India, India Information, Religion of India

Welcome to Himachal


North India

South India

East India

North East











Bird Watching





Special Tours

Train Tours





Car Rental

View All Tours


Rajasthan Tours

Colourful Rajasthan

Rajasthan With Pushkar

Cultural Tour

Delightful Rajasthan

Desert Tour

Desert Triangle

Gujarat & Rajasthan

Holidays in Rajasthan

Honeymoon Tour

Luxury Palace Tour

Rajasthan & South India

Rajasthan Desert Tour

Rajasthan East Tour

Rajasthan for Women

Rajasthan Gujrat Tour

Rajasthan North India

Rajasthan Short Tour

Rajasthan Tibet Kashmir

Round Trip of Rajasthan

Travel To Rajasthan

Vacations in Rajasthan

North India Tours

Impressions of Ladakh

Highlights  North India

North India By Road

North India & Nepal

Temple Tour in India

19 Days Buddhist Tour

North India with Puri

Temple Tiger Tour

South India Tours

South India Intensive

Karnataka Tour

South India Wild Life

Sandalwood Spice

South India Honeymoon

South India Temple

South India Coastal

Deccan India

South India Tour

South India Horse Safari

Best of South India

Tibet Tours

Tibet Tour

10 Days Tibet Tour

Best of Tibet

Tibet Intensive Tour

8 Days Tibet Tour

Kathmandu and Lhasa

Spiritual Lhasa Tour

Tibet Short Tour

Ladakh Tours

Camel Safari in Ladakh

Zanskar River Rafting

Cycling in Ladakh

Ladakh Trekking Tour

Trekking in Markha

Ladakh Jeep Safari

Trekking in Ladakh

Ladakh Biking

Trekking in Nubra Valley

Jeep Safari in Ladakh

Land of Ladakh

Best of Ladakh

Impressions of Ladakh

Nepal Tours

Temple Tiger of Nepal

North India & Nepal

Nepal & Taj Mahal Tour

Bird Watching in Nepal

Majestic Nepal

Nepal Adventure Tour

Nepal Intensive

Nepal Golden Triangle

Best of Nepal

Nepal Short Tour

Nepal Heritage Tour

Nepal Temple Tour

Sikkim Tours

Darjeeling Trekking Tour

Sikkim Bhutan & Nepal 

Sikkim Bird Watching

Kanchenjunga Trekking 

East India with Sikkim 

West Bengal and Sikkim

Best of Sikkim

North India & Sikkim Tour

Sikkim Intensive Tour

Sikkim Tour

Sikkim Jeep Safari Tour

Biking in Sikkim Tour

Sikkim Triangle Tour 

Gujarat Tours

Gujarat Intensive Tour

Gujarat Wildlife Tour

Best of Gujarat Tour

Gujarat Short Wildlife 

Gujarat Temple Tour

Gujarat Heritage Tour

Gujarat Short Tour

Kashmir Tours

Kashmir Intensive Tour

Vacations in Kashmir

Holidays in Kashmir

Kashmir with Amarnath

Gardens of Kashmir

Kashmir & Zoji – La Tour

Kashmir Honeymoon Package

Houseboats of Kashmir

Valley of Kashmir Tour

Travel to Kashmir

Short Tour of Kashmir

Kerala Tours

Kerala Beaches Tour

Kerala Backwater Tour

Kerala Coconut Land

Temple Tours

Kailash Mansarovar

Char Dham Yatra

South India Temple Tour

Temple Tour in India

North India Temple Tour

East India Temple Tour

Ajanta & Ellora Tour

Rajasthan Temple Tour

Buddhist Pilgrimage Tour

Sikh Pilgrimage Tour

Vaishno Devi Tour

Wild Life Tours

Wild Life Vacation

Rajasthan Wild Life

Kanha Wild Life

South India Wild Life

Wild Life in Jungles

Wild Life with Goa

Himalaya Wild Life

Nepal Wild Life

Call of the Wild Tour

Panna Wild Life Tour

Wild Life in West India

Gujarat Wildlife Tour

Taj Wild Life Tour

Kaziranga Wild Life

Safari Tours

India Bhutan Jeep Safari

Camel Safari Tour

Rajasthan Heritage Safari

Rajasthan Desert Safari

Rajasthan Horse Safari 

Himachal Jeep Safari

Adventure Tours

Himalaya Trekking

Rafting on Ganges

River Rafting

Rajasthan on Bicycle

Biking in Sikkim

India River Rafting

Cycling in Ladakh

Tons River Rafting

Ladakh Biking Tour

Garhwal Trekking

River Rafting Tour

Trekking in Ladakh

Indus River Rafting


According to the Hindu mythology, the earth is Additi, the mother goddess. The Aryans, who crossed the Hindkush mountains in the 15th century BC were mainly the pastoral people, who drive their herds of cattle for the better pastures and race in chariots and settled in the Indus and Gangetic plains. On their way, they sung various hymns and poems and during this several deities appeared. Some of these deities were the Agni (fire), Varuna (all-encompassing spirit of heaven), Rudra (force of storms), Usha (dawn) and Surya (sun), who were the personification of the nature Gods. The Aryans also brought few women with them during their journey and intermarried with the indigenous Dravidians. The gods of both the races began to be worshipped together. The Aryans did not favour the Dravidians and divided them on the basis of caste, originally based on varna (colour) but later on the nature of men’s occupation.

Om, Hinduism in India

