Religions Worldwide #SENSEOFPLACE

July 17, 2017: Today I stopped in Dwaraka, India to see one of the 7 most holy cities in the hindu religion. There, I saw the Shree Dwarkadhish temple, and it looked so entrancing I had to go inside it for myself. So I told the taxi driver to drop me off there, and once I got out of the car I was blown away! This is temple had so much glory to it. Once I got up close I could really see the details put into the temple. Each every tower had had such intricate detail, it almost looked like one man took his time to carve layers upon layers of every tower. One pillar had little people carved in it. That was supposed to represent the caste system and the higher the tower, the more powerful or important the people looked, and the lower you got, the more you can see the poverty. When I walked through the entrance I noticed the big pyramid with the flag on top. But as I entered, the lights that light up the temple started to come on and I noticed it was getting dark so I decided to continue my journey Lumbini, Nepal.

Hindu Temples. On the left is Shiva, the third god of the Hindu triumvirate.

July 21, 2017: Today I have arrived in Lumbini, Nepal. This is very sacred to the buddhist religion because this was where Gautama Buddha was born. He was born as we know to be the Maya Devi Temple. As I came up to the temple I noticed lots of gold statues. This is very buddhist thing to have because they often make statues and carvings of buddha to exalt him.The building has a very simple and sleek design. This temple is a big, white, rectangle with narrow windows in the top half of the temple. It also has flags at all four corners and a golden steeple on top. As I walked around the back of the temple, I noticed a bathing pool, so I asked someone what is was and she said it was known as Pushkarini. Supposedly, Maya Devi bathed in this pool before the delivery of Buddha. Another reason why it is sacred is because the ''flawless stone'' was found here, and that supposedly marked the exact spot in which Buddha was born. She also talked about the giant pole next to me. As she read the translation it talked about the birth of Buddha and how he was going to be a important figure some day. As she was finished, I took a peak inside the temple and there I found was big room and in the middle looked like ruins of another temple. So after I saw that it was time to travel to Jerusalem.

Top Right: Maya Devi Temple /Mid Right: Inside Maya Devi Temple /Everything else: Statues for Buddhism

July 24, 2017: Today I am in Jerusalem, Israel to see one of the most significant sites in Judaic history, the Wailing (Western) Wall. As I came up to the well known site, I walked up and was stopped by a security guard. I was a bit confused when he told me that I could only enter if I was an Orthodox Jew. So I decided not to fight him and just took a look at it from afar. As I saw it, I noticed that the wall was made out of simple stone, from big stones at the bottom, to tiny stones at the top. On the sides of the wall were other walls with columns made of stone. When I saw all of this, I asked a lady next to me why this wall is so sacred, even though it looks like a bunch of bricks. She explained that this wall was once part of the most holy temple for all Jews, but in 70 A.D. the Romans destroyed all of the temple except for this outer wall. So, word spread and this soon became the most holy remnant for the Jews. She also told me that it is a custom to write your prayer on a piece of paper and stick it in a hole in the wall. I thought that was super interesting and insightful! As I left, I stopped to ponder, how many holes are in that wall?

Pictures of the Wailing Wall and Jerusalem

July 27, 2017: On this day, I have taken the time to travel to Bethlehem, Israel and see the birthplace of Jesus Christ. The spot that is believed to be the where the manger was is now in the church of nativity. So as I came up to the building I noticed a lot of the same architecture as the wailing wall, just lots of stone walls and towers. But it appear to me that the church had a bell tower with a cross on the top. As I walked inside, I had to walk through the "Door of Humility." The door is so small that I had to squat to get through it! When I entered I saw a many chandeliers, fabrics, mosaics, and crosses. The main section was a narrow room with pillars supporting the foundation of the building. Then towards the end there is an extravagant alter with gold chandeliers, gold crosses, huge mosaics, and lots of nice metals. The building is split up by Greek Orthodox, Roman Catholic, and Armenian. So you could imagine there are a lot of disagreements. Anyway, next there are stairs down to where you can see the cave they built over the manger. When you go down there are several things down there, like an alter, portraits, but most importantly, the exact spot of Jesus' birth. So I waited my turn and I saw the spot where Christ was born. Once I completed that I decided it was best to take off for my last destination.

Pictures from the Church of Nativity

July 29, 2017: Today I am in my final destination for my religion tour around the world, Mecca, Saudi Arabia. This is the holiest place for all muslims around the world. Now, I wasn't allowed in Mecca because I am not a muslim, but I paid a man to describe in detail the mosque and everything around it. When he came back he started to talk about what the place looked like. He said that it was a big stadium structure. The colors that it contained were white, gold, and black. To support the structure there were pillars all around the building helping it stay up. In the middle of everything, was the Ka'ba which was a huge black box. He said that during Muhammad's time this box was full of pagan gods that all sorts of people were worshipping, but when Muhammad started to get a following, they took over Mecca and destroyed all of the gods in the Ka'ba. But they kept the Ka'ba and the sacred stone it stored. Soon after, they declared the city of Mecca a pilgrimage for all muslims. After the man told me all of this I paid him and made my way back to my hotel. As I slept that night, I thought about all of the places I visited and thought it was all worth it to take this long, hard journey.

Top Left: Mecca /Top Right and Middle: Muslim khatib /Bottom: Muslims


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