Round-Trip w/ Ryan McGinnis
"Sleeping Buddha" Kusinagara, India
The city of Kusinagara in India is the fourth holy place for the Buddhist religion. It is said to be the location that Buddha passed into Nirvana when he died at the age of 80. Many buddhist temples were built at this site, including one containing the statue of "Sleeping Buddha" marking the presumed location that Buddha attained Nirvana. I arrived on August 7, 2017 to Kusinagara to visit the over-sized, golden statue and witnessed the beautiful temples and ruins. (peep the lizard)
"Ganges River" Hardwar, India
The Ganges River in Hardwar, India is from the run off of the Himalayas, more specifically Mount Kailash, which is holy, because it is said that the Lord Siva lives there. Siva is said to be the destroyer of evil and sorrow. Because of this the Hindus believe they can achieve purification by bathing in the holy rivers. When I arrived to Hardwar on August 13, 2017, I observed masses of people pilgrimaging or as the hindus say, "tirtha", to the ganges river to for go achieving redemption. The Ganges is the holiest river in all of India.
The city of "Jerusalem, Israel"
During the rule of King David (1010-970 BCE), the capital of Israel was declared Jerusalem. Then, when David's son Solomon took over for him (970-931 BCE) the first jewish temple was built in the capital as said in the Old Testament in the Christian Bible, other wise known as the "Tanakh". By 587 BCE, the Babylonian Nebuchadnezzar's army had captured Jerusalem, destroyed the jewish temple, and exiled the Jews to Babylon (modern-day Iraq). Upon arrival in Jerusalem, after a four week detour, I came to the city on September 21, 2017, just in time for "Rosh Hashanah", the Jewish new year. Most jewish holidays are based on events in the agricultural calendar of the religions homeland in Israel.
The city of "Bethlehem, Israel"
Falling just south of Jerusalem, is the city of Bethlehem, in Israel. Bethlehem is the birthplace of the Christian God, one-third of the holy-trinity, born of the Virgin Mary, Jesus. It is said that Jesus was born in a stable, amongst the farm animals, and on that night a star appeared in the sky to lead wisemen and shepherds to the stable to rejoice over the coming of the messiah. When I arrived on September 28, 2017, I got the pleasure of seeing the ancient Palestinian architecture of the city center. Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus on December 25, otherwise known as Christmas.