10 Most Visited Pilgrimage Places in the World

Pilgrimage is a very old motive for travelling. People across the world visit these holy places in order to purify their soul. The Hajj to the al - haram mosque in Mecca is quite famous and it has as many as 2927717 Muslims participating in 2011 in the pilgrimage. There are also a number of Hindus travelling to Sabarimala, Kerala for the annual pilgrimage. The total estimate of people visiting for a pilgrimage ranges from 3 to 50 million. Some of the sacred sites are quite free and they are also open for the public. Therefore getting an accurate count of visitors is certainly not very easy.

If you are interested in knowing about some of the best pilgrimages of the world, then going through the points mentioned below will certainly benefit you:

Mecca, Saudi Arabia


Mecca is quite a holy city for the Islamic people. It is located in the Arabian Peninsula and is located at a distance of 210 miles towards the South of Medina. Eac year as many as 13 million people visit Mecca. Almost all of these people visiting this place are Muslims. The devout Muslims are mostly encouraged to visit Mecca at least once in their life. It is however, a good option to try visiting this place every year. The last and the final month in the Islamic calendar is quite busy. There are as many as two million people coming in order to celebrate Hajj.

The holiness of the place is based on the fact that is the place where Muhammad was born. This is the first place where the Quran was revealed. But unfortunately, inside the city of Mecca, the non-Muslims are not allowed. In case non Muslims enter then they will be deported or fined. The non-muslims are allowed in Medina and so if you are not a Muslim then you can certainly visit Medina.

When should you visit this place?

Visiting this place between the months of November to February is the best time to visit this place.

Pro tips to visit this place

There are a few important tips that you need to know before you visit Mecca and in order to know about them a little more, you can go through the points mentioned below:

Why do Hajj?

Hajj pilgrimage is considered to be a very sacred duty of the Islamic people. It is also the sacred duty of all the financial and the physically able people to visit this place.

Know about the various types of pilgrimage

There are a total of three different types of pilgrimages and you can choose the hajj travel packages from there. The three packages are Tamattu, Qiran and the third is the Ifraad.

When can you go?

Hajj is only performed during a particular period of time. This is dependent on the Islamic lunar calendar and starts on the 8th day and the 12th day of Dhu al - Hijah. Umraah, however, can be performed any time of the year.

Passport and Visas

In order to get a Hajj visa it is necessary for the pilgrims to get a passport. You will be able to get the Hajj visas absolutely free of cost. As per the rules and regulations of Saudi Arabia, none of the pilgrims can start staying in the country. After the completion of the Hajj the pilgrims have to live the country. It is also recommended for the pilgrims to carry extra passport size photographs so that they can provide them as and when required.

Vaccinations

It is essential for the pilgrims to have a certificate for vaccination against the Meningococcal Meningitis. The date of issuance of the certificate cannot be more than 3 years or less than 10 days. You will also have to carry the vaccination certificates for seasonal influenza and oral polio. The authorities of Saudi Arabia will be inspecting these certificates.

The things that you will have to pack

Apart from the passport, light, ID and vaccination, you will also have to carry lights, a set of prayer mats, a Dua book and pocket quran and other guide books on Hajj and Ummrah. You cannot carry food items in Saudi Arabia

Knowing how to reach Mecca

There are buses from all over the country that will take you to Mecca.

What to wear?

Both men as well as women wear white clothes during Hajj. This is because white symbolizes purity.

 Attractions of Saudi Arabia

  • Prophet's Mosque
  • Al Masjid Al haram
  • Jubbah Rock Carvings
  • Pearl Mechant's neighbourhood
  • Empty Quarter
  • Al Ula Viewpoint
  • Masmak Fortress
  • Al Habala
  • Wahba Crater
  • Al Shafee Mosque

The Wailing Wall, Jerusalem


As many as 11 million people visited the old city of Jerusalem and also the Wailing Wall. The number of people visiting this place is increasing each year. The wall is considered to be a holy site for the Muslim people. It is also a holy place for the Jewish place and since a number of years there is a fight going on for the contention of the wall. This is a sacred place for the Jewish people.

When should you visit?

