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Pilgrimages of Uttar Pradesh

  1. Kashi: An ancient pilgrimage of Lord Shiva which is a Mukti Puri, Jyotirlinga (Vishwanath Jyotirlinga) and Shakti Peetha (Varanasi Shakti Peetha)
  2. Ayodhya: Birthplace and kingdom of Sri Rama which is a Mukti Puri and Divya Desam (Thiru Ayodhi Divya Desam)
  3. Mathura: Birthplace of Sri Krishna which is a Mukti Puri and Divya Desam (Thiru Vadamathura Divya Desam)
  4. Gokul: Place where Sri Krishna grew up which is a Divya Desam (Thiruvaipadi Divya Desam)
  5. Vrindavan: Place where Sri Krishna enacted his Raasa Leela which is a Divya Desam (Thiruvaipadi Divya Desam) and has a Shakti Peetha (Vrindavana Shakti Peetha)
  6. Govardhan: Place where Sri Krishna lifted the Govardhan Hill and sheltered the people from the fury of rains
  7. Chitrakoot: Where Sri Rama stayed during forest exile and which has a Shakti Peetha (Ramagiri Shakti Peetha)
  8. Naimisharanya: An ancient forest where the Puranas were told which is a Swayam Vyakta Kshetra
  9. Prayag: An ancient pilgrimage at the confluence of rivers Ganga, Yamuna and hidden Saraswati which is also a Shakti Peetha (Prayaga Shakti Peetha)
  10. Saharanpur Shakambari Temple: A famous temple of Devi Shakambari at Saharanpur
  11. Mathura Mahavidya Temple: A temple of Devi Mahavidya (Devi Saraswati) on the outskirts of Mathura


Kashi:

Kashi Vishwanath Jyotirlinga Kashi Annapoorna Kashi Kalabhairava Ganga Aarti, Kashi - An ancient pilgrimage of Lord Shiva: Kashi is an ancient pilgrimage of Lord Shiva Who is worshipped here as Lord Vishwanath (The Lord of the universe). The ancient city of Kashi is mentioned in various Puranas. Kashi is a Mukti Puri, Jyotirlinga as well as a Shakti Peetha. Kashi is situated on the bank of the holy river Ganga. Every evening Ganga Arati is held in Kashi.

- Mukti Puri: Kashi is one of the 7 Mukti Puris.
(The seven Mukti Puris are: Mathura, Ayodhya, Mayapuri, Kashi, Kanchi, Avantika, Dwarka)

- Jyotirlinga: Kashi is one of the 12 Jyotirlingas known as Vishwanath Jyotirlinga. The Jyotirlinga is identified with the Lord Vishwanath temple of Kashi. According to Shiva Purana (Koti-Rudra Samhita Ch 22), even before creation, Lord Shiva built a beautiful city for Prakriti and Purusha to perform penance. Lord Vishnu meditated there and as a result streams of water kept flowing. A gem from the ear of Vishnu fell on the ground which became the great pilgrim center known as Manikarnika. Manikarnika kept flowing as water for five koshas. Lord Shiva held it on the tip of his trident and that became the city of Kashi. Subsequently Lord Brahma created the other worlds. After a day of Brahma, Kashi does not get destroyed but is held on the tip of the trident of Lord Shiva.
(The 12 Jyotirlingas are: Somnath, Mallikarjuna, Mahakaleshwar, Omkareshwar, Vaidyanath, Bhimashankar, Rameshwaram, Nageshwar, Vishwanath, Tryambakeshwar, Kedarnath and Grishneshwar - Refer to the Jyotirlinga sloka)

- Shakti Peetha: Kashi is one of the 51 Shakti Peethas known as Varanasi Shakti Peetha. The Shakti Peetha is mentioned in the Peetha Nirnaya texts. According to legend the Kundala (Ear-Ring) of Devi had fallen at Varanasi. The Devi is known as Vishalakshi and Bhairava is known as Kalabhairava. The Varanasi Shakti Peetha is identified with the Devi Vishalakshi temple at Kashi. The Manikarnika Ghat is identified with the place where the ear-rings of Devi fell.
(Refer to the Shakti Peetha Stotram)

- Devi Annapoorna Temple: The Devi Annapoorna Temple is located near the Kashi Vishwanath Temple in the Vishwanath lane. Devi Annapoorna is the Goddess of food. Food is served to all devotees daily as prasad in the temple. The festival of Annakut is an important festival associated with the Annapoorna Temple. The festival is performed for three days and only on these days the golden image of Mother Annapoorna is opened for darshan. The festival falls on Karthik Shukla Pratipada.

