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Sapta Puri

The Sapta Puri are seven holy pilgrimage centres in India. They are: Ayodhya, Mathura, Haridwar, Varanasi, Kanchipuram, Ujjain and Dwarka. The Sapta Puri are places of birth of religious and spiritual masters, places where Gods have descended as avatars . Ayodhya is where Rama was born Kanchipuram is known for its Kamakshi Amman Temple dedicated to the Mother goddess. Dwarka represents the place where god Krishna, after leaving Mathura spent 100 years before he left for heaven from here, according to the epic Mahabharata. Mathura is the embodiment of events in the life of Krishna during his childhood and young days.Haridwar with shrines of both Shiva and Vishnu, represents the gateway to Uttarakhand, as the sacred river Ganges emerges from the hills into the plains at this place. Varanasi is the place of salvation as it is strongly believed that death at this place will bring salvation. Varanasi is the holiest of all and it is favourite to Lord Shiva, thus it is often referred as the City of Lord Shiva. In Hinduism, one should visit the major temples in Varanasi in his/her life. Ujjain, also known by the ancient name Avanti, has one of the 12 Jyotirlingas installed in the Mahakaleshwar Temple. Each of these cities is also famous for the spectacular melas or fairs held. Haridwar and Ujjain are famous for the Kumbh Mela held once every 12 years. Marriage festival of Kamakshi at Kanchipuram is a special occasion. Krishna Janmashtami is a special occasion in Dwarka and Mathura.The seven religious cities are within India's territorial ambit and pilgrimage to these places greatly enhances the unity of the nation, in spite of its linguistic and cultural diversity. The seven sacred urban centers are well connected by road, rail and air transport with the rest of the country.
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