While striving for professional excellence, you must have always desired to explore the pilgrimages spread across our ancient nation. If you are planning to pack your bags and set on course for a religious venture, the southern part of our country offers some excellent options to satisfy your wanderlust with its geographical and cultural diversity.
The Dravidian architecture of the monuments is worthy of awe and appreciation for their engineering genius and fine craftsmanship. However, while you plan your itinerary and enumerate the destinations that you will be visiting, it’s also crucial to research and purchase a pilgrimage insurance that will keep you guarded against the adversities.
Listed below are some of the most famous pilgrimage destinations in South India that should be on the top of your list:
Set on the hill town of Tirumala, in Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh, it is a site of Vaishnavism. The shrine is dedicated to Lord Sri Venkateswara, an incarnation of Vishnu. Devotees from all over the world visit it. The temple is believed to have been constructed around 300 AD. Associated with many historical events over the ages, it is one of the most-visited holy places in the world.
Here, you can attend over 433 festivals around the year. Significant among them being Sri Venkateswara Brahmotsavam, Rama Navami and Janmashtami etc. Although well connected with all the major cities of India, you have to make the final journey of 11 km, on foot.
Situated on the right bank of Kaveri river in Thanjavur, the temple is consecrated to Lord Shiva. Completed by Raja Raja Chola I of the Chola dynasty in 1010 AD, it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Brihadisvara temple complex is the seat of one of the largest Shiva lingas in India.
You can attend various cultural events at the temple in February during Mahashivratri. Located southwest of Chennai, the destination is well connected to different parts of the country through the Tiruchirapalli International Airport.
Centrally located in the ancient city of Madurai, the temple is a significant pilgrimage of Shaivism. It is dedicated to Devi Meenakshi, an incarnation of Parvati and her consort, Lord Shiva. Destroyed by the forces of the Delhi Sultanate, the temple was rebuilt between 14th and 17th century and finds mention in Sangam literature.
The temple hosts festivals for each month of the Tamil calendar. The major one being Meenakshi Thirukalyanam in April. Other festivities include Vasantham, Unjal, Navratri etc. You can reach the temple through Madurai airport, Madurai Junction railway station or by road.
Situated inside the Periyar Tiger Reserve, in Pathanamthitta district of Kerala, the temple hosts one of the largest annual pilgrimages in the world. Sabarimala temple honours Lord Ayyappan, who is believed to be the son of Lord Shiva.
You can visit the temple for worship only during Mandalapooja, Maha Vishuva Sankranti and the first five days of the Malayalam Month.
Located in Hampi, in the Ballari district of Karnataka, Virupaksha Temple is another UNESCO World Heritage site. Dedicated to Lord Shiva, the temple was constructed by an officer in the service of the Vijayanagara Empire. Seating on the banks of Tungabhadra, it is the main pilgrimage centre in Hampi.
You can attend multiple events like the annual chariot festival in February and the betrothal and marriage celebrations of the deities Virupaksha and Pampa in December.
By visiting these spiritual destinations in South India, you can not only explore the sculptural architecture but also witness a sense of peace and tranquility that is tough to find. However, as mentioned above, you should also research about various pilgrimage insurance companies that offer pilgrimage holiday insurance to cover the adversities during your trip.
The Pilgrimage Cover from Bajaj Finserv Pocket Insurance is a travel insurance designed to aid you in case of unforeseen situations during your trip. The plan assures coverage of up to Rs. 3 lakh, at an affordable premium of Rs. 599 only. It also offers emergency coverage of hotel and travel expenses up to Rs. 1 lakh, medical evacuation facility, and round the clock card block service.
So, now you can finally set forth to pay homage to your deity and attain the inner peace that you had been looking for so long!