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Himalayas is known to be the abode of God. From centuries it is recognized as the place for worship. It is the home for many Hindu pilgrimages. So lets have an idea of the religion practiced in the Himalayan region.

Himalayas : Himalayan Facts : Religion Practices of the Himalayas

Religion Practices of the Himalayas

The main religions, which are practiced in the Himalayan region, are Hinduism, Buddhism and Islam. These religions are practiced in the regions like Ladakh, Sikkim, Tibet, and Lahaul & Spiti. In the Hindu religion Himalayas is considered to be the abode of God. It occupies an important position among the Hindus, as Himalayas is the home for major Hindu Pilgrimage. Lord Shiva who is considered to be the supreme god in Hindu religion is worshipped here in the form of a lingum. Some of Lord Shiva's famous shrines in the Himalayas are Amarnath in Kashmir, Kedarnath in Garhwal where he is seen in a glacial formation, and Jageshwar amidst a thick stand of deodar in Kumaon are dedicated to him. Among the other important Hindu pilgrimage in the Himalayas are Kedarnath, Badrinath, Gangotri and Yamunotri and these four places together forms Chardham. In the valleys of Garhwal local villagers worship the deity of Durga and Shiva. They celebrate all the Hindu festivals, which are celebrated in other parts of India. The people from Nepal, which represents over two-thirds of the population, follow only Hinduism.

In Buddhist religion also Himalayas occupies an important position. Many important Buddhist monasteries and Gompas are situated in the Himalayas like Lamayuru and Hemis in Ladakh and Rumtek in Sikkim. The major festival of Sikkim is the Phanglhapsol festival. The festival lasts for two days. These places of worship reflect the heritage of Tibetan art and culture. Even for the Sikh religion there are shrines at Hemkund.

Even Islam and Christianity also have an important place in the Himalayas. The valley of Kashmir is mainly Muslim dominated. They are mostly the descendants of people who converted to Islam after the Muslim invasion. In Ladakh the people adopted Islam after coming across it via the Central Asian trade route while in the northeastern region of the Indian Himalayas the Christian missionaries converted many tribal people into Christians. But whatever may be the religion of the people in the Himalayan region they have stayed together peacefully for centuries. In the southern region it is mainly the Hindus who dominate while the northern region is greatly influenced by the Buddhist religion. But instead of possessing such diverse religion and culture people have blended themselves beautifully.

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