Reading our Religion A travel blog by Alex Frost

The summer was a wild ride of travel, and many things to see. I have documented the 5 religions and will be sharing my experiences.

The Buddhism journey started when I arrived at the International Airport in Colombo, the capital of Sri Lanka. A travel guide took me to the ancient city of Anurhadapura to see the ruins of Sinhalese Buddhist kings. I saw a statue that was larger than life, of the Buddha reclining. At the city, the kings around 300 BC had unified their Buddhist empire. After that experience it took about 2 hours to find a good hotel to stay at, and ended up drinking the best Sri Lanka tea during their "tea time". I stayed for the next day and decided to take off to India for our next tour on Hinduism

The building in the upper left hand corner, is known as a "stupa". (11-28-16)

I arrived in Mumbai and decided to stay and rest for a few days. Finally having the energy to wake up, I observed all the Hindu temples as I was driven through the city. I decided to stop at the biggest one I saw to get a closer look. As I came across Mahalakshmi Temple, I was educated about their gods and how they believe in many. Some of them are known as Ganesha, Shiva, Krishna, Rama, Hanuman, Vishnu, Lakshmi , Durga, Kali, and Saraswati. I met somebody who knew English and he invited me to play Cricket with his friends, I was awful from my American habits but I managed to keep up. After that he showed me a good place to eat Tandoori Chicken. I took a taxi to my hotel after ordering another kheer (rice pudding dessert)to go. I needed to rest for my next trip to Israel the following morning.

On the bottom right is a photo of the dessert, kheeri, I ate after dinner.(12/1/16)

I spent 2 days here because of the two similar religions I had to investigate. They all started in what is now Israel, so there will be a lot of exploring. Anyway, lets get started with Judaism. Of course, I had to go to Jerusalem to get what I really wanted. I was finding my way to the Wailing Wall. Once I got