- Kalabhairava Temple: The Kalabhairava Temple is located in the Visheshwarganj in Kashi, around a km away from the Kashi Vishwanath temple. Kalabhairava is a fearsome aspect of Shiva associated with kala or death. He is considered as the kotwal (guardian angel) of Varanasi. The image of Kalabhairava is shown sitting on his dog vehicle and holding a trident. The silver face of the deity is only revealed and the rest of the body is covered with cloth. This temple was once a popular place of worship mainly by tantriks and ascetics. Now it is visited and patronized by general public as well.

- Ganga Arati: Kashi is the place where the holy river Ganga flows. The famous Ganga Arati is held in Kashi every evening in the Dashashwamedh Ghat.

- Kashi is located in the Varanasi district of Uttar Pradesh.


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Ayodhya:

Sri Rama - An ancient pilgrimage of Lord Rama: Ayodhya is an ancient pilgrimage of Lord Rama. Ayodhya is the birthplace as well as the kingdom of Sri Rama. It is a Mukti Puri as well as a Divya Desam.

- Birthplace of Lord Rama: Ayodhya is the birthplace of Sri Rama.

- Kingdom of Lord Rama: Ayodhya is also the kingdom of Sri Rama.

- Mukti Puri: Ayodhya is one of the 7 Mukti Puris.
(The Sapta Mukti Puris are: Mathura, Ayodhya, Mayapuri, Kashi, Kanchi, Avantika, Dwarka)

- Divya Desam: Ayodhya is one of the 108 Divya Desams known as Thiru Ayodhi Divya Desam.
(Refer to the list of Divya Desams)

- Ayodhya is located in the Faizabad district of Uttar Pradesh.


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Mathura:

Birth of Sri Krishna Krishna Janmasthan Temple at Mathura Potara Kund, Mathura, Uttar Pradesh Yamuna Aarti, Mathura - An ancient pilgrimage of Lord Krishna: Mathura is an ancient pilgrimage of Lord Krishna. Mathura is the birthplace of Sri Krishna. It is a Mukti Puri as well as a Divya Desam.

- Birthplace of Sri Krishna: Mathura is the birthplace of Sri Krishna. The birth of Sri Krishna is described in Srimad Bhagavatam (10.3) as follows:
Sri Krishna appeared from Devaki at night (in the prison of Kamsa) when it was very dark. The Lord appeared in the divine form of Vishnu. He had beautiful lotus-like eyes and four hands holding the Sankha, Chakra, Gada and Padma. On His chest was the mark of Srivatsa and He was wearing the brilliant Kaustubha gem around His neck. His body was dark like cloud and He was adorned with various ornaments. Sri Krishna after instructing Devaki and Vasudeva to constantly think of Him, assumes the form of a child.

- Krishna Janmasthan Temple: The location of the prison of Kamsha in which Sri Krishna was born from Devaki is identified with Krishna Janmasthan or Krishna Janambhoomi temple.

- Potara Kund: Near the Krishna Janmasthan Temple is the Potara Kund in the Mathura district of Uttar Pradesh which is said to be the place where the clothes of baby Krishna was washed after His birth in prison.

- Mukti Puri: Mathura is one of the 7 Mukti Puris.
(The Sapta Mukti Puris are: Mathura, Ayodhya, Mayapuri, Kashi, Kanchi, Avantika, Dwarka)

- Divya Desam: Mathura is one of the 108 Divya Desams known as Thiru Vadamathura Divya Desam.
(Refer to the list of Divya Desams)

- Yamuna Arati: Mathura is the place where the holy river Yamuna flows. The Yamuna Arati is held in Mathura during the evening at Vishram Ghat.

- Mathura is located in the Mathura district of Uttar Pradesh.


