Sacred Geography




In the Purush-Sukta of the Vedas, the divine is described in terms of a human body.  Trees and shrubs are its hair, mountains its bones.  Sun and moon are its eyes and rivers are the blood that runs in its divine veins.  All living creatures are envisioned as composite parts of this giant – Virat – body.

India is an ancient, sacred land.  Its very soil is graced with countless footprints of Gods, rishis and saints over the thousands of years.  Almost every place in India has some legend, myth or historical association with the great characters of its sacred and secular history.  Over several millenniums, many of these places have become popular pilgrimage sites.


In this article, I have imagined India as a human body, and cast some of its most sacred sites as the shada (six) chakras of that divine body.






Agyna Chakra

Haradwara / Rishikesh


Vishudha Chakra

Kashi / Varanasi


Anahata Chakra



Manipur Chakra

Shri Rangam / Trichy


Svadhisthan Chakra



Muladhar Chakra




Sahastradhar = Mount Kailash

It is easy to imagine the Himalayas as the multi petaled lotus, centre of which is the magnificent Kailasha mountain, abode of Shiva and his beloved Shivaa.  Nectar of bliss flows in the form of rivers and streams that flow from this giant lotus that sits atop India.



Agnya = Haradwara

Countless sages have meditated on the banks of the Ganges at Haradwara and Rishikesh.  This is the place from where the likes of Dhurva and Pariksheet have ascended to the heavens through their deep and ardent tappas.  It is here that one’s inner eye opens and sadhak gains divine intuition.



Vishudha = Varanasi
Vishudha means absolutely pure.  Though the throat is eternally being contaminated by germs borne via food, water and air, the chakra there keeps the area pure through its immeasurable powers. 

Kashi, the oldest living city in the world is eternally pure.  Though it is the eternal charnel ground, Lord Shiva has so purified the place with his taaps, everything that dies here attains moksha !  What could be more Vishudha – pure – than this ?



Anahata = Omkareshwara

OM !!  the primordial sound, resonates in the entire universe.  Even in the vast emptiness of deep space, OM vibrates with calm timelessness.  OM is at the very centre of the universe.  It is than fitting that the Omkareshwara Jyotirlinga should be seen as the heart chakra of India.  Situated on an OM shaped island in the holy river Narmada, it is physically at the centre of India, just as the heart chakra should be.



Manipur Chakra = Shri Rangam

Spread over 156 acres, the largest active temple in Asia houses, at Shri Rangam, Lord Vishnu reclining on Adi Shesha.  From Vishnu’s naval springs the lotus that holds Brahama, creator of the universe.  Thus, umbilical cord of divine grace connects the creator and his creation.  It is therefore fitting that the chakra associated with the navel should be associated with Shesha-Shayani lord Vishu as Shri Ranganatham of Tiruchirapalli (Trichy).



Svadhisthan = Rameshwara

Lord Shiva as Rameshwara is the Svadhisthan of India.  It is from here that Shri Rama marched his army to defeat the arch demon Ravana.  Ravana was ruined by his passions.  Lord Shiva has conquered his passions.  Thus, it is fitting that Lord Rameshwara should be seen as the Svadhisthan chakra of India.



Muladhar = Kanya-Kumari

At the base of India is the cape of Comorin, the virgin goddess.  Long has her tappas sustained the purity and sanctity of India.  In her inactive form, for-ever desirous of uniting with her beloved Shiva, she resides at the base of the body.  When awakened though, she rises up to go and meet her beloved Shiva in the Sahastradhar – Kailash.



These associations with chakras and pilgrimage sites are my own interpretations. 
I am sure others will have their own interpretations. 

I would encourage you all to sit in meditation and see India as a 'divine being' and identify those sacred sites that resonate with you. 

I would encourage everyone to see the country they live in, and indeed the whole world, as a living aspect of the divine and show it due respect – physically and spiritually.






© Bhagwat    [email protected]


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