Sometimes we are lost and we need to find ourselves. To listen to our souls we have to make rigorous attempts to ignore these noises that we are surrounded with. Some people try various natural healings. Others try therapies . Then there are some people who travel. To find yourself, there are few untouched spiritual places in the world. And a lot of them in North India. India is ofcourse popular amongst foreign tourists and solo travellers. It is admired for the history , Food culture, colourful festivals, Unity in Diversity , etc. Additionally, India has spiritual hidden gem of a places, literally hidden in North India. Travelling not only gives you memories but a chance to explore yourself .
Let me tell you a story on why I found it important to write about this piece. Few months back I was travelling with my friend to Uttarakhand. It is a spiritual place in india best known for Natural healing and Hindu religious associations. You will find a lot of people travelling to Uttarakhand. Especially to visit places like Haridwar, Rishikesh, Kedarnath , etc. It is more of a pilgrim visit for them. But when Indians see Non Hindu Foreign tourists visiting these places. They assume that they are in North India either for Trekking , Fun or Photography. But little do we realise that they are here to attain spiritual peace. To get wisdom. To get away from the chaos. India has lot of people and chaos. But there is something in North India that assures you to get you closer to your souls. I feel. It is the mountains.
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Did I visit any of these spiritual places on my visit to North India?
Well, So my friend insisted me to visit a special place in Uttarakhand , North India. I was reluctant but agreed. This place, lies somewhere in Bhowali range named Kainchi Dham. An ashram where Neem karoli baba stayed. It is believed that he had the vision to foresee the future. And people would often come to him to choose the right career path for themselves. To make right decisions. However, Neem karoli baba of Kainchi dham who is famous in the world. Even after he died, people would come and stay in the ashram which is in fact quite maintained. The ashram lies amidst the forest with a river flowing besides. There are few small restaurants and home stays nearby. Famous people have made visits to many spiritual places especially Kainchi dham. This place is deemed as “the soul of North India”.
So People visit these Spiritual places for natural healing and spiritual growth. These are affordable non tourist destinations. You will not find lot of people except during festive seasons. The best time to visit any of the spiritual places in Uttarakhand is Summer or Winter. Summers in lasts from March to June whereas Winters long till February starting from October. Avoid Visiting north India during monsoon. Since Uttarakhand receives heavy rain and it can upset your travel plans.
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The Very first on my list of spiritual places for self healing in North India is
- Kainchi Dham Ashram – This Ashram situated in Nainital district on Almora Road . The best way to visit the holy place is by road. One has to reach Haldwani, the door to the Kumaon Hills. It is about 40 km from here en route Bhimtal and Bhowali, situated at Almora Road. Kathgodam and Nainital are also close.
The Ashram was founded by famous Maharaj Neem Karoli Baba in 1962. He was the source of inspiration to Larry Brilliant, Steve Jobs, Daniel Kottke, Jeff Skoll, Richard Alpert, Krishna Dass (Jeffrey Kagel), Mark Zuckerberg, Larry Page, Julia Roberts, and millions of others. The beautiful surrounding of the temple, the mountains around , the river flowing beside the temple. The quiet clean temple in the mid of Himalayas will touch your soul. There are few restaurants and places to stay nearby. However people prefer to stay in the Kainchi Dham Ashram itself. But for that you need some pre registrations. You can also book your stay in Airbnb’s which are quite nearby.
- Shantikunj – The next top and most attracted spiritual places is Shantikunj. It gets an estimate visit of million of devotees from the world in North india . Shantikunj is a world-renowned ashram and headquarter of All World Gayatri Pariwar (AWGP), located in Haridwar. It is a major attraction in Haridwar among visitors in search of spiritual peace , Spiritual growth ,mental peace and gain wisdom. You can stay free cost in Shantikunj Haridwar for three days
Shantikunj in Haridwar is an all season destination to visit. Except for January and July. Best time to visit is February till June and August till December. If you are looking for Spiritual teachings and Trainings for Spiritual and moral enlightenment ,this is the best place for you. Hindus believe that “Haridwar is the gateway to Gods”
Chardham is a set of four pilgrimage sites in North India
- Chardham – Char Dham in Uttarakhand is not a spiritual places in fact a spiritual journey in North India. It is a trip that comprises of visiting four locations namely ,Yamunotri, Gangotri, Badrinath and Kedarnath. The first place to visit is Yamunotri, the source of the River Yamunotri where a temple is dedicated to Goddess Yamuna. From here, the pilgrims move on to Gangotri at a height of 3048 meters. They pay a visit of Goddess Ganga at the famous temple here. Then the pilgrims move on to Kedarnath at a height of about 3584 meters. The last stop is Badrinath. This is the place where people worship Lord Vishnu at his shrine next to the Alaknanda River.
The best time to visit these spiritual destinations is during the summer months of May to September end.
- Almora – Almora has thousands of years of history and significance attached to it. You will find a number of isolated temples in Almora. It is best known for rich culture and traditions. The temples reflect the history of the place. It brings a sense of peace. Almora is one of those spiritual places where natural healing will occur to you naturally. You can go and visit the temples surrounded by the dwindling pines and old oaks. Almora is the cultural capital of Kumaon district in North India.
The best time to visit Almora is April to June and September to November.
- Kedarnath Temple – Kedarnath Temple situated in the lap of Garhwal Himalayas, is some 220 kms from Rishikesh . It is one of the most spiritual places as it is one of the twelve Jyotirlinga of Lord Shiva in North India.
Significantly, a triangular shaped Linga is worshipped in the temple as Kedarnath. It is a strong belief that if you pray here with a pure heart, you are forgiven from all the sins. If you are looking grow spiritually and come better as a person, this is the spiritual destinations to visit in Uttarakhand.
Kedarnath Temple witnesses lakhs of devotees every single year due to its religious significance , spirituality and sanctity. If you are planning to visit Kedarnath, then avoid coming in winters which lasts from November to April. As the temperature reaches sub-zero degrees along with heavy rainfall. Apart from that, Followers and devotees visit this place during May till October. You will find cold weather but that would be bearable.
The most popular destinations for foreign tourists in Uttarakhand are Rishikesh, Haridwar, Gangotri, Uttarkashi, Kedarnath, Badrinath, Auli, Nainital and Gaumukh.
Having said that, many sites in North India especially Uttarakhand are very sacred to certain communities. And with thousands of years of history and significance attached to them. Despite that, these communities who have deeper spiritual connection do welcome people of all beliefs, race and religion. It is important for the people to be respectful and committed for a deeper understanding.