Lucknow, the capital of Uttar Pradesh, is often called as the City of Nawabs.
It is a prominent artistic and cultural city in India and also popular for its Awadhi Cuisine. It is located close to three important Hindu pilgrimage cities, namely Ayodhya, Allahabad and Varanasi. A large number of tourists make Lucknow their base city and explore these spiritual places by taking car rentals in Lucknow.
Three Pilgrimage Cities to Visit Near Lucknow
At a distance of 134 kms from Lucknow, Ayodhya is a popular pilgrimage center for the Hindus. The town is located on the banks of the Saryu River and closely associated with Lord Rama, who is believed to be the incarnation of Lord Vishnu. The ancient city of Ayodhya was the capital of the Surya kingdom, in which Lord Rama was born. Ayodhya has lots of sites to offer to people with a spiritual and religious inclination. A few of the prominent temples include Nageshwarnath Temple, believed to be built by Ram’s son, Kush. The Kayak Bhawan has images of Ram and Sita wearing golden crowns and the Dasrath Bhavan is associated with King Dasrath, father of Lord Rama. Treta-Ke-Thakur is the place where Lord Rama is said to have carried out the Ashwamedha Yagna. The Tulsi Smarak Bhavan is also an important site to visit, it was built by the Government of India in the memory of Tulsidas who rewrote the Ramayana. You must also visit Ram Ki Paidi, the lovely bathing ghat along the River Saryu.
Allahabad, a major pilgrimage center for Hindus, is one of the largest cities of Uttar Pradesh. Earlier known as Prayag the city finds mention in the Vedas and the epics, Ramayana and Mahabharata. Mythology has it that God Brahma, the creator of the universe chose Allahabad for PrakrishtaYajna and foresaw the purity of the place and named it ‘Tirth Raj’ or the king of all pilgrimage places.‘Sangam’ in Allahabad sees the confluence of the three holy rivers, Ganga, Yamuna and the mythological Saraswati. Sangam is the central point of several religious ceremonies and festivals including the MahaKumbh, which is the largest gathering of humans on earth, with people from India and across the world converging during the holy period for a sacred dip in the rivers. The MahaKumbh happens every twelve years, and the last one was held in 2013. Major tourist places in Allahabad include temples, forts and universities. Being a pilgrimage center, Allahabad houses several famous temples including Patalpuri Temple, ShivkotiMahadev, Hanuman Temple, Bade Hanumanji Temple, Alopidevi Temple, Mankameshwar Temple, Kalyani Devi Temple, Nagvasuki Temple, and Benimadhav Temple.
Varanasi, also known as Kashi and Banaras, is among the oldest cities in the world. Known as the abode of Lord Shiva, the Hindu God of destruction, it is an important holy city. It is believed that anyone who dies or gets cremated here will attain moksha, hence it is also known as the MuktiSthala, which means the place of liberation.
The sight of pilgrims taking a holy dip in the Ganga river during sunrise and sunset presents a spellbinding experience. The most amazing aspect of this holy city are the rites and rituals performed alongside the ghats. Some of the well-known ghats include DasaswamedhGhat, where the aarti is performed every morning and evening, Hanuman Ghat, DarbhangaGhat, and Man MandirGhat. The ghats are used for bathing, for aarti and also burning bodies of the dead.
ManikarnikaGhat is a place where dead bodies are cremated in full view and their ashes are immersed in the Ganges. AssiGhat has the maximum number of hotels and restaurants.
Varanasi has plenty of temples dedicated to Lord Shiva including KashiVishwanath Temple and New Vishwanath Temple.