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Indian pilgrims Editorial Image

India hosts numerous pilgrimage sites belonging to many religions. Hindus worldwide recognise several Indian holy cities, including Allahabad, Haridwar, Varanasi, and Vrindavan. The Himalayan towns of Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri, and Yamunotri compose the Char Dham (four abodes) pilgrimage circuit. The Kumbh Mela (the pitcher festival) is one of the holiest of Hindu pilgrimages Among the Eight Great Places of Buddhism, seven are in India. Bodh Gaya, Sarnath and Kushinagar are the places where important events in the life of Gautama Buddha took place. Sanchi hosts a Buddhist stupa erected by the emperor Ashoka. Several Tibetan Buddhist sites in the Himalayan foothills of India have been built, such as Rumtek Monastery and Dharamsala. For Muslims, the Dargah Shareef of Khwaza Moinuddin Chishti in Ajmer is a major pilgrimage site. Other Islamic pilgrimages include those to the Tomb of Sheikh Salim Chishti in Fatehpur Sikri, Jama Masjid in Delhi, and to Haji Ali Dargah in Mumbai. Dilwara Temples in Mount Abu, Palitana, Pavapuri, Girnar and Shravanabelagola are notable pilgrimage sites (tirtha) in Jainism. The Harmandir Sahib in Amritsar is the most sacred gurdwara of Sikhism, while the Thalaimaippathi at Swamithope is the leading pilgrim center for Ayyavazhi sect members. Lotus Temple in Delhi is a prominent house of worship of the Bahá'í faith.

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