Seeing Spiritual India
A Guide to Temples, Holy Sites, Festivals and Traditions: 2020 Update
By Stephen Knapp
This book is one of the most complete reviews of the major holy places and temples of India, and the traditions connected with them. It describes where they are located and what you will see. This 2020 Update includes more and newer information and additional sites to see.
This travel guide is not only a great reference work, but is written especially for anyone who wants to know of the many holy sites that you can visit while traveling within India, how to reach them, and what is the history and significance of these most spiritual of sacred sites, temples and festivals. It also provides a deeper understanding of the mysteries and spiritual traditions of India. It is for both those who are new to India and those who are experienced.
India has one of the most ancient cultures on the planet that is still a living and dynamic tradition today. Many of the customs and rituals that we can see have existed for thousands of years. This is what makes this country so interesting and draws so many people to it. It is the culture of yoga, meditation, gurus, spiritual philosophy, ancient festivals, holy men and women, sacred mountains and rivers, traditional music, and offers the potential for becoming more aware of who we are and the purpose of life. This is what continues to attract people from all walks of life, and who may try to look beyond the veil of its mysteries.
This book will certainly help you find your way around India’s mysterious traditions, and the historical and spiritual significance of the major holy places, temples and festivals that this country has.
* This book divides the country into East, Central, South, North, West, the Far Northeast, and Nepal, and describes the best itineraries to take to see the most of each area.
* It provides descriptions of the temples and the architecture, and what you will see at each place.
* This book provides the significance and traditions connected with each site, the historical legends, and the spiritual benefits a person acquires by visiting each location.
* It helps you decide which places are the most interesting for you, where you want to go, and problems to avoid.
* It describes the holy places of Hindus, Buddhists, Sikhs, Jains, Parsis, and Muslims.
* Packing lists suggestions and how to prepare for your trip.
* How to return from India with the greatest of spiritual wealth.
* How to get the best experience you can from your visit to India.
* Where you can go to most effectively perceive your own spiritual identity.
* How the spiritual side of India can open you to your own divine nature.
This book goes beyond the usual descriptions of the typical tourist attractions and opens up the spiritual venue waiting to be revealed for a far deeper experience on every level.
The author, Stephen Knapp, has visited practically 85% of all the places that he describes after making well over 20 trips to India, traveling across almost every state of the country, some several times. So, most of this information comes from personal experience, which you can apply for yourself.
"Thanks to the many travels throughout India, as well as his knowledge of the culture and history, the author provides an astonishing amount of details about the subject matter of the book. Readers will delight at finding such a credible tour guide! The majority of information comes from firsthand knowledge. Adding to his credibility, the author cites sources such as Sri Upadesamrita, and better yet, even cites primary source material such as a letter written by Prince Aurangzeb in 1652 to his ruling father, Emperor Shah Jahan.
"With so much information being presented, it would be easy for the text to become dry and hard to read. But because of personal touches and comments from the author throughout, the reader will be able to more easily visualize the journey and relate to the author.
"Seeing Spiritual India is impressive both for the large amount of information it presents, and for the ease in which it is presented. Should a reader want to plan a trip to India to see spiritual sites, this book is truly all he or she would need!" Editorial Review from iUniverse.com.
Purpose and Benefits of Pilgrimage * Taking the Trains * Be Cautious * Avoiding Scams * Being Prepared * Dealing with Ricksha & Taxi Drivers * Currency Exchange * Food Precautions * Heat Stroke or Heat Exhaustion * Expect Personal Changes in Yourself * What If the Temples Do Not Let Us In? * Changing the Names of Cities
SEEING SPIRITUAL INDIA (PART 1):
THE MAJOR HOLY PLACES IN EAST AND CENTRAL INDIA AND NEPAL
