The 15 Most Popular Yoga Destinations in India

Through meditation and various body poses, the ancient Indian science of Yoga seeks to make practitioners disciplined and ultimately lead them to moksha or eternal salvation. In recent times, it has become so popular that its practice is bringing lots of tourists to India. There are hordes of places in the country where vacations can be planned to practice and learn about this science. The following is a list of the top 15 Yoga destinations in the country:

Rishikesh, Uttarakhand

Without a doubt, Rishikesh in the Indian state of Uttarakhand is the biggest Yogic centre in the entire world. It is the foremost destination that travellers come to during their vacation trips in India for a wholesome relaxing and divine experience. Visitors can come here directly by train from New Delhi or take trains first to Haridwar, followed by a short bus journey.

Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala

Many Yoga sites here are located by the Arabian Sea, while some are nestled deep in pristine palm forests, providing a perfect setting to indulge in meditative activities. So while visitors are enjoying their beach holidays, they can also consider taking classes in these places for a really good time.

Mysore, Karnataka

Mysore is known for a distinct type of this discipline that developed here. In this form, the duration of the sessions and the difficulty level of the asanas depend on the expertise of students. People can plan their tours to the city easily as it has good transport connectivity with other places in India.

Pune, Maharashtra

Many notable practitioners have their teaching centres here and hence, Pune too is known for its Yogic culture. The best thing about the city is that besides yogic ashrams, there are many other attractions to visit for tourists. Its places of interest include medieval forts, museums, hills, temples and public parks.

Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh

Those who want to learn about the Buddhist influence on Yoga and its influence on the religion can plan their vacations in Dharamshala. Peace is the dominating philosophy associated with the science here and the backdrop of high mountains makes it even better.

Goa

Goa is famous worldwide for its beaches, which make romantic and family trips here highly sought-after. While travellers are enjoying their time together in the state, they may turn to any of the resorts that provide lessons in Yogic practices. Dabolim Goa International Airport has seasonal flights from and to many international cities apart from the regular services to Indian cities.

Coonoor, Tamil Nadu

A popular Yoga destination in Tamil Nadu is Coonoor, which is located in the Western Ghats, thus providing sheer tranquillity for its practise. Holidays in Coonoor may also be utilised to see its natural beauty, trekking through the hills or visiting the nearby hill station of Ooty.

Narendranagar, Uttarakhand

Another such famous destination in Uttarakhand is Narendranagar. It is located in the foothills of the Himalayas and so the climate here is cool, but not extremely cold and perfect for indulging in this activity. As it is near to the holy twin-towns of Haridwar and Rishikesh, pilgrimage tours to these places may be modified to include Narendranagar, as well.

Chennai, Tamil Nadu

A great destination to visit during vacations in South India to purify the body, mind and soul, is Chennai. Post touring the capital city of Tamil Nadu or after playing some beach volleyball, a relaxing meditative session at the Yoga ashrams or resorts here sounds like a remarkable plan.

Bengaluru, Karnataka

Bengaluru, the IT hub of India, is a raging urban centre with loads of attractions to visit. The presence of institutes of famous Yoga preachers and spiritual leaders makes it a good place to learn about and practise it.

Munger, Bihar

Trips can be taken to Munger to learn in detail about the Bihar style of the Yogic science, along with practising it with experienced gurus. Various institutes here educate visitors about monastic life and advanced stages of the practice.

Mumbai, Maharashtra 

Mumbai, the financial capital of India, is also the place where the first organised Yoga centre in the world was set up. Loads of international tourists come here during holidays and head to any of such centres and practise it.

Haridwar, Uttarakhand

Haridwar holds roughly the same importance as Rishikesh when it comes to this culture. The Ganga River flows through here and its banks become the perfect spots to indulge in this meditative and spiritually cleansing activity.