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Gokul:

Putana Temple, Mahavan Sri Krishna kills demon Trinavarta Sri Krishna shows the whole universe inside His mouth Sri Krishna liberates Nalakuvara and Manigriva from curse Nanda Bhavan, Mahavan (Chaurasi Khamba temple) Nanda Yashoda Bhavan, Gokul - An ancient pilgrimage of Lord Krishna: Gokul is an ancient pilgrimage of Lord Krishna. Gokul is the place where Sri Krishna grew up. It is a Divya Desam.

- Where Sri Krishna grew up: Gokul is the place where Sri Krishna grew up in the house of Nanda and Yashoda. Two places are identified with Gokul where Sri Krishna was brought up by Yashoda. The Mahavan (or old Gokul) and Gokul (or new Gokul). Both places have Nanda Bhavan.

- Divya Desam: Gokul and Vrindavana together is one of the 108 Divya Desams known as Thiruvaipadi Divya Desam.
(Refer to the list of Divya Desams)

- Puranic Events:
The Srimad Bhagavatam describes various leelas of Sri Krishna at Gokul. They are as follows:
1. Sri Krishna inspires Vasudeva to exchange Him with the daughter of Nanda Maharaj of Gokul. (Srimad Bhagavatam 10.3)
2. Sri Krishna kills demoness Putana. (Srimad Bhagavatam 10.6)
3. Sri Krishna overturns a handcart. (Srimad Bhagavatam 10.7)
4. Sri Krishna kills demon Trinavarta. (Srimad Bhagavatam 10.7)
5. Sri Krishna grows up; Garga Muni performs the naming ceremony secretly. (Srimad Bhagavatam 10.8)
6. Sri Krishna eats mud; shows mother Yashoda the entire universe within His mouth. (Srimad Bhagavatam 10.8)
8. Sri Krishna liberates Nalakuvara and Manigriva from the curse of becoming Arjuna trees. (Srimad Bhagavatam 10.10)
9. Sri Krishna makes a woman fruit-seller rich. (Srimad Bhagavatam 10.11)

- Places to see:
- Chaurasi Khamba temple: The Nanda Bhavan at Mahavan (Old Gokul) is also known as Chaurasi Khamba temple due to its 84 pillars.

- Nanda-Yashoda Bhavan: The Nanda Bhavan at Gokul (New Gokul) is called Nanda-Yashoda Bhavan.

- Gokul is located in the Mathura district of Uttar Pradesh.


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Vrindavan:

Sri Krishna and Vrindavana forest Sri Krishna kills demon Bakasura Sri Krishna subdues serpent Kaliya Kaliya Ghat, Vrindavan Chir Ghat, Vrindavan Sri Krishna Rasa Leela Sevakunj, Vrindavan Nidhivan, Vrindavan Bhuteshwar Mahadev temple - An ancient pilgrimage of Lord Krishna: Vrindavan is an ancient pilgrimage of Lord Krishna. Vrindavana is the place where Sri Krishna enacted many of His divine leelas including the famous Raasa Leela. It is a Divya Desam and also a Shakti Peetha.

- Where Sri Krishna enacted His divine leelas: Vrindavan is the place where Sri Krishna enacted many of His divine leelas including the famous Raasa Leela.

- Divya Desam: Gokul and Vrindavana together is one of the 108 Divya Desams known as Thiruvaipadi Divya Desam.
(Refer to the list of Divya Desams)

- Shakti Peetha: Vrindavan is one of the 51 Shakti Peethas known as Vrindavana Shakti Peetha. The Shakti Peetha is mentioned in the Peetha Nirnaya texts. According to legend the Keshajaala (the tresses of Hair) of Devi had fallen at Vrindavana. The Devi is known as Uma and Bhairava is known as Bhutesha. The Vrindavana Shakti Peetha is identified with the Bhuteshwar Mahadev temple on the Mathura - Vrindavan road.
(Refer to the Shakti Peetha Stotram)

