Sacred Pilgrimage

Seeking God, Begging for Boons and Atoning for Misdeeds at 14 Holy Places

Five duties, pancha kriya, form the traditional minimal practices expected of every Hindu: upasana (worship); utsava (holy days); dharma (virtuous living); tirthayatra (pilgrimage); and samskara (rites of passage). Thus, most Hindus proceed on pilgrimage from time to time, choosing from among the seven sacred rivers or seven liberation-giving cities, the twelve Siva mandirs or the vast temple complexes of Mathura and Vrindavana, or thousands more holy places of India. Some visit the hallowed sanctuaries of Sri Lanka, Bali, Nepal and Bangladesh, Southeast Asia or the modern temples of Europe, America and Australia. How we follow the pilgrims’ way is more important than where we go.