Cityscape of Varanasi with Ganges River in foreground.
The holy Ganges River runs through Varanasi.
Photo Credit: Getty Images

9 Destinations That Will Inspire a Spiritual Awakening

There is something about breaking away from normal life, about experiencing a world that is different from your own, that brings a sense of peace, tranquility and appreciation to how you feel about your own life. No matter your job title, your relationship status or your religious preferences, travel has no prejudice; it welcomes all who choose to embark on its magical journey.

In fact, travel is the best form of therapy out there. Yes, it is relatively pricey therapy, but it’s unquestionably worth it and promises to put even the biggest of conundrums into perspective. Sometimes we need to escape the bustling city and our busy lives to get in touch with ourselves, and to reflect and reconnect with our souls.

If you’ve been longing to experience spiritual fulfillment through travel, if you have a deep set desire to get in touch with yourself, look no further than these spiritual travel destinations. They will undoubtedly leave you changed for the better.


India is better known as the heart chakra of the world. It is a destination all humans should experience at least once, as there is nowhere else you will feel more alive, more present. Every sense will be heightened, forcing you to feel as if you are living, breathing, seeing, hearing and sometimes even smelling everything in your surroundings.

It’s absolutely exhilarating and the energy within every nook and cranny is infectious. India also has a plentiful number of attractions for spiritual rejuvenation, boasting a massive variety of yoga retreats and meditation centers.

In short, it is the perfect place for a spiritual getaway, challenging you to stretch your mind and open your heart. Here are some of the top destinations in India to start your spiritual pilgrimage.


Varanasi is considered the spiritual capital of India due to its abundance of spiritual history. It’s one of the seven sacred cities of Hinduism and has importance to Buddhists as this is where Buddha gave his first sermon.

As well, Varanasi is located on the banks of the Ganges, which is an immensely holy river according to Hinduism. The river is worshiped as a deity and it is believed that seeing the Ganges, saying its name and touching its waters will cleanse you of sins.

Ganges River with people lining the banks.Visit temples and witness people experiencing spiritual revival in the Ganges.Photo Credit: Getty Images


Haridwar is one of the oldest living cities in the world and another one of India’s holiest destination. Located at the foot of the Himalayas, it is the famous gathering spot for pilgrims to wash away their sins in what is the beginning of the River Ganges.

Visit Har-ki-Pairi Ghat and witness hundreds of worshipers gather for the ganga aarti, a river worship ceremony. The ceremony is enchanting as people send leaf baskets encasing flower petals and topped with candles downstream as the sun sets.

You’d be amiss to not visit any of the awe-striking Hindu temples while in Haridwar. Mansa Devi Temple and Chandi Devi Temple are located on hilltops and afford gorgeous views and calming vibes, making them some of the top spiritual places to visit.

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Bridge over river and colorful buildings.Rishikesh is the birthplace of yoga.Photo Credit: Getty Images


Rishikesh is the birthplace of yoga and is the perfect place to practice both meditation and various forms of yoga. It is known as a place for seeking knowledge and peace. Have your pick of the many ashrams for a yoga retreat and take a dip in the Ganges to experience its cleansing waters.

You can also experience Ayurveda therapies and massages, enabling your mind and body to find ultimate serenity.

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