- Puranic Events:
The Srimad Bhagavatam describes various leelas of Sri Krishna at Vrindavan. They are as follows:
1. Sri Krishna kills a demon in Vrindavana who had assumed the form of a calf. (Srimad Bhagavatam 10.11)
2. Sri Krishna kills demon Bakasura. (Srimad Bhagavatam 10.11)
3. Sri Krishna kills demon Aghasura. (Srimad Bhagavatam 10.12)
4. Sri Krishna plays with the cowherd boys in Vrindavan. (Srimad Bhagavatam 10.15)
5. Sri Krishna and Balarama kills Dhenukasura and other ass-demons. (Srimad Bhagavatam 10.15)
6. Sri Krishna frees the river Yamuna from the poisonous serpent Kaliya. (Srimad Bhagavatam 10.16)
7. Sri Krishna and Balarama eliminates demon Pralamba. (Srimad Bhagavatam 10.18)
8. Sri Krishna swallows forest fire. (Srimad Bhagavatam 10.19)
9. Sri Krishna steals the garments of the gopis. (Srimad Bhagavatam 10.22)
10. Sri Krishna performs the dance of Rasa with the gopis. (Srimad Bhagavatam 10.33)

- Places to see:
- Kaliya Ghat: The place where Sri Krishna subdued serpent Kaliya is identified with the Kaliya Ghat of Vrindavan. The river Yamuna has drifted over the centuries and does not flow near this ghat any more.

- Chir Ghat: The place where Sri Krishna stole the clothes of the gopis is identified with Chir Ghat in Vrindavan. There is an ancient tree in Chir Ghat which people believe to be the same tree which Krishna climbed and hid the clothes of the gopis.

- Sevakunj and Nidhivan: These groves are identified with the places where Sri Krishna enjoyed His pastimes with the gopis and performed Rasa Leela. Previously both are likely to have been part of a single forest. It is believed that every night Sri Krishna and Radharani still come here to enjoy their divine pastimes. Both places have a Rang Mahal which serves as a resting place after the divine leela. Sevakunj has a Lalitha Kund created by Sri Krishna to quench the thirst of Lalitha, a companion of Sri Radha. Nidhivan similarly has Vishakha Kund. Nidhivan has the samadhi of saint Haridas who composed and sung many songs on Sri Krishna.

- Vrindavan is located in the Mathura district of Uttar Pradesh.


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Govardhan:

Sri Krishna lifts Govardhan Hill Govardhan Hill, Govardhan - An ancient pilgrimage of Lord Krishna: Govardhan is an ancient pilgrimage of Lord Krishna. Govardhan is the place where Sri Krishna lifted the Govardhan Hill and sheltered the people from the fury of rain unleashed by Indra.

Puranic Events:
- Sri Krishna lifts the Govardhan Hill to save the people of Vrindavana from the fury of Indra's rains. (Srimad Bhagavatam 10.25)

- Places to see:
- Govardhan Hill: The Govardhan Hill is located in the Govardhan town.

- Govardhan is located in the Mathura district of Uttar Pradesh.


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Chitrakoot:

Chitrakoot Dham Sri Kamtanath, Chitrakoot Sphatik Shila, Chitrakoot Ramghat, Chitrakoot Janki Kund, Chitrakoot Bharat Milap, Chitrakoot Devi Sharada temple, Maihar, Satna - An ancient pilgrimage of Lord Rama: Chitrakoot is the place where Sri Rama stayed during forest exile. Chitrakoot is also a Shakti Peetha.

- Where Sri Rama stayed during forest exile: Chitrakoot is the forested mountain where Sri Rama stayed during the forest exile. Sri Rama enjoyed the beauty of Chitrakoot and described it to Devi Sita. Bharat came to Chitrakoot and requested Sri Rama to return back to his kingdom. Sri Rama refused but instead gave his paduka to Bharat.