The best days when you can visit this place are on Mondays and Thursdays and it is during this time that you will be able to enjoy the Bar Mitzvah ceremonies that normally are celebrated on these days.

Major attractions:

  • The little Western Wall
  • The Western Wall tunnels
  • Al Masjid Al Aqsa
  • Aish Hatorah building - Aish Center
  • Ophel Archaeological Garden
  • Dome of the Rock
  • Old city of Jerusalem
  • Golden Deck
  • Western World Observation Deck
  • The Cardo

Lumbini


Lumbini is basically the birth place of Lord Buddha and this is a place where a number of Buddhists from throughout the world travel. The spirituality of travelling is recognized by people throughout the world and in the scriptures there are a number of places that are said to be specially significant.

When should you visit?

The best time to visit this place is between the months of October and November and April and May. You can also visit this place during the time when Buddha Jayanthi is celebrated.

Top 10 places of attractions

  • Maya Devi Temple
  • Bodhi Tree
  • Mayadevi Pond
  • Ashoka Pillar, Lumbini
  • World Peace Pagodi
  • Lumbini Museum
  • Royal Thai Buddhist Monastery
  • Srilankan Monatery
  • Cambodian Monastery
  • Korean Temple

Badrinath


Badrinath is located in Uttarakhand and this is a place of pilgrimage for the Hindus.. This is the most important site among the char dhams, or the four pilgrimage centers. This place of Lord Vishnu and it is believed that the Mahabharata was written in the Vyas caves that are located just outside the holy town. This is a temple that was built in the 9th century by the Garhwal kings. After visiting the temple you will also have to spiritually yourself in the natural hot springs which is also called the Surya Kund or the Tapt Kund.

Which is the best time to visit this place?

Badrinath is a place which has a chilly and a cold climate throughout the entire year. The best time to visit this place is between the months of May and June. You can also visit this place between the months of September to October.

The top 10 places to visit in Badrinath

  • Charanparuka
  • Vasudhara Falls
  • Neelkanth
  • Tapt Kund
  • Bheem Pul
  • Narad Kund
  • Saraswati river
  • Vyas Gufa
  • Brahma Kapal
  • Ganesh Gufa

Golden Temple


This is a temple that is located in Amritsar, India and this is a holy place for the Sikhs. The Golden temple is also called the Harmandir Sahib is considered to be the most important Gurdwara. This is a temple that was built in the year 1600. Inside the temple there is a water body that is also called Amrit Sarovar. The most important site inside the temple is the place for dining where there are as many as 3500 people who are being served food by volunteers.

The best time to visit this temple

The best time to visit the Golden temple is between the months of November and March. This time is comparatively pleasant and is the ideal time for sightseeing.

The top 10 tourist attractions of The Golden Temple

  • Jalian Wala Bagh
  • Wagah Border
  • Durgiana Temple
  • Akal Takht
  • Tarn Taran
  • Harike Wetland
  • Maharaja Ranjit Singh Museum
  • Pul Kanjari
  • Ram Tirath
  • Faridkort Fort

Notre-Dame, Paris


This is a Cathedral in Paris and draws a number of tourists every year. It is a site of pilgrimage for the Catholics. It is quite an important place to visit and it is the 13th most widely visited place in the world. This temple is the perfect example of the French Gothic architecture. The design is a wonderful combination of the natural sculptures and also the stained glasses along with the Romanesque architecture of the earlier times.

The best time to visit the Cathedral

You can visit this place anytime of the year, however, mornings are the best times when you can visit this cathedral. You do not have to wait for too long and can get into the church quite easily.

The top 10 attractions in Notre - Dame

  • FM Tour France
  • Hotel Dieu de Paris
  • Antiquites Eric Dubois
  • Towers of the Notre Dame cathedral
  • Square Jean XXIII
  • Pope John Paul II monument
  • Point Zero
  • Buste De Carlo Goldoni
  • La Nouvelle Seine
  • Sainte Chapelle

Kashi Vishwanath Temple, Varanasi

This is a temple that is located on the Western Bank of River Ganga. It is believed that the river has healing power and this is a very famous temple of the Hindus. This temple has been dedicated to Shaiva technology. This technology is a metaphysical concept of a Brahman. This is a temple that attracts as many as 22 million people throughout the year. The structure that the temple has now was built in the year 1780 after it was destroyed and re-constructed a number of times throughout history. This temple has a very vibrant social life and the architecture here is also most stunning.

