Temples to Visit for Festivals in India

Mylapore Kapaleeswarar Temple

Mylapore Kapaleeswarar Temple

There are a large number of Hindu religious festivals celebrated throughout the world. Hindus living in foreign countries also celebrate the festivals as if they are celebrating in their home town. They will not forget their Indian culture, and celebrate it as a token of paying respect to the god.

Most important festivals widely celebrated by the Indians throughout the world, are: Diwali, Pongal, Navratri, Vinayaka Chaturthi, Krishna Jayanti, Maha Shivratri, Hanuman Jayanti and Ram Navami.

1. Holi Festival is mainly celebrated by the north Indians. It is celebrated in order to mark the killing of Holika by Prahalad, the demoness aunt of Bhakt Prahalad. It is a festival for destroying the evil. It is celebrated for more than a week. During this festival, people throw coloured water on each other in a joyful mood. Devotees mostly used to visit Lord Krishna Temples during Holi Festival day, and most of them prefer to visit the ISKCON Krishna Temples, situated across India.

2. Diwali is the festival of lights. Diwali is also a festival celebrated similar to the people celebrating the Christmas festival in the foreign countries. Still now, most of the Venkateswara Devotees prefer to visit the Tirumala Temple during Diwali Festival day, and others might be interested to visit the local temples situated nearby their place, in order to celebrate the fire festival safely!

3. Durga Puja: Durga, is also worshipped as Amba or Jagdamba, Annapurna, Bhairavi, and in many other forms by the Indian people, during the Navratri festival days. The Dakshineswar Kali Temple situated at Kolkata is a famous temple, and it is visited by the Durga Devotees from all parts of India during the time of Durga Puja celebration.

4. Chhat Puja (Festival dedicated to the Sun God also known as Surya Bhagawan). Chhath is mainly celebrated in Bihar, but is also celebrated in other states by the North Indians. It is a festival dedicated to the Sun God for fulfilling the wishes and getting relieved from various diseases, since sun god is capable of relieving us from our various diseases, and gives us peace and prosperity in our life. Konark Sun Temple is a famous temple dedicated to the Sun God, also popularly called as Lord Surya Narayanan or as Lord Surya Bhagavan Temple, and though at present the temple structure looks in a dilapidated state, still most of the Surya Bhagavan devotees visit this temple during Chhat Puja.

5. Ratha Yatra: Rath Yatra is the festival related with Puri Jagannath. It is the most important festival of Bengalis and Odias and it is celebrated in Odisha in honour of Lord Krishna Bhagawan. Krishna Devotees would have the darshan of Lord Puri Jagannath at Puri, situated at Odisha during the Ratha Yatra Festival day.

6. Raksha Bandhan: Raksha Bandhan is a festival mainly celebrated by the north Indians in order to show their bondage of love between the brothers and sisters. Devotees mostly visit the Krishna-Durga Temple situated at Maharashtra in order to develop strong bondage between brothers and sisters.

7. Thai Pongal: Pongal is one of the most popular harvest festivals of Tamil Nadu. It will be celebrated on January 14th or 15th of every year, along with the successive Mattupongal and Kaanum Pongal festivals. People will cook pongal in their homes, and offer it to the sun god, and eat it with the company of their friends and relatives. Visiting any one of the six abodes of Murugan Temples situated across Tamil Nadu is considered to be a sacred act during the Thai Pongal Festival day.

8. Onam: Onam is the harvest festival of Kerala. Onam is traditionally a Hindu festival celebrated in Kerala, in order to welcome their great king Mahabali, who once ruled Kerala, and was very much liked by his people for his golden rule, and now living in the pathala loka, the netherworld. Keralites will prepare sumptuous food in order to welcome their beloved king Mahabali at their home on the onam festival day, and will share their delicious food with others, and nowadays, many people are donating food to orphanages and old age homes on onam festival day considering it as a charitable activity. Malayalees used to visit the Vamana Temple situated at Kerala in order to pay their great respect to the most powerful Vamana Avatar.

9. Vasant Panchami: Vasant Panchami is celebrated for getting the blessings of Mata Saraswati, the education goddess. During this festival day, Telugu people used to visit the Basara Temple of Saraswati, situated at Andhra Pradesh, whereas Tamil people used to visit the Koothanur Saraswati Temple situated at Tamil Nadu, in order to get the blessings of the divine mother, Ma Saraswati.

10. Thaipusam: Thaipusam is a Hindu festival celebrated mostly by the Tamil people. The festival marks the occasion when Parvati gave Murugan a spear in order to destroy the demon Soorapadman. The Kandakottam Murugan temple is a famous temple for Lord Muruga situated at Chennai, and most of the Murugan devotees used to visit this wonderful Murugan Temple, and apart from this temple, devotees also used to visit the Vadapalani Andavar Murugan Temple, Chennai, and Vadalur Ramalinga Adigalar Temple, Tamil Nadu.

11. Maha Shivaratri: Maha Shivaratri is celebrated by the devotees of Lord Shiva and they used to offer Bilva leaves to him. It will be celebrated during February – March. Devotees would observe fasting on that day, and chant various mantras of Lord Shiva. They will visit to the nearby Shiva temples, and some of them will stay in the temple for the entire night, in order to watch all the pujas of Lord Shiva. Most of the Shiva Devotees prefer to visit the Panchaboota Stalams such as Tiruvanammalai, Srisailam, Kalahasti situated in South India during Shiva Ratri festival day, and North Indians prefer to visit the temples like Triyanbageshwar, Mount Kailash and Varanasi.