Puranic Events:
The Valmiki Ramayana describes Chitrakoot and the stay of Sri Rama there.
1. Sri Rama hears about the Chitrakoota mountain from sage Bharadwaja. (Valmiki Ramayana 2.54 - 2.55)
2. Sri Rama visits the hermitage of sage Valmiki at Chitrakoota mountain. (Valmiki Ramayana 2.56)
3. Sri Rama builds a Parna Shala (Leaf Hut) at Chitrakoota mountain during forest exile and lives there. The river Malyavati was flowing there. (Valmiki Ramayana 2.56)
4. Sri Rama describes the beauty of the Chitrakoota mountain to Devi Sita. (Valmiki Ramayana 2.94)
5. Sri Rama describes the beauty of river Mandakini to Devi Sita. (Valmiki Ramayana 2.95)
6. Sri Rama gives His paduka to Bharata at Chitrakoota. (Valmiki Ramayana 2.112)
7. Sri Rama visits the hermitage of sage Atri while leaving Chitrakoota. (Valmiki Ramayana 2.117)

- Shakti Peetha: Chitrakoot is one of the 51 Shakti Peethas known as Ramagiri Shakti Peetha. The Shakti Peetha is mentioned in the Peetha Nirnaya texts. According to legend the Stana (Breast) of Devi had fallen at Ramagiri. The Devi is known as Shivani and Bhairava is known as Canda. The Ramagiri Shakti Peetha is identified with Ramagiri at Chitrakoot in Chitrakoot district of Uttar Pradesh. Apart from this temple the Sharada temple in Maihar in Satna district of Madhya Pradesh is also attributed to this Shakti Peetha. The temple is on top of the Trikuta hill. Satna district is the Madhya Pradesh side of the ancient Chitrakoot.
(Refer to the Shakti Peetha Stotram)

Places to see:
Chitrakoota is spread across Uttar Pradesh (Chitrakoot district) and Madhya Pradesh (Satna district).
1. Kamadgiri Hill: Kamadgiri Hill in Chitrakoot is the place where Sri Rama, Lakshmana and Devi Sita is believed to have stayed during forest exile. It has the famous temple of Lord Kamtanath.
2. Sphatik Shila: Sphatik Shila are two huge reddish rocks in Chitrakoot hills which is believed to be the place from where Sri Rama and Devi Sita used to enjoy the beauty of Chitrakoot.
3. Lakshman Pahari: Lakshman Pahari is the place where Lakshmana is said to have stood guard to protect Rama and Sita.
4. Sita Rasoi: Sita Rasoi is the place where Devi Sita is believed to have cooked food.
5. Ram Ghat: Ram Ghat is the main bathing ghat of Chitrakoot on the bank of river Mandakini where Sri Rama is believed to have bathed.
6. Janki Kund: Janki Kund on the bank of river Payaswini is believed to be the bathing place of Devi Sita.
7. Raghav Prayag Ghat: Raghav Prayag Ghat near Ram Ghat on the bank of river Payaswini is believed to be the place where Sri Rama performed Pitri Tarpana during forest exile. It is also said to be the invisible confluence of rivers Mandakini, Payaswini and Gayatri or Savitri.
8. Bharat Milap temple: Bharat Milap temple is said to be the place where Bharata met Sri Rama and persuaded him to return to Ayodhya. Bharat Koop is a well where Bharata is believed to have poured waters of all the Tirthas which he has brought for Rama's coronation. It is around 20 km from Chitrakoot near Bharatpur village.
9. Hanuman Dhara: Hanuman Dhara is a cascade of waters falling from a natural spring over a natural rock image of Hanuman inside a cave.
10. Gupta Godavari: Gupta Godavari is a cave from where river Godavari emerges as a stream and then flowing down inside another cave disappears in the mountain.

- Chitrakoota is spread across the Chitrakoot district of Uttar Pradesh and Satna district of Madhya Pradesh.


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Naimisharanya:

- An ancient forest where the Puranas were told: Naimisharanya is an ancient forest where many Puranas were told by Suta before large congregation of sages. Naimisharanya is Swayam Vyakta Kshetra.

- Swayam Vyakta Kshetra: Naimisharanya is one of the 8 Swayam Vyakta Kshetras.
(The Swayam Vyakta Kshetras are: Srirangam, Tirumala, Sri Mushnam, Thotadri, Shalagram, Pushkara, Naimisharanya, Badrinath)

- Naimisharanya is located in the Sitapur district of Uttar Pradesh.