Kashmir

The Kashmir region is surely famous for its natural beauty and ski resorts, but another thing that it is known for is a type of Yoga with its roots in Shaivism. There are numerous institutes in the region, where travellers may enrol during their tours in the state to learn in detail about it.

New Delhi

Being the capital of India, New Delhi has also become an important destination from the perspective of this science. There are numerous institutes here that provide lessons and practise in this discipline. The Indian Government too has established various centres for the practise, research and promotion of this art.

Exploring the Kapaleeswarar Temple

Tamil Nadu is one of the two southernmost states of India. It is bordered by the expansive Bay of Bengal in the east, the Indian Ocean in the south, Kerala in the west and Karnataka in the north. The European conquest happened here in 1609 with the arrival of the Dutch. A Tamil Nadu tour can be undertaken to savour the Dravidian and the colonial heritage, which are integral parts of its history and culture. The state has many historical sites located in its modern metropolises. Chennai is the official capital of the state and an urban centre, which has many places worth visiting, like scenic beaches, temples, churches, museums and monuments. The Kapaleeswarar Temple is one such site in the city that receives heavy tourist influx every year.

 

Kapaleeswarar Temple

 

This shrine is devoted to Lord Shiva and his wife Parvati. Originally built somewhere in 7th century AD, but was destroyed by the Portuguese after their invasion in the 16th century. The Tuluva Dynasty of the Vijayanagara Empire built the current structure in the late 16th century, about 1.5 kilometres away from the actual site. Legend has it that a ling was placed here by Lord Brahma to please Shiva. The temple is mentioned in many stories in the Hindu mythology. It is a typical Dravidian-style shrine with two conical towers known as gopurams. These are carved with scenes from the Hindu scriptures and topped by a cylindrical structure. Entry is via two gates; one in the east and the other in the west. Several statues adorn its premises; the first of which belongs to Lord Ganesha. Goddess Parvati is also worshipped here and has a separate shrine as does Kartikeya along with his two wives. Next to the temple of Kartikeya is the structure housing Lord Muruga. The Kalyana Mandapa is a 16-pillared hall, where devotees seek the blessing of Goddess Karpagambal, depicted with having four hands. Its steps have elephant models and one of the pillars has a carving of Lord Hanuman. Blessing seekers circle around this pillar before proceeding to see the goddess.

 

The shrine of Shiva is next to the Mandapa where the deity is present as a ling. Other deities worshipped here are Durga, Bhairava and Dakshinamoorthy. Nandi – the divine bull of Shiva – is also housed here and is worshipped by people. A certain spot inside the complex gives beholders a panoramic view of the various buildings and temples. In the north-eastern corner is the altar of Shani Bhagwan and next to it are the Navagraha i.e. nine planets. Vehicles used by gods, such as peacock, bull, elephant, goat and parrot are also housed inside the premises. Priests perform rituals six times every day, with each ritual having four steps. Sound of drums, pipes and the chanting of Vedas accompany the prayers.

 

Information Necessary for Visitors

 

A Chennai tour can be planned in any month as its tropical climate does not make much of a difference in the weather and temperature. Chennai International Airport connects many destinations outside India and has routine flights to and from Delhi and Mumbai. The entire country is connected to the city via railways and national highways.

Official website of temple can be found here.

Religious Sites of Kanyakumari

Kanyakumari lies on the southern tip of India, surrounded by huge water bodies from three sides. The ethereal beauty of beaches, sunrise and sunset is the most fascinating highlights of a Kanyakumari tour. Apart from the glittering beaches, this place has an interesting story behind its name, which was taken from the mythological epics of the Hindus. It is said that Kumari Amman (also known as Kanya Devi) – an incarnation of Goddess Parvati (spouse of Lord Shiva), vowed that she will remain a virgin till Lord Shiva does not marry her. She took a penance on one of the stones of this place; and hence the place is called Kanyakumari – meaning a virgin girl. The Kumari Amman Temple, dedicated to this Devi Kanya, lies at the shore of the Arabian Sea, Bay of Bengal and the Indian Ocean.

