Sometimes, we need to take a step back from the humdrum of everyday life. Travelling is a great step in the right direction if you are looking for the best way to relax and unwind.
However, while seeing the museums, beaches and shopping is an excellent idea; going to a holy site seems to be ideal. Many times, the faithful journey to the legendary holy lands revitalises, reaffirms and renews our faith. With an estimation of 4,200 different faiths being practised in the world today, the pilgrimages are such defining experiences that nourish the human spirit years after. Out of the countless cities formed across the globe, none are regarded holiest than the five listed below:
1. Mecca, Saudi Arabia
Mecca is home to the greatest Prophet of Islam, Prophet Mohammed(S.A.W). Every year Muslims around the world gather in the holy city to perform their holy pilgrimage. The focal point of Islam, the Kaaba is located here within Islam’s holiest mosque, Al-Masjid Al-Haram, in Mecca. The city is prohibited for non-Muslims. Make most of your stay in Mecca by visiting the Mada’in Saleh which is almost as impressive as the famous Petra in Jordan or hike through the Al Wahba Crater volcanoes at the northeastern part of Mecca.
2. Jerusalem, Israel
A unique city because it is important in Christianity, Islam and Judaism. Visitors looking for a spiritual experience with historical significance will be spoilt for choice in this city. Start your journey by unravelling the role of each religion in a crystal clear and impartial way. Walk up to the Temple Mount and marvel at the stunning, gold-covered Done of the Rock, a Muslim shrine believed to mark where the Prophet Mohammed rose to heaven.
As you admire the building, learn how it stands on a site revered by Jews as the place where Abraham prepared to sacrifice Isaac. Then, continue to the Mount Zion and visit the Hall of the Last Supper where Jesus had his last meal with his disciples. It is once in a lifetime experience.
3. Tibet, China
It is also known as the “Roof of the World” because of its high altitude, many visitors that yearn for spirituality and solitude are drawn here. Immerse yourself in the spiritual side of the city by visiting the Jampa Lhakhang, known as the water blessing temple where you can witness the monks swinging prayer wheels and chanting under their breath or visit the Mount Kailas, a black mountain which is sacred to Hindus, Buddhists and Jains. Every destination in Tibet is regarded as a holy site.
4. Varanasi, India
The spiritual capital of India, Varanasi is called the favored city of the Hindu chief deity, Shiva. This ancient city is located along the Ganges River which is considered the” Most Sacred River”. Annually millions of Hindus and Janis visit Varanasi to take part in the bath and Crematory ceremonies such as the spreading of cremated ashes into the river.
5. Rome, Italy
Embark on an “Angels and Demons” adventure of your own inspired by the novelist Dan Brown and decode your own little mystery in the Italian capital! Aside from the yummy food, Rome is the centre of the Catholic Church and home to the Pope. During the summer, there is an opportunity to see the Pope either on Wednesdays or Sundays but get there early so you can get a good view.
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