The best time to visit this temple

November to February is the best time to visit this temple. This is the time when cool breeze blows and it is quite comfortable.

The top10 places to visit

  • Sankat Mochan Hanuman Temple
  • Assi Ghat
  • New Vishwanath Temple
  • Tulsi Manasa Temple
  • Durga Temple
  • Tibetan temple
  • Nepali Temple
  • Manikarnika temple
  • Kedar Ghat
  • Batuk Bhairav mandir

Vatican City


This is a place that is visited by as many as 4.2 million people in a year. This is a site of pilgrimage for the Catholics. This is an independent state-city that is located in the middle of Rome. This place has an immensely beautiful architecture  and this is one of the reasons why tourists from all over the world are attracted to this place. This is considered to be the home of Pope.

Best time to visit this place

You can either visit this place early in the morning or even visit the place after 4 in the evening. It is best to avoid the Wednesday mornings and Saturday mornings.

Top 10 places of attraction

  • Peter's Basilica
  • Sistine Chapel
  • Pinacoteca
  • Piazza San Pietro
  • Museo Pio Clementino
  • Vatican Necropolis
  • Vatican gardens
  • Etruscan Museum
  • Vatican Library
  • Egyptiam Museum

Senso-ji Temple and Meiji Shrine, Tokyo, Japan


There are a total of 30 million visitors visiting this place each year and this is a place that is an absolute must see for all the visitors who pass by this place. This temple was constructed in 628 AD. This is the oldest temple of the city. There is also a 5 storied pagoda here that glows during the evening due to the accent lightening. This is a temple where there are a number of celebrations taking place. The Mejo shrine is also located very much near to this temple. This is a temple that is dedicated to the shrine of emperor Meiji.

Best time to visit this temple

Visiting this place in the early mornings during the week days is the best time to visit this temple. This is because it remains less crowded during this time. There are marriages taking place during the weekends here, so if you want to see something interesting then the best time to visit this temple is during the weekends.

Top 10 attractions

  • Nezu Shrine
  • Tennoji Temple
  • Yushima Seido
  • Yushima Tenmangu
  • Yasukuni shrine
  • Zojoji Temple
  • Sengakuji Temple
  • Atago Shrine
  • Atago Shrine
  • Hie Shrine

Basilica of our Lady Guadalupe, Mexico City


This is a place that is visited by as many as 20 million people. This was constructed on an Aztec that is considered to be extremely sacred. If you try to find out the history of this place you will realize that is place has quite a violent past. When the Spanish conquerors took over Tenochtitlan, they destroyed this particular temple. In the year 1921, the interiors of this temple got damaged due to a bomb attack. This temple however, still stands strong and now has a neighbor as well which is called the New Basilica. The previous Basilica is referred to as the old Basilica.

Best time to visit this place

The best time to visit this place is on the 12th of December where there is a feast of the Virgin of Guadalupe is held. During this time the shrine is the epicenter of the celebrations that take place throughout the country. There are parades, special masses and also firework displays that take place.

Top 10 attractions

  • Guadalupe Shrine And Teotihuacan Pyramids Tour
  • Tour Basilica of Guadalupe and Pyramid of Teotihuacán - Sanctuary of the Virgin
  • Shrine of Guadalupe Tour in Mexico City
  • The Guadalupe Sanctuary From Mexico City
  • Private Tour: Teotihuacan and Guadalupe Shrine
  • Teotihuacan Pyramids and Shrine of Guadalupe
  • Mexico City Super Saver: Teotihuacan, Tlatelolco, and Guadalupe Shrine Plus Xochimilco and Frida Kahlo
  • Teotihuacan, Shrine of Guadalupe & Tlatelolco
  • Acapulco - Pyramids - Zocalo - National Palace - Basilica of Guadalupe and Anthropology Museum
  • Teotihuacan, Tlatelolco and Guadalupe Shrine

The places of pilgrimage that are mentioned above are the best and if you get the opportunity, then do visit them at least once in your lifetime.