), Andhra Pradesh and Sabarimala, Kerala are said to be the most major Pilgrim cities in Hinduism. Of these Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh is considered the Holiest ancient site and it is considered by many to be the most sacred place of pilgrimage for Hindus irrespective of denomination.

Shaivites in Southern India (especially Tamil Nadu) consider Chidambaram as the heart of the world and temple of temples. Although all temples are referred to as kovil, the holy city of Chidambaram is the true kovil. All recitations of the Thirumurai (12 holy scriptures of Shaivism) begin and auspicious holy of holies: chidambaram). Vaishnavites on the other hand consider Sri Rangam as the holiest city and refer to it as the earthly Vaikunta.

The "garbha griha" (literally womb-house or womb-chamber), the shrine inside a temple complex where the main deity is installed in an area that is in a separate building by itself inside the complex, is the most sacred site within the temple complex.

The garbha griha usually contains the murti (idol or icon), the primary focus of prayer. In temples with a spire or vimana, this chamber is placed directly underneath it, and the two them form a main vertical axis of the temple. These together may be understood to represent the axis of the world through Mount Meru. The garbha griha is usually also on the main horizontal axis of the temple which generally is an east-west axis. In those temples where there is also a cross-axis, the garbha griha is generally at their intersection. Tirumala Venkateswara Temple is a Hindu temple in the hill town of Tirumala, near Tirupati in the Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh. It is around 600 km (370 mi)[2] from Hyderabad, 138 km (86 mi) [3] from Chennai and 291 km (181 mi) [4] from Bangalore.

The Tirumala Hill is 853m above sea level and is about 10.33 square miles (27 km2) in area. It comprises seven peaks, representing the seven heads of Adisesha, thus earning the name Seshachalam. The seven peaks are called Seshadri, Neeladri, Garudadri, Anjanadri, Vrushabhadri, Narayanadri, and Venkatadri. The temple is on Venkatadri (also known as Venkatachala or Venkata Hill), the seventh peak, and is also known as the "Temple of Seven Hills". The presiding deity of the temple is Lord Venkateswara, a form of the Hindu god Vishnu. Venkateswara is known by other names: Balaji, Govinda, and Srinivasa.[5] The temple lies on the southern banks of Sri Swami Pushkarini, a holy water tank. The temple complex comprises a traditional temple building, with a number of modern queue and pilgrim lodging sites. For all Hindu of the world, Pashupatinath temple located at Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal is also known as the most holy land. In Nepal, like Muktinatah, Baraha Cheetra, Ridi Chhetra are also known as holy land for Hindus.