Blog By:Hannah Riordan-Traveler of the ages-4A AP HUG
Judaism January 25,2017:My first stop was Israel, the origin of Judaism.All throughout Israel are historical buildings and temples that gave me an insight to the Judaism religion.My greatest visit was in the town of Jerusalem at the the Western Wall. It is the holiest place for the Jews that is accessible to visit.The people who visit the wall reflect on the history and how it was once 1 of 4 walls that protected the second Jerusalem temple. The Western Wall would appear worn and old to someone that doesn't know the history but to the Jews it is a treasure. It is a very Some spend hours praying at the wall and consider it a great pleasure to be in reach of it. It was amazing to experience the connection people have with the wall .
Buddhism February 15,2017:My next stop was in Nepal to Lumbini to explore the Buddhist religion. To reach my destination it took about 3 weeks to adventure through the Himalayas, with several stops on the way. Lumbini is the birthplace of The Buddha.It is a pilgrimage for Buddhists and it was an absolute honor to be surrounded by people who are so close to their religion. The joy on the people's face when arriving to lumbini was irreplaceable. Lumbini is very beautiful, tranquil space with much greenery and lavish gardens.I learned that The Buddha was born under the trees and was raised with a great appreciation for nature. This explains why Buddhists have such a rich and deep connection with nature. After having visited Buddha's birth place I travelled to Kusinara, his death place.Both Lumbini and Kusinara are 2 of the 4 pilgrimages that Buddhists are recommended to visit at some point in their lives.
Hinduism March 1,2017:Next I ventured to discover more about the Hindu religion and to begin my exploration I went to the Ganges River. I found this site to be a key site because of its importance to the Hindus. They personify the river as a goddess,known as Ganga and believe that by bathing in the river all sins are cleansed from your body. Many Hindus will travel to receive the opportunity to bath in such a holy place.My next exploration site for Hinduism was the Kandariya Mahadeo Temple which was at Khajuraho, in Northern India. The temple has a very large base and to enter it I had no choice but to proceed in a long climb through stairs leading to multiple porches. It is the largest building in Khajuraho! As crazy as it may seem it was built using sandstone and it could be surprising that it is in such good shape.
Islam April 4,2017:For my second to last stop i returned to Jerusalem and my first cultural find was the Dome Of The Rock. It was originally built in 691 AD and is one of the most popular features of architecture to the Islamic religion. It has a lavish gold dome on top and detailed, colorful stone around it. It is a shrine,which inside holds a rock that is extremely important and symbolic to not only Islam, but also Christianity and Judaism. The Dome of the Rock is a key feature to Jerusalem with its unique and extravagant design.After awhile i moved on to the Al-Aqsa Mosque, a holy site in Sunni and Shia Islam. Luckily for me it is also in Jerusalem, of course that isn't surprising considering all of Jerusalems involvement in the monotheistic religions.
Christianity May 10,2017:My final destination was to Northern Israel, on the Jordan river. This is an important sacred site to Christians due to the belief that Jesus,the son of their God, was baptized by John the Baptist. A baptism in Christianity is the symbolic representation of cleansing and purification. Many Christians travel to the river to be baptized themselves and find it to be a very spiritual. As I wrapped up my travels through the 5 major religions i made a final stop at the Christ Church in the heart of the Christianity religion,Jerusalem. Unlike the Dome of the Rock, the Christ Church is very simple and traditional allowing them to focus on prayer and connecting to God.