These four castes are the Brahmins, the priests, the Kshatriyas or Rajputs, the warriors, the Vaishyas, the traders and Shudras, the agriculturists. These groups were ranked in a hierarchy of ritual purity, with the Brahmins at the top. This division later led to social discrimination in the society. The untouchables or outcastes were left with the jobs which were regarded as impure, usually associated with dealing with the dead (either human or animal) or with excrement. Some of the Kshatriyas and the Brahmins, went into the forests to meditate on the problems of Life and Death and the relationship between man and God. The sayings of these thinkers later were formed in the book called the Upanishads. One of the main doctrine that emerged from the philosophy propounded by the Upanishads was that there is a Supreme God, Brahma who later splits himself into many gods due to the sheer compulsion of desire and thus the universe came into being. There are corresponding desire in the hearts of the many to seek Union with the Supreme One, which can be achieved through meditation and prayer. This doctrine of the Upanishads was mixed up by the priests with superstition and intricate rituals.

Reform Movements
Various Hindu reformers dedicated their energy to the revival of a more synthetic doctrine based on the original faith. Most of the original faiths have been transformed into dogma. Some of these reformers emphasized on the realization of the Supreme God through personal devotion, also known as Bhakti. Hinduism assumed the form of Brahmanical Theism. The three main forms of Brahmanical theism were found among the Hindus since the medieval period which were associated with the worship of three different gods. These three forms are Vaishnavism, Shaivism and Shaktism. Vaishnavism emphasize on the worship of the god Vishnu. Besides Vishnu and His consort Lakshmi, the Lord Rama and Krishna, are also worshipped as the incarnations of the god Vishnu. Shaivism emphasize on the worship of the god Shiva, who is the creator, preserver and destroyer of the universe. Shaktism emphasize on the role of Shakti, the consort of Shiva, as Durga, Mother Kali (destroyer) and Parvati (preserver of the universe). Various religious doctrines and practices are also associated with this belief. Various images of mother goddess and Lord Shiva are also found in the remains of Mohenjodaro and Harappa. The various beliefs of Hinduism were influenced by Islam, Sikhism and Christianity and this resulted in the strengthening of faith in one God, the Supreme being. Various philosophers also emphasized on the essential unity of all religions. They believed that the God is the same and by whatever name one may describe Him. They worshipped both Rama and Rahim. The reform movements of the Arya Samaj emphasized on the “pure” Vedic doctrine, and the Brahmo Samaj, insisted on the synthesis between Hindu and Christian teachings and introduced more rational concepts and practices into Hinduism. Hinduism is like a thinking man’s way of life and does not enforce infallible concepts and beliefs. It offers a philosophy for a good and a happy way to lead life without invoking the wrath of God. Freedom of belief and religious practices are rooted in Hinduism.

Modern Hinduism
The beliefs and practices of modern Hinduism were adopted about more than 2000 years ago. But now there has been some major changes in the beliefs and practices of the Hinduism. In the 6th century BC, the Buddhist and Jains tried to reform the religion of Vedism which was dominant in some parts of India for about five hundred years. Some of the great philosophers such as Shankaracharya and Ramanuja transformed some of the major aspects of previous Hindu thought. Various Hindu scholars and philosophers have talked about Hinduism as one religious and cultural tradition, in which the enormous variety of belief and practice can be interpreted as interwoven in a common view of the world. There are various spiritual leaders and philosophers who are widely revered, and there is an enormous range of literature and scriptures that are treated as sacred. The Vedas of the Brahmanism are still regarded as sacred by most of the Hindus, but virtually no modern Hindu either shares the beliefs of the Vedic writers or the practices like the sacrifice. Not all Hindu groups believe in a single supreme God and even today, there are adherents of several of the major systems of philosophy which developed in the course of Hinduism’s most formative period from the early centuries BC to the 13th or 14th century AD. The living importance of Hinduism can still be seen in the various activities of the everyday family life to great temple rituals across India.

