Golden Temple- More than guys with turbans and a temple covered with shiny gold

the golden temple amritsar India

My friend Manuela shares her experience of her visit to the Golden Temple Amritsar (also known as Swarn Mandir) in the Punjab.

Golden Temple: More than guys with turbans and a temple covered with shiny gold By Manuela Osorio Pineda

I’ve always considered myself as an ‘off-the-beat-traveler’ who craves visiting the remote little spots of a country to find its essence in the unknown and not so popular places; one that always preferred to stay in hostels or with locals through CouchSurfing instead of booking hotel rooms, and definitely the type who ‘hates’ scheduled tours and ‘you-have-20-minutes-to-go-get-a-profile-picture-and-come-back-to-the-bus’ orders … Although I have to say I’ve been there and done that. After all, you’ve gotta try things to know you don’t like them, right? 😉

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Mahabodhi Temple of Bodh Gaya

The Bodhi Tree

I took these photos of the Maha Bodh Temple in the town Gaya town in Bihar. Bodh Gaya is an extremely historical place in Bihar. This is where Lord Buddha got his enlightenment. It is here that he sat under the banyan tree now called the “Bodhi Tree” for 40 days and used to think about life. The photograph below shows the exact spot where he used to medicate. Although the tree may not be exact tree but it certainly seems to have been derived from it.

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Char Dham Yatra – A Sacred Journey to Wash Away the Sins

Badrinath Temple

Warning: Heavy floods in Uttarakhand on the 13 till 17 June have caused flooding in these areas. Thousands have died and many are still trapped. Please cancel your trip if you have been planning to make the Char Dham pilgrimage. 

Dhams are religious places revered by Hindus of India. The word “char” denotes four seats or abodes of shrines of great spiritual significance. The concept of visiting these religious places is to remove all sins from one’s life. The central dogma of the Hindu religion is to attain “moksha” or “nirvana” which is to become free from the recycle of birth. Hindus believe that the ultimate religious goal of an individual is to attain moksha and become closer or part the ultimate being (God). One such way to attain moksha other than doing good deeds is to visit the “Char Dhams” or “four abodes” and become one with God. The pilgrimage to these four important sites not only washes away all the sins but frees one from the recycle of birth.

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Journey along the Ganges

Four cities on the banks of the holy river you should visit

Even if you have never before ventured to go on a trip to the magnificent country of India, the chances of you never having heard about the river Ganges are pretty slim. It is one of the world’s longest rivers and, according to Hindu mythology, is the daughter of the mountain God – the Himalaya. The river is of great cultural and religious significance for the whole Indian peoples. Not only do they believe that bathing in the river’s waters purifies one’s soul and heals the body, but the religious importance of the Ganges is so big that its banks are also used as cremation grounds. Those cremated there and their ashes immersed in the holy waters are believed to be granted instant salvation. All of this makes the Ganges a must for all tourists who wish to encounter all of India’s diverse beauty in terms of both culture and nature. However, this leads to an important question: Which city to visit in order to admire the holy river? Even though there are more than a dozen cities along the banks of the Ganges, following is a suggestion list of four cities that if you feel adventurous, you can even try and visit all.

Indian woman floating lamps in the Ganges
Indian woman floating lamps in the Ganges

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