12. Rama Navami: Rama Navami is celebrated as the birth day of Lord Rama. It is celebrated during April – May, and people would visit the Ram temples and Vishnu temples, and pay their respects to the god. By chanting the Rama mantra “JAI SREE RAM” along with “JAI HANUMAN” will bring all the prosperity in our life. Devotees used to visit Lord Vishnu, Hanuman and Rama temples which are scattered across the country, and at present, some devotees prefer to visit the proposed Ayodhya Temple during Rama Navami Festival.

13. Gudi Padwa: Gudhi Padwa is celebrated as New Year Day by Marathis, Konkanis and Sindhis. According to the ancient Brahma Purana, it is believed that during this day Lord Brahma had first created the world. Some devotees used to visit the Brahma Temple situated at Pushkar, Rajasthan on this auspicious Gudi Padwa Festival day.

14. Ugadi: Ugadi is a New Year day for kannadigas and Telugu people. Visiting the Tirumala and the Mantralayam Guru Raghavendra Swamy Temple is considered as a good act during Ugadi Festival day.

15. Vishu: Vishu is a Hindu festival celebrated in Kerala. It usually falls on 14th April of every year. Visiting the Sabarimala Shrine is considered as a most favourite act, and those who are unable to visit there, can at least visit any one of the Lord Ayyappan Temples situated at their Home town.

16. Tamil New Year: The Tamil New Year is celebrated mostly by the Tamil people and it usually falls on 14th April of every year. Visiting any one of the six abodes of Lord Murugan Temples at Tamil Nadu would be mostly done by the devotees during the Tamil New Year Festival day.

17. Hanuman Jayanti: Hanuman Jayanti is celebrated as the birth day of Lord Hanuman. By worshipping Lord Rama and Hanuman on this day, we get great physical and mental strength and can attain all the prosperity in our life. Visiting the Namakkal Anjaneyar Temple, Nanganallur Anajaneyar Temple, Chennai, Salangpur Hanuman Temple and Rama Temples scattered throughout India during this festival, would fetch greater prospects in the lives of the devotees.

18. Guru Purnima: Guru Purnima is the festival where devotees would offer prayers to their guru. It is also celebrated as the birth of Sage Veda Vyasa. In Raghavendra Mutt, Mantralayam, and Shirdi, Sai Baba temple, lot of devotees would worship their beloved gurus in order to get their divine blessings.

19. Mahalakshmi Vrata: Mahalakshmi Vrata is a puja performed by married Hindu women for the well-being of their husband, and also for getting good fortunes in their life. Visiting the Kohlapur Mahalakshmi Shrine and Chennai, Besant Nagar, Sri Ashta Lakshmi Temple, would fetch good prospects to the devotees during the time of this Vrata.

20. Krishna Janmaashtami: Krishna Janmaashtami is celebrated as the birth day of Lord Krishna. During this day, devotees would visit Vishnu or Krishna temples, and offer prayers to the god, and also prepare various types of hot snacks and offer it to Krishna, and have it along with their neighbours. South Indian devotees used to visit Lord Parthasarathy Temple at Triplicane and North Indians would visit the Mathura Temples of Lord Krishna on this auspicious day.

21. Radhashtami: Radhastami is celebrated mainly in Northern India as the birth day of Mata Radha, the divine consort of lord Krishna, Devotees used to visit the sacred Vrindavana Temples during this festival event.

22. Ganesh Chaturthi: Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated as the birth day of Lord Ganesha. It is celebrated by all the Hindus to worship the divine god, by buying a clay statue of god at their nearby pavement shops. It is the most important festival in Maharashta, and visiting the Ashta Vinayak Temples would be done by most of the North Indian devotees during Ganesh Birth day, and most of the South Indians would celebrate this festival at their homes itself by performing puja to the Ganesh idol.

23. Kartik Poornima: A main festival celebrated in Varanasi and it is also grandly celebrated in Lord Ayyappa Temple, Sabarimala.

24. Skanda Sashti: Skanda Sashti festival will be celebrated during October–November of every year. It is one of the important festivals of Lord Muruga and it is celebrated as a victory of Muruga against the Demons, during this festival day, Murugan devotees used to visit the Murugan temples situated at their places.

25. Karthikai Deepam: Karthikai Deepam is the festival of lights and mostly celebrated by Tamil Hindus on the full moon day of Karthikai month on November-December, devotees used to visit the Arunachaleswara Shrine at Tiruvanammalai during this festival.  .

26. Kumbh Mela: The Kumbh Mela, is mainly celebrated in north india, and lot of people would visit the holy place of Haridwar and offer their prayers to the sacred river ganga and to Lord Shiva and Mata Parvati.

27. Godavari Pushkaram: Godavari Pushkaram is the celebration of festival of the river Godavari. It occurs once in every 12 years. Devotees used to visit Lord Triambakeswar Temple situated at Nasik during this holy event. It flew through various regions of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.

28. Naga Panchami: Naga Panchami is a worship of snake gods, and celebrated throughout India and in Nepal. In North India, people will visit the shrine of Mansa Devi, Haridwar and offer their prayers to the serpant goddess, who is also the sister of the great serpent king Vasuki. Most of the people prefer to visit the Nagathamman Temples situated in Tamil Nadu, and North Indians prefer to visit the Ma Manasa Devi Shrine situated in Kashmir during Naga Panchami Festival Day.


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