 

Shrines of Kanyakumari

 

The shrines of this destination are popular for their ingenious architecture and detailed carvings. Beautiful artwork and lavish interiors of these holy sites should not be missed by travellers during their India holidays at this place.A large population of this region worships Lord Murugan, Ayyappan and Krishna.

 Suchindram Temple

Suchindram Temple

The district is dotted with religious sites, including the Vivekananda Rock Memorial and Suchindram Temple, Shri Adukesav Perumal Temple and Kumari Amman Temple.

 

Kumari Amman

 

The shrine is dedicated to Goddess Parvati, who won Lord Shiva after going through harsh atonements in this region. She was destined to kill Banasura – one of the guards of the devil – but only if she was a virgin.

Kumari Amman

Kumari Amman

So, all gods refused to marry her, in order to save the earth from destruction. The nose ring wore by statue of the deity is popular for its dazzling glow. It is said that the unique white glow of this nose ring misled many ships in the past.

 

Sri Adikesava Perumal

 

Shri Adukesav Perumal Temple

Shri Adukesav Perumal Temple

Another prominent pilgrimage in the region can be found at the sacred land of Thiruvattar, known by the name of Sri Adikesava Perumal Temple. The site holds a significant place for followers of Vaishnavism, and is part of the 108 Divya Desams of the country. Surrounded by three well-known rivers – Kothai, Pahrali and Thamirabarani, it is situated among scenic environs of Thiruvattar. According to legends, the deity of this shrine is revered as he defeated a demon named Kesi, leaving his revengeful wife behind.

 

The wife then asked for destruction to be caused under the effect of River Ganges and Thamirabarani, but it could not be achieved and she had to surrender to the Lord. The architecture here is another fascinating thing to note that has been appreciated since years. The intricately-designed pillars, doors and roof are splendid examples of Dravidian style that adds more worth to the structure. Devotees could see the deity lying on his couch made of a snake, through the doors. Other prominent figures inside the shrine are of Lord Adikesava Perumal and Deepalakshmis, which are quite different from each other. The temple is also popular for its various beautiful murals and the festivals celebrated here.

 

The Grandiose of Thanjavur in Tamil Nadu

Tamil Nadu is an influential and prosperous state, which lies in the southern region of the large Indian peninsula. Encompassed by hills, mountains and the expansive sea, it depicts diversity when it comes to geography. The same range of diversity is reflected by its rich heritage, which is a melange of splendid performing arts, literature, paintings and cuisine. Inhabited by native Tamilians since ancient times, this state abounds several impressive edifices and traditionally-built temples from olden times. Many of the sites in the state have international recognition and mention on the highly-regarded World Heritage List by UNESCO. Tamil Nadu tour packages are either focused on its natural splendor or the spectacular heritage it is proud of.

In terms of tourism, the state ranks amongst the top five in India. Grand architectural masterpieces from ancient and medieval times are dotted across the region that fascinate archaeologists, architecture aficionados and history buffs from all over the world.

Vivekananda Rock Memorial

Vivekananda Rock Memorial

The Dravidian Hindu temples of Tamil Nadu speak of its architectural splendor during various periods while the Vivekananda Rock Memorial is exemplary of modern architecture. When talked of impressive edifices, a place that draws hordes of travelers is Thanjavur. Known for its cultural, religious and heritage sites, this city in Tamil Nadu is a popular tourist destination.

Thanjavur: A Cultural Destination

This city serves as the headquarters of its namesake district in Tamil Nadu. It is believed to have derived its name from a demon named Tanjan, who appears in the Hindu mythology. This city flourished during the reign of Medieval Cholas, who ruled large parts of the state during the mid-9th century. They greatly affected the art, architecture and traditions of this place during their long rule. The most significant reminders of their long reign are the Great Living Chola Temples situated in and around the city that have their names inscribed on the famed UNESCO World Heritage List. These temples are fine specimens of the traditional Dravidian style of architecture, which developed and evolved in the state over a period of several centuries.