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Prayag:

Devi Alopi, Allahabad Devi Alopi temple, Allahabad Devi Lalita, Mirapur, Allahabad - An ancient pilgrimage at the confluence of Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati: Prayag is an ancient pilgrimage at the confluence of rivers Ganga, Yamuna and hidden Saraswati. It is one of the holiest pilgrimages and termed as Teertha-Raja. Prayaga is also a Shakti Peetha.

- Shakti Peetha: Prayag is one of the 51 Shakti Peethas known as Prayaga Shakti Peetha. The Shakti Peetha is mentioned in the Peetha Nirnaya texts. According to legend the Anguli Vrinda (Group of Fingers) of Devi had fallen at Prayaga. The Devi is known as Lalitha and Bhairava is known as Bhavah. The Prayaga Shakti Peetha is identified two temples. The first is the Devi Alopi temple at Allahabad. The temple does not have any idol. A wooden jhula above a marble platform is considered the goddess. The second is the Lalita Devi temple in the Mirapur locality. It has an ancient Pipal tree in its compound.
(Refer to the Shakti Peetha Stotram)

- Prayaga is located in the Allahabad district of Uttar Pradesh.


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Saharanpur Shakambari Temple:

Devi Shakambari Saharanpur Shakambari Temple - A famous temple of Devi Shakambari: The Shakambari Devi temple at Saharanpur is located on the foothills of the Shivalik hills. Mountain streams flow nearby and the atmosphere around is very soothing.

- Saharanpur is located in the Saharanpur district of Uttar Pradesh.


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Mathura Mahavidya Temple:

Devi Saraswati Mathura Mahavidya Temple - A temple of Devi Mahavidya: On the outskirts of the Mathura town there is a temple of Devi Mahavidya situated on a hillock. On the bottom of this hillock is a Saraswati stream and Saraswati kund.

- Mathura is located in the Mathura district of Uttar Pradesh.


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Pilgrimages by States:

North India: Jammu and Kashmir - Himachal Pradesh - Uttarakhand - Punjab - Haryana - Rajasthan - Uttar Pradesh

West India: Gujarat - Maharashtra

Central India: Madhya Pradesh

East India: Assam - Meghalaya - Tripura - Jharkhand - Odisha - West Bengal

South India: Karnataka - Andhra Pradesh - Telangana - Kerala - Tamil Nadu



Bharatavarsha - The Land of Gods and Sages:

1. Stotras by Deity:
Initial: Ganesha - Hanuman - Gurudeva - Gayatri
Tridevas: Brahma - (Vishnu - Narasimha - Rama - Krishna) - Shiva
Tridevis: Saraswati - (Lakshmi - Tulasi - Bhoomi) - Parvati
Others: Murugan - Surya - Ganga - Yamuna - Narmada - Others
Final: Vedas - Brahman

2. Pilgrimages by Deity:
Initial: Ganesha
Tridevas: Brahma - (Vishnu - Narasimha - Rama - Krishna) - Shiva
Tridevis: Saraswati - Lakshmi - (Parvati - Shakambari)
Others: Murugan - Ganga

3. Sadhana: Sadhana - Hermitages - Penances

4. Saints: Ramakrishna - Vivekananda - Ramana - Saints

5. Sacred Geography: Forests - Mountains - Rivers - Lakes

6. Puranas: Scriptures

7. Religious Life: Stotras - Puja - Pilgrimages - Festivals - Varnashramas - Samskaras - Traditions

8. Other Aspects: Sanskrit - Arts - Music - Dance - Medicine - Architecture - Astronomy

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Om, May there be Peace in Heaven,
May there be Peace in the Sky,
May there be Peace in the Earth,
May there be Peace in the Water,
May there be Peace in the Plants,
May there be Peace in the Trees,
May there be Peace in the Gods in the various Worlds,
May there be Peace in Brahman,
May there be Peace in All,
May there be Peace Indeed within Peace,
Giving Me the Peace which Grows within Me,
Om, Peace, Peace, Peace.

(Shanti Mantra of Upanishad)

Preserve Nature,
And Nature will preserve Us,
Simplify Life,
And make the Nature thrive,
Plant Trees,
And make our planet Green.

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Green Message: The Evergreen Messages of Spirituality, Sanskrit and Nature

Last updated on Oct-2017

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