the journey An INVESTIGATION of RELIGION: Saamir Ahmed

I was on a mission, an adventure, if you will. Because I was so interested in theology and the world's religions, I was may ultimate goal to be immersed in the major 5 religions of the world; Buddhism, Hinduism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Being religious myself, it was also interesting to see where my religion originated and where it diffused. However, I do not think I was prepared for the huge journey I was about to undertake.

Stop #1: Since I was limited to a week long trip, I was determined to hit the heart of monotheism: Jerusalem. Home to 800,000 Jews, Muslims, and Christians, Jerusalem has many sacred religious sites and was a major tourist attraction to people like me.
12/23/16- As I drove around Jerusalem, I saw a bright, glistening building that seemed like a distant star. As I drove closer, my vision became clearer and I was able to see the magnificent Islamic shrine known as the Dome of the Rock, with its bright gold dome making it stand out from all the other sandy-colored buildings. This shrine is significant because it is the oldest Islamic Monument that hasn't turned to dust.
Only about a 10 minute walk away, I also visited Al-Aqsa Mosque, which looked similar to it's neighboring shrine, with its grey dome and stone walls.
11/24/16- I saw it fitting to visit a Sacred Site of Christianity on Christmas Eve (though not on Christmas Day because of the likelihood of a mass amount of tourists then) so I traveled to the famous Church of the Holy Sepulcher. On the outside, it had a grandiose architectural style with a color similar to the surrounding buildings, but the inside was what was astonishing. It was adorned with jewelry and silver-plated walls because it is also an extremely sacred site for Christians. This site is believed to have been where Jesus had been crucified and resurrected.

12/25/16- Still in Jerusalem, I visited the sacred site of the Jewish religion next. Here, I saw the Wailing/Western wall. This is a sacred site to the Jews because it is a remaining part of the old Temple Mount, where many holy temples stood.

The holiness of the old temples is why this wall is used to pray upon.

I also visited the Jerusalem Great Synagogue, which looked like a modern recreation of old Synagogues and newer modern designs.

Stop #2: My next religion to search for was the Buddhist Religion, so I traveled to Nepal, the origin of the Buddhist religion.

12/26/16 - I traveled to the sacred site of Lumbini Temple, the birthplace of Gautama Buddha, the founder of Buddhism. The temple had a square shape and painted a bright white, which contrasted from the forest it was inside of.

Stop #3 - The final stop of my journey was to to the town of Kedarnath, in India. I was trying to visit one of the 12 Jyotirlingas, the holiest temples in hinduism.

12/27/16 - I visited Kedarnath Temple on the 27th. Its architecture resembles many other Hindu Temples, with a triangular roof and large spire. the walls were also made stone with statues of Hindu Gods and Goddesses, all surrounded by the massive Himalayas Mountains.

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