Chinese tourists in India
In picture: Tourists take a 'selfie' at the Golden Temple in Amritsar on November 14, 2016, as Sikh devotees mark the 547th birth anniversary of Sri Guru Nanak Dev.NARINDER NANU/AFP/Getty Images

Spiritually motivated tourism has emerged as one of the most vital components of India's tourism industry with places like Puri, Varanasi, Tirupati and Shirdi topping the list, says a study conducted by travel marketplace ixigo.

According to the study, more and more Indians are travelling to connect with their religious roots. With a rise in spiritual tourism, popular pilgrimages, such as Varanasi and Puri are witnessing higher hotel bookings than other cities this summer.

The study reveals that there has been a month-on-month growth of 60 percent for Puri, 48 percent for Varanasi, 34 percent for Tirupati and 19 percent growth for Shirdi in the hotel bookings, said a statement.

Travellers plan a short-stay of an average two days during their visit to religious destinations. Also, Indians prefer to keep a low hotel stay budget. Around 82 percent of tourists prefer budget hotels in Varanasi, followed by 78 percent, 68 percent and 73 percent in Shirdi, Tirupati and Puri respectively. Only 32 percent Indians prefer 4/5 star hotel while visiting Tirupati followed by 27 percent for Puri.

Commenting on the findings Aloke Bajpai, ixigo CEO and Co-founder said: "Looking at the spike in bookings, it's safe to say that spiritual travel is now being considered as one of the offbeat travel trends in India. It is fascinating to see that young adults are showing quite a high inclination towards exploring indigenous cultural experiences in our country."