Religious Treatises
The religious and philosophical beliefs of the early Hindus were found in the Vedas and the Upanishads, while the actual history of the Aryans is found in the two great epics, the Ramayana and the Mahabharata. One of the gods, who played an important part in the great war, was exalted to the position of Supreme God. This was Krishna, who later become one of the most favoured symbols of the human aspiration for union with the divine. His discourse to Arjuna has been enshrined in a long poem called the Bhagavad Gita. Today, the Bhagvad Gita is considered as the principal code for action for the Hindu masses. It sums up the philosophy of Hinduism and all the Hindus swear by the Bhagavad Gita. Between the fourth and ninth centuries, the various ancient gods of the Vedic period were there like Brahma, Agni, Surya, Indra and Siva.

Mahabharata, The Greatest Epic

Later various gods like Vishnu, Shakti and a host of apsaras, demons and spirits were added to it. The images of these gods were also found on the walls of the Hindu temples. Various Hindu religious doctrines, practices and beliefs was codified in the books called the Puranas. These constitute a kind of encyclopedia of the Hindu faith. The beliefs were supported by Puranic stories which were very effective among the illiterate people.

Hindu Belief in India

Hindu beliefs
Although it is impossible to tie down Hindu belief to a universally accepted creed, a number of ideas do run like a thread through intellectual and popular Hinduism. One of the recurring themes associated with that “life conviction” is that of ‘vision’, ‘sight’, 'view’, also known as darshan. Applied to the different philosophical systems themselves, such as yoga or Vedanta, ‘Darshana’ is also used to describe the sight of the deity that worshippers hope to gain when they visit a temple or shrine. Equally it may apply to the religious insight gained through meditation or prayer. It is also widely believed that there are four stages in an ideal life. These stages are of the student, the householder, the forest dweller and the wandering dependent or beggar (sannyasi).

These stages represent the phases through which an individual learns the goals of life’s and the means of achieving them, where he carries out his duties and raises sons, and then retires to meditate alone and then finally when he gives up all possessions and depends on the gifts of others. The age in which we live is seen by Hindu philosophers as a dark age, the kaliyuga, and the most important behaviour enjoined on Hindu for this period was that of fulfilling the obligations of the householder. Besides this, there are four major human goals according to the Hindus. These four goals are material prosperity (artha), the satisfaction of desires (kama), and performing the duties laid down according to your position in life (dharma). Beyond those is the goal of achieving liberation from the endless cycle of re-births into which everyone is locked (moksha). Dharma represents the order inherent in human life. It is secular and doesn’t depend on any revelation or command of God. The Mahabharata talks of ten embodiments of dharma: good name, truth, self-control, cleanness of mind and body, simplicity, endurance, resoluteness of character, giving and sharing, austerities and continence. More accurately it can be thought of as the effect of former actions. According to this doctrine, every person, animal or god has a being or self which has existed without beginning. Every action, except those that are done without any consideration of the result, leaves an indelible mark on that self. This is carried forward into the next life, and the overall character of the imprint on each person’s ‘self’ determines three features of the next life. 

Hindu philosophy 
There are six major schools of Hindu philosophy. The yoga and Vedanta are the main schools of philosophy. Yoga can be traced back as a system of the 3rd century AD and possibly further. It is concerned with systems of meditation that can lead ultimately to release from the cycle of rebirth. In some senses it is just one part of the wider system known as Vedanta. Literally the term Vedanta refers to the final parts of the Vedantic literature, the Upanishads. The basic texts also include the Brahmasutra of Badrayana, written about the 1st century AD, and the most important of all, the Bhagavad Gita, which is a part of the Mahabharata, the great epic. The complexities of the different schools of philosophy continued to exercise the minds of intellectual Hindus. But the abstractions of philosophy don’t mean much for the millions of Hindus living across India today, nor have they in the past. Some of the Hindus believe in one powerful God who created all the lesser gods and the universe. The Hindu gods include many of the gods whose origin lie in the Vedic deities of the early Aryans. These were often associated with the forces of nature, and Hindus have also revered many natural objects. Mountain tops, hills, trees, rocks and rivers were regarded as sites of special religious significance. In South India, trees are often painted with vertical red and white stripes and have a small shrine at their base. Hill tops frequently have a shrine of some kind at the highest point, dedicated to a particularly powerful god.

