I recently have been thinking about religions and I have decided to go to several sacred sites and religious buildings representing the five major religions: Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. I will be spending about 2 days in each country/place and will be talking about the high points of each sacred site and religion.
January 5, 2016 : Yesterday, I arrived in New Delhi, India to go visit the Laxminarayan Temple. The temple is dedicated to the god, Vishnu (protector of all) and his wife Lakshmi (goddess of fortune and wealth). The side temples are dedicated to Shiva, Krishna, and Buddha. The temple is spread over 7.5 acres and has many individual shrines for other various gods and goddesses. The temple was built in 1933 and the architecture was influenced by the Swadeshi movement back then. The temple has the main colors of red, yellow and white. The temple is three stories and has 3 main oval domes sticking out of the main building. The temple is very crowded and was full of people wearing many kinds of traditional dress. After visiting the temple, I traveled to the city Gangotri and stayed in a local hotel there with my guide. Today, I visited the city, Gangotri, because it is a major sacred site for Hindus. The legend is that the Goddess Ganga turned into a river to wash the sins away from the Hindu followers, so this place is a famous place because people come to the river and meditate to be able to liberate their souls for rebirth. The river is very fast flowing and is rocky in many places. After fully exploring the Ganga River, in two days I will be boarding a plane to go to a Buddha temple in Bangkok, Thailand.
January 7, 2016: I just landed in Thailand and I will be first visiting the Wat Arun, also knows as the"Temple of Dawn". The temple has many statues of Hindu gods, Chinese soldiers, and other animals. The main tower of the Wat Arun is very tall and towers over the other structures. The temple is believed to have been built in 1767 by a king. The Wat Arun is also located near a lake and is beautiful at night when the entire temple is lit up. The highlights of the temple are the six chinese-style pavilions, the two temple guardian figures, and most of all, the Ordination Hall. After finishing exploring the temple, I will retire to my hotel and visit the Lumbuni next. The Lumbuni is a temple located in Nepal and sits on the side of a river. The importance of this site is that it is supposed to be the place where the Queen Mayadevi gave birth to Lord Buddha during 563 BCE. This temple is a famous place of pilgrimage for Buddhists. The temple is mainly white with some gold details on the top of the structure and the doors. The Lumbuni has several smaller temples which surround the main structure. There is also a Holy Pond where Buddha is said to have his first bath. Soon I will be going to Florence, Italy to visit the Great Synagogue of Florence.
January 9, 2016: I have just landed in Florence, Italy, and I am going to first visit the Great Synagogue of Florence that is related to Judaism. The synagogue was completed in 1882 and is one of the largest synagogues in South-central Europe. The synagogue has a very big dome and has two mini towers next to the dome. The building is blue on the top and a mixture of stone on the walls. The synagogue was able to built because of David Levi who donated his estate so the synagogue could be constructed. It took eight years to be built by three main architects. The interior is filled with golden light and is very spacious. After i finish exploring the temple I will head to The Temple Mount the next day. The Temple Mount is located in Jerusalem and is actually a holy site to the three major religions. It is one of the most religious sites in the world and is said to have been the place where God's presence been the most. It is also said to be the place where God created the first human, Adam. The Temple Mount has a variety of colors like blue, gold, and white. The structure reaches very high and has a very big, circular dome. After this visit I will be traveling to Milan, Italy to go to the Duomo De Milano Cathedral.
January 11, 2016: I have landed in Milan, Italy, and I am off to go visit the Duomo de Milano Cathedral. The cathedral was completed in 1965 and took nearly six centuries to complete. The cathedral is the biggest in Italy and the fifth largest in the world. The construction of the cathedral was started in 1386, and was meant as a reward for the noble and working classes. There were around 80 architects and engineers used to build the cathedral. The front of the cathedral is grand and ginormous. It has many engraved details and gargoyle statues in the front. The color is a yellowish-white and the cathedral is very tall. The floor has many designs and the interior is beautiful. There is a lot of pillars and light in the inside as well as many paintings and other items. After this cathedral I will be traveling to the Jordan River that goes through Israel. I have at last landed at the Jordan River. This river is important to Christians because it is said that this is the place where Jesus Christ was baptized. The river is 25i kilometers long and goes through the Sea of Galilee(another sacred site), and ends in the Dead Sea. The river is surrounded of greenery and is also said to be an important boundary. During the following days, I will be traveling to the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, Turkey.