Northern India is blessed with many important pilgrimage sites that are visited by people residing in different parts of the country. River Ganga, which is sacred to Hindus, originates from the Himalayan glaciers located in Uttarakhand state and flows through different North-Indian states. The places through which this river flows are considered holy by many Hindus, and are visited every year for the same reason. Individuals on a North India pilgrimage tour never forget to visit several places like Rishikesh and Haridwar through which Ganga River flows. Many other places that are of great importance from a pilgrimage point of view also exist in northern parts of India.
Two of these places are Harmandir Sahib, which is popular among many people as the Golden Temple, and Ajmer Sharif. A special aspect of these holy sites is that they can be visited by people belonging to any of the religious faiths. Harmandir Sahib, which literally means 'The Temple of God', was built by fifth Sikh spiritual leader Guru Arjan Dev. Maharaja Ranjit Singh had the upper floors of this structure covered with gold, which eventually made it popular among masses as the Golden Temple. Ajmer Sharif has a tomb of Hazrat Moinuddin Chishti, founder of Chishti Sufi order. A crown on the upper portion of this tomb is made of solid gold and the shrine consists of a mosque and gateways built by Muslim rulers.
Many of the Buddhist sites also exist in North India that are visited by many people besides Buddhist pilgrims while on their North India pilgrimage tour to different holy places. Prominent among them are Kushinagar, Sravasti and Sankassa, where many temples and stupas can be found. Kushinagar is the place where Gautam Buddha attained Parinirvana or Final Nirvana after his death. He had spent much of his lifetime in Sravasti, where many stupas and Buddhist sites still exist. Sankassa is a city where Buddha returned after preaching 'Abhidhamma Pitaka' or scriptures of Buddhism, following twin miracle which he performed under Gadamba tree. All these places are also admired by many pilgrims and tourists for the beauty that certain structures have in their architecture.