Today, most of the Hindus consider the worship, often referred to as “performing puja” as an integral part of their faith. The majority of Hindus have a small temple in their homes of one of the gods of the Hindu mythology. Various individuals and families also visit the holy places such as Benaras or Puri. Such sites have a temple which is dedicated to a major deity but there are various other shrines in the vicinity which are dedicated to various other gods. The various acts of devotion are aimed towards the relatively abstract goal of liberation, from rebirth and meeting the urgent needs for the life like good health, finding a suitable wife or husband, the birth of a son, prosperity and good fortune. In this respect there is a remarkable similarity in the devotion of the various pilgrims of all faiths whether they visit Hindu, Buddhist or Jain.

Hindu Temple, India

Temples, the tombs of the Muslim saints or the churches. In the domestic shrine or in a great temple, performing puja means making an offering to deity and darshan means having a view of the deity. Although there are devotional movements among Hindus in which singing and praying is practised in the groups and the Hindus worship is considered as an act performed by the individuals. Thus, the Hindu temples may be a little more than a shrine in the middle of the street, that houses an image of the deity which will be tended by a priest and visited at special times when a darshan of the resident God can be obtained. 

Most of the Hindus regard as particularly beneficial to worship at places where God has been revealed. These Hindus not only visit the famous nearby pilgrimage places like Varanasi, situated on the banks of the Ganges, but also visit the temples, hill tops and rivers all across India. Certain rivers and towns are also very sacred. These seven holy rivers are the Ganga, Yamuna, Indus and Sarasvati in the North, and the Narmada, Godavari and Kaveri in the South. Besides this, the seven holy places are Haridwar, Mathura, Ayodhya, and Varanasi in the North, Ujjain, Dwarka and Kanchipuram in the South. In addition to these places there are four Holy Abodes which are Badrinath, Puri, Rameshvaram and Dwarka which have the unique distinction of being both a Holy Abode and a Holy Place. Various festivals are also celebrated in the temples. The Jagannath temple in Puri is well known for the Rath Yatra that draws Hindu from all over India. Besides this there are various other small village fairs. During these festivals and fairs you can see the villagers walking in small groups, brightly dressed and often high spirited, sometimes as far as eighty to a hundred kilometers.

Religious Sects 
Brahma, Vishnu and Siva are the three gods which are considered as very powerful gods. Their functions and character are not readily separated. The Lord Brahma is regarded as the ultimate source of creation, whereas the Lord Vishnu is regarded as the preserver or protector of the universe. Although the images and sculptures of Brahma, Vishnu and Siva have come to be seen as the most powerful and important. Their followers are known as the Vaishnavites and Shaivites respectively, and form the two largest sects in India. The Vaishnavites worship the god Vishnu and his incarnations and Shaivites worship the God Shiva.

Lord Ganesha, Ganesh India


The Lord Ganesha or Ganesh is one of the most popular gods of the Hinduism. He is represented as the elephant-headed god in the Hindu mythology. The Lord Ganesha is known by various names in different parts of India and on different occasions as the Remover of Obstacles, the god of domestic harmony and of success. He is the most beloved and revered of all the Hindu gods. He is shown at the gateways and on the door lintels with his elephant head and pot belly, and is worshipped all over India. Meetings, functions, special family gatherings, opening up of any new firm or company and building are said to be never completed without the prayer to the Lord Ganesh. He is the son of Parvati, the wife of Lord Shiva. There are various stories about how the Lord Ganesha got his elephant head, and about his exploits and antics. According to the Hindu mythology, he was created as an ordinary boy, but once he was defeated in battle with the Lord Shiva. His head was cut off by the Lord Shiva. As a result, the Lord Shiva was told to go into the forest and get the head of the first animal they found and to fit that head onto the boy's neck. They found a little elephant, and it worked. Thus the Lord Ganesha came into being.

The Lord Krishna is worshipped widely as perhaps the most recognizable human form of the gods. His advice on the battlefield of the Mahabharata is one of the major sources of guidance for the rules of daily living for many Hindus today.

Vishnu is seen much more as the God with the human face. From the 2nd century a new and passionate devotional worship of Vishnu’s incarnation as Krishna developed in the south India. By 1000 AD, Vaishnavism had spread across south India, and was closely associated with the devotional from of Hinduism preached by Ramanuja. According to the Vaishnavites, the god took these different forms in order to save the world from impending disaster. The famous incarnations of the Lord Vishnu are Matsya (fish), Kurma (tortoise), Varaha (Boar), Narasimha (Half man / half lion), Vamana (Dwarf), Parasurama (Rama with axe), Rama, Krishna, Buddha and Kalki. 

Lord Vishnu, India
Lord Rama, India

The most influential incarnations of Vishnu are Rama and Krishna in which he took up the recognizable human form. The Lord Rama was the Prince of Ayodhya, but as per the history and mythology, Rama was a chief who lived in the 7th or 8th century BC, perhaps 300 years after King David ruled in Israel and the start of the Iron Age in central Europe, or at about the same time as the Greeks began to develop city states. Rama was a very powerful figure in contemporary India. In the earliest stories about Rama he wasn’t regarded as divine. Although he is now seen as an earlier incarnation of Vishnu than Krishna, he was added to the pantheon very late, probably after the Muslim invasions of the 12th century AD. The story of Rama has now become part of the culture of India and is performed during the festival of Dussehra. Ram's supposed birthplace at Ayodhya has also become the focus of fierce disputes between Hindu and Muslims. Hindus have identified Ram’s birthplace as a site currently occupied by a mosque. One of India’s leading historians has argued that there is no historical evidence for this view.

The god Shiva is regarded as the creator and destroyer of the universe. The god Siva lives on Mount Kailash with this wife Parvati and two sons, the elephant-headed god Ganesh and the six-headed Kartikkeya, who is known in south India as Subrahmanayam. He is always accompanied by his ‘vehicle’, Nandi, the bull. They from a model of sorts for family life. He is also widely portrayed in sculpture and art, and most commonly as the dancing Nataraja on the bronze, the Lord of the Cosmic Dance. He is also shown as an ascetic, sitting among the mountain peaks around Mount Kailasa, accompanied by his wife Parvati and meditating on the nature of the universe. The Lord Siva is represented more widely in the Shaivite temples throughout India in the form of the Lingam, or phallic symbol, a symbol of energy, fertility and potency. Professor Wendy O’Flahert suggested that the worship of the Siva linga can be traced back to the pre-Vedic societies of the Indus valley civilization, but it first appeared in Hindu iconography in the 2nd century BC. From that time a wide variety of myths appeared to explain the origin of linga worship. The myths surrounding the twelve jyoti linga (linga of light) found at centers like Ujjain go back to the 2nd century BC, and were clearly developed in order to explain and justify linga worship. The Lord Shiva is worshipped as Rudra, Shambhu and Shankara.

Lord Shiva, India

The Mother Goddess
One of the best known form of the Hindu cults is that of the Shakti, a female divinity who is often worshipped in the form of Durga. The worship of the female goddess developed into the widely practised form of devotional worship known as Tantrism. The goddess such as the Kali became the focus of worship which often involved animal and human sacrifices and ritual practices that flew in the face of wider Hindu moral and legal codes. The evidence of these practices can be still seen in the art and sculpture of some major temples. Tantric practices affected both Hinduism and Buddhism from the 8th century AD, its influence can be seen in the sculptures of the Khajuraho and Konark and in the distinctive Hindu and Buddhist practices in the Kathmandu Valley of Nepal.

The image of the deity can be in one of the many forms. There are temples which are dedicated to Vishnu, Siva or to any one of their incarnation. Parvati, the wife of Siva, and Lakshmi, the wife of Vishnu, are the focus of many temple shrines. The image of the deity becomes the object of worship and the center of the temple’s rituals. They follows the cycle of day and night, as well as yearly lifecycles. The priests wake up the deity from sleep, bathe, clothe and feed it. Various devotees are also invited to share in this process by bringing offerings of clothes and food. Gifts of money are also usually made, and in some of the temples a charge is also levied for taking up positions in front of the deity in order to obtain a darshan at the appropriate times.

Tours all over India – Nepal and Bhutan Home Mail to tourism expert of India e-mail  Online chat regarding travel and tours to India Chat Get contact information to Indian Tour Operator and Travel Agent Contact  Send your enquiry or tour request. Enquiry  Tour and Travel experts for India and Indian sub-continent About Us

Your feedback about travel and tours to India and Indian sub-continentFeedback


Visit the site map of Indo Vacations Site Map India related and other useful links Links
Copyright © Indo Vacations. All Rights Reserved.