Brihadeeswarar Temple

Brihadeeswarar Temple

The most notable one amongst the aforementioned group of temples is the Brihadeeswarar Temple, which is dedicated to Lord Shiva – the transformer. Its construction was commissioned by the great emperor Raja Raja Chola I during the 11th century. Also known as the Big Temple popularly, it turned one millennium old in the year 2010. Built using axial and geometrical patterns in the layout, it marked the beginning of the new Chola style. A beautifully-carved gopuram (temple tower), Chola frescoes and mural paintings are the most prominent features of this Shiva shrine.

 

Thanjavur Maratha Palace

Thanjavur Maratha Palace

Another famous landmark to be visited during the Tamil Nadu tour in the city is the Thanjavur Maratha Palace, which was the palatial residence of the Bhonsle family. They ruled the region from the 17th to 19th century, after the downfall of the Nayaks. The Bhonsles had a control on the palace even after the region was annexed by the British in the ending years of the 18th century. The city has several other landmarks and constructions, which justify its fame as a significant heritage destination in the south of India.

Topslip and Yeracud- Tranquil Hill Stations of Tamil Nadu

Travellers, who are planning to spend their vacations in Tamil Nadu tour, should consider visiting some of the lesser known hill stations of this Indian state. Lying in the southernmost part of South India, this location is bounded by – the Nilgiri, Annamalai and Kerala on the west; Te eastern Ghats on the north, the Bay of Bengal in the east and the Indian Ocean in the south. This popular tourist destination features a spellbinding topography and is home to a number of breathtaking hill stations, tranquil beaches, vibrant markets, venerated shrines and prominent historical monuments. There are several hamlets of hills in this state that are lesser known and hence ideal getaways for people who seek peace and repose during vacations. Topslip and Yercaud are two such serene locations, which are must-visit attractions in this state.

Topslip

Topslip

Topslip

Topslip, which is located at an elevation of about 800 feet above sea level in the amazing Annamalai mountain ranges, is a must-visit. It is one of the most beautiful regions of the Western Ghats that remains untouched by the interventions of urbanisation and pollution. This place lies inside the Indira Gandhi National Park Wildlife Sanctuary in the district of Coimbatore, in Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve. This place is an ideal destination for wildlife enthusiasts, peace seekers, nature lovers and adventurers. Apart from enjoying the tranquil natural beauty of this place and exploring its rich wildlife, tourists can indulge in activities like trekking, hiking and mountaineering. A delight for scientists, researchers and creative writers, this place inspires people to explore their talents and work with positivity. The Palght Gap separates it from the Nilgiri Hills in the north, this destination is more than 35 kilometres away from Pollachi, which is the nearest town and about 10 kilometres from Sethumadai Village, which is well-connected to Pollachi by road.

Yercaud

A small hilly resort situated in the district of Salem in Tamil Nadu, Yercaud is a mesmerising destination. Lying in the laps of the Shevaroys ranges in the Eastern Ghats, this place is popularly known as Shevaroy Hills. It is positioned at an elevation of more than 4900 feet above sea level. The highest point at this spellbinding natural nest is the revered Servarayan Temple, which is situated at a height of more than 5300 feet above sea level. This shrine features a lake and remains surrounded by dense lush green forests. People who like spending vacations amidst natural beauty in peace would definitely want to include this place in their itinerary of Tamil Nadu tour packages. This captivating topography is known as the Jewel of the South for its breathtaking landscapes. People can visit numerous places of interest, including pristine water bodies, amazing hill tops, dense forests, ancient buildings and shrines here. Adventure seekers can indulge in enthralling activities like trekking, hiking, rock climbing, camping and mountaineering. This place is properly connected to the district of Salem via road, and is worth visiting.