New Delhi * Mathura * Gokula * Vrindavana * Greater Vrajamandala * Agra * Fatehpur Sikri * Gwalior * Jhansi to Orchha * Jabalpur * Amarkantak—Source of the Narmada * Khajurao * Chitrakut * Prayagraj * The Tradition of the Kumbha Mela * Varanasi * Sarnath * Ayodhya * Naimisaranya * Gorakhpur/Kushinagar * Going to Nepal at Saunali for Lumbini * Going to Nepal Through Raxaul to Birganj * Lumbini * Pokhara * Muktinath * Going to Kathmandu * Kathmandu * Janakpur * Where to Go Next? * Sitamarhi * Patna * Vaishali * Nalanda * Rajgir * Pawapuri * Gaya * Bodhgaya * Barabar Hill * Deoghar * Vishnupur * Kolkata * Mayapur * Ekachakra * Ramakeli * Ganga Sagar * Remuna * Jagannatha Puri * Bhubaneswar * Sri Kakulam to Kurmaksetra * Visakhapatnam * Nagpur & Rama Giri * Vijayawada * Mangalagiri * Agiripalli * Hyderabad & Yadagirigutta * Basara * Warangal * Palampet * Bhadrachalam * Vemulawada * Srisailam * Alampur * Nandyal * Ahovalam * Nellore * Going to Tirupati
SEEING SPIRITUAL INDIA (PART 2):
THE HISTORICAL HOLY SITES AND TEMPLES OF SOUTH INDIA
Tirupati * Tirumalla * Other Temples Around Tirupati * Kalahasthi * Chennai * Temples in the Chennai Area * Mamallapuram * Tirukkalikundram * Kanchipuram * Tiruvannamalai * The Story of the Shiva Lingam * Thirukkovilur * Auroville * Tiruvandhipuram * Chidambaram * Sirkazhi * Vaidesvarankoil * Mayuram * Kumbakonam * Gangakondacholapuram * Dharasuram * Swamimilai * Thiruvalamjuli * Suryanarcoil * Tribhuvanam * Other Temples Around Kumbhakonam * Nachiyarcoil * Tirucherai * Thiruvarur * Nagappattinam * Thirukannapuram * Mannargudi * Vedaranyam * Tanjore * Tiruchirappali * Namakkal * Thadicombu * Palni * Madurai * Alagarcoil * Thirupparankundram * Tirumohur * Srivilliputtur * Tiruthangal * Ramesvaram * Tiruchendur * The Pilgrimage to Six Murugan Temples * Sri Vaikuntham * Tirunalveli * Krishnapuram * Kanyakumari * Suchindram * Thiruattur * Trivandrum * Varkala * Kollam to Amritapuri * Haripad * Changannur * Aranmula * Sabarimala * Alappuzha * Ettumanoor * Vaikom * Kaladi * Thrikkakarai Near Ernakulam * Cranganore * Guruvayoor * Trichur * Karamadai * Mangaluru * Udupi * Sringeri * Kollur * Gokarna * Mangaluru * Mysuru * Srirangapatnam * Sravanabelogola * Belur, Halebid and Somnathpur * Melkote * Brindaban Gardens * Subramanya * Maddur * Bengaluru * Denkanikota * Kaiwara * Avani * Ending Our Tour Back at Bengaluru
SEEING SPIRITUAL INDIA (PART 3):
THE MAJOR HOLY PLACES OF WESTERN INDIA
Starting in New Delhi * Karauli * Jaipur * Ajmer & Pushkar * Jodhpur * Osian * Jaisalmer * Chittorgarh * Udaipur * Nathdwara * Kankroli * Charbujaji * Kumbhalgarh Fort * Ranakpur * Ekalingji * Rikhabdeo * Mount Abu * Ahmedabad * Akshardam * Modhera * Patan * Dakor * Dwaraka * Beyt Dwaraka * Porbander * Veraval & Somnath * Junagadh & Girnar Hill * Bhavnagar & Palitana * Lothal * Baroda & More * Ujjain * From Bhopal to Sanchi and Vidisha * Sanchi * Vidisha * Bhimbekta * Indore and Mandu * Omkeshvara * Maheshwar * Aurangabad to Ajanta & Ellora Caves * Ajanta * Ellora * Verul * Nasik * Pandu Lena * Tryambakeshvara * Parali * Mumbai * Karla & Bhaja Caves * Pune * The Ashtavinayaka Pilgrimage * Bhimashankar * Shivpur * Mahabaleshwar * Pandharpur * Kolhapur * Bijapur * Badami * Pattadakal * Aihole * Lakkandi * Dambal * Hosapete (Hospet) & Hampi * Anegundi * Harihara * Tadpatri * Puttaparthi * Lepakshi * Tumkur, Shivaganga * Bangalore
SEEING SPIRITUAL INDIA (PART 4):
THE MAJOR HISTORICAL AND HOLY PLACES OF NORTHERN INDIA
Shukratal * Haridwar * Rishikesh * Dehra Dun * Mussoorie * Going to See the Char Dham Temples * Deva Prayag * Yamunotri * Going to Gangotri * Uttarkashi * Gangotri * Gaumukh * On the Way to Kedarnath * Guptakashi * Sonprayag * Triyugi Narayana * Kedarnath * Visiting the Panch (Five) Kedar Temples * Important Towns on the Way to Badrinath * Joshimath * Hemakund * Badrinath (Tiruvadariashrana) * Mana * Satopanth Tal * The Five Badri Temples * Nahan * Chandigarh and Going North * Shimla * Bilaspur * Mandi * Kullu * Places Along the Way North to Manali * Manali * Places Around Manali * From Manali to Leh* Back From Manali to Mandi or Chandigarh * Amritsar * Going to Dharamsala * Dharamsala & McLeod Ganj * Chamba * Jammu * Vaishno Devi * Going to Kashmir * Towns Along the Way to Srinagar * Going to Amarnath * Amarnath * The Pilgrimage to Amarnath * Srinagar * Additional Sites Around Srinigar * The Grave of Jesus * Moses in Kashmir * Going to Ladakh From Srinigar * Kargil * Zanskar * Ladakh and the Gompas West of Leh * Shergol * Mulbekh * Lamayurur * Rizong * Alchi * Likir * Basgo * Nimmu * Phiyang * Spituk * Leh * Towns and Monasteries South of Leh * Choglamsar * Shey * The Tikse Gompa * Chemre * Thak-Thak * Stakna * The Hemis Gompa * Matho * Stok Palace * Leaving Leh Going Back to Manali * Kuruksetra * Back to Delhi
SEEING SPIRITUAL INDIA (PART 5):
THE MAJOR HOLY SITES AND TEMPLES OF FAR NORTHEAST INDIA
Entering the Northeast Region * Darjeeling * Kalimpong * Permits for Sikhim * Gangtok * Rumtek * Pemayangtse * Phodang & Labrang Monasteries * Tashiding Monastery * Assam * Guahati * Tezpur * Majuli * Tinsukia * Sadiya * Arunachal Pradesh * Meghalaya * Tripura * Nagaland * Manipur
PREPARING FOR YOUR TRIP TO INDIA: A SHORT GUIDE
Get a Passport and Visa * Immunizations * Packing List
SUGGESTED ROUTES FOR SHORT PILGRIMAGES
ABOUT THE PHOTOGRAPHS
TRAVEL BOOKS THAT WERE HELPFUL
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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