Spiritual travel originates from the intersection of devotion, lifestyle and travel combined with a sense to achieve the essence of spirituality. The spirituality and the quest for purpose in life generate a global movement of 300 to 330 million people per annum. India has since time immemorial, been a destination that has drawn and welcomed speakers from afar in search of enlightenment. Tourism in India has traditionally thrived upon travellers visiting places of spiritual interest. As the birthplace of four great religion Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism, India attracts a significant number of spiritual visitors.
Spirituality is one of the prime attractions for International and Domestic tourists visiting different places in India. However, barring a few, almost old spiritual destinations in the country display typical weaknesses, including a lack of standardized targeted infrastructure and policies catering to domestic and international tourists. Upgradation of infrastructure at pilgrim centres to offer a serene and spiritual experience for travelers is critical. Spiritual tourism, combined with wellness and culture tourism can create a synergy which would be a catalyst for each other’s growth in the long term. Since the majority of domestic spiritual travellers are from low income groups, there is a requirement of special focus on the adoption of proper tourism concepts while developing this form of tourism.
India is a land of pilgrimages. Practically, all religions – Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism and Sufism have their major and minor pilgrimage centres in different parts of the country. Tourism is historical associated with religion. Religion and spirituality have always been common motivations for travel, with many major tourist destinations having developed largely as a result of the connection to sacred people, places and events.