My Religious Journey A work by austin cooper

A colorful arrangement of holy river-side buildings in Varanasi.

August 2, 2016

I decided to start off my trip by traveling to one of the seven holy cities of Hinduism, Varanasi. I'm gonna be here for a few days, and I can already tell it will be mesmerizing. The people here are very kind and welcoming, and I get a very soulful and spiritual vibe from them. I have a few friends I made upon coming here and they're saying they'll give me a tour of the city, and I'm anxious to see what this place has to show me.

August 5, 2016

I can't believe it's only been 3 days. I've learned a lot of interesting things about this ancient city. Apparently, it is one of the oldest cities that is continually being inhabited in the world. It's deep connection to the Hindu's is very very real, as I've talked to people from all over. This place is known for cremation of family members, because it is said that releasing the ashes of loved ones puts their departed souls at ease. I've seen many interesting sites, including a leaning temple. Everything is so colorful, and I'm glad I put this place on my list of places to go.

Muslims from around the world gather for worship in Ka'ba.

August 7, 2016

The next place I decided to go was to the Mecca in Saudi Arabia. The Ka'ba, one of the holiest places for Muslims, contains the Black Stone. This is the place I took a tour of. Everything here is very old and delicate, and the people here for the Ka'ba seem very zoned in to what they're doing. It was said to be built by the first man, Adam and it has been rebuilt many times. Even though this place was jam packed with people from everywhere, it was still interesting to see how they worship this great pilgrimage.

The Buddha statue in Bodh Gaya.

August 9, 2016

The next place I decided to travel to was Bodh Gaya, in Bihar, India. I was shown around the temple by one of the monks there. The architecture is very intricate and old. This place is also known as the "Place of Enlightenment". It's called this because it's where the Buddha gained full enlightenment and became the Buddha. Buddhists come here in search for enlightenment as well. The people worshipping here were silent, and seemed very at peace. After I left, I felt the same way.

The Western Wall in Jerusalem.

August 11, 2016

Jerusalem is the next place I decided to visit. The specific place I was looking forward to seeing is the Western Wall, also known as the Kotel. I came here because I knew it was one of the holiest places in the eyes of the Jews. When I was observing the architecture, I saw how intrigued the people were here. I was told that that it was attacked a very long time ago, and this wall was the only thing left standing, so people considered it very holy. The Jews who are here for it seem welcoming with this knowledge, and I'm glad I made the trip here to hear it from them.

A grouping of buildings in Nazareth, Israel.

August 14, 2016

The last place on my trip takes place in Nazareth, which is relatively close to Jerusalem, which is why I took a few days to take a break. I chose this place last because it is significant to a religion that I'm pretty used to, Christianity. It was the place that Jesus grew up in the New Testament. Due to this, it makes a lot of devoted Christians want to travel, some of which I've met. It was really interesting because it sort of looks like the older buildings have been untouched by age, like Jesus would have seen them long ago. I feel like this was a good place to end my trip, due to it's welcoming features and spiritual importance. Even though I'm gonna miss traveling, I'm glad to finally head home.

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Austin Cooper

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