With the onset of the third phase of lockdown; the same old question peeps in what to do in lockdown? Well, to ease the wanderlust souls with mesmerizing journeys across the country, here is the second post in the series ‘what to do in lockdown’. While the earlier post of the series was dedicated to a virtual tour of 10 famous monuments in India, this blog post takes you on a virtual tour of 7 spiritual places in India; temples, mosques, monasteries and cathedrals.
- St. Paul’s Cathedral, West Bengal
The 18th century silvery Gothic marvel standing amidst a lush green lawn is Kolkata St. Paul’s Cathedral. It is the largest cathedral in the city and is labeled as the first cathedral by the British overseas. The monument stands at a stone’s throw distance from other popular sightseeing places in Kolkata like Birla Planetarium and Victoria Memorial. Go on the virtual tour of the cathedral here.
- Tabo Monastery, Himachal Pradesh
The Tabo village in Spiti Valley homes an ancient Tibetan Buddhist monastery whose foundation was laid in 996 CE. The halls of the ageless monastery enclose priceless collections of frescos, scroll paintings (called Thankas), manuscripts and statues associated with the life Lord Buddha. Every three years, the monks here celebrate a special celebration called the Chakhar Festival. Traditional Buddhist songs and dances are the main attraction in the festivity. Experience the ‘historical history’ from your couch.
- Golden Temple, Punjab
Also known as Harmandir Sahib, Golden Temple is the most common sightseeing places in Amritsar. The Sikh pilgrimage site stands at the centre of a sacred pool and is surrounded by several small shrines along its sides. The central sanctum of the temple is draped in pure gold from which the name derives as Golden Temple. In addition, the temple runs a free kitchen or Langar that is open 24×7 offering a vegetarian meal to the visitors. Here is a small 360-degree clipping of the holy shrine from NDTV.
- Jagannath Temple, Odisha
Jagannath temple in Puri is one of the most popular religious sites in eastern India. Travellers and pilgrims flock at this coastal city of the east throughout the year. Rath Yatra or Chariot Festival is the main festival celebrated here when thousands of visitors from every corner of the world gather to take part in the fete. Though the temple has faced many destruction and construction over past centuries and more; the present temple is believed to be constructed in the 11th century by King Indradyumna.
- Ghats of Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh
The ‘Spiritual Capital of India’ that boasts of its rusty Ghats, tapered lanes, historical temples and timeless traditions is Varanasi. Mainly known for its Ganga Ghats and Kashi Vishwanath temple (one of the 12 Jyotirlingas in India), the old city of Varanasi is a paradise for both the saffron-clad virtuous and the otherwise. Dasaswamedh Ghat, Manmandir Ghat, Tulasi Ghat, Darbhanga Ghat and Ahilyabai Ghat are a few of the Ghats to name. Take this 360-degree virtual tour to this ancient city through its Ghats.
- Jama Masjid, New Delhi
Originally named Masjid e Jahan Numa, it cost one million rupees to Emperor Shah Jahan to finish the construction of Jama Masjid in the 16th century. The red sandstone and marble construction with two 40 meter high minarets and an open courtyard can accommodate 25000 people at a time. Just at its opposite face of the mosque stands the sandstone wall of Red Fort which was also patronized by Emperor Shah Jahan along with The Taj Mahal. Step into the wonderful world of architecture and design here.
- Bhimkali Temple, Himachal Pradesh
Another wonderful place of pilgrimage with a view is the Bhimkali Temple near Shimla. It is one of the 51 Shakti Peethas in India as well. The temple premises have three other temples namely Raghunathji temple, Nrisingha temple and Patal Bhairav temple. The cranky and lofty Himalayas guard the temple premises offering a pleasant view to the wanderers. Walk into the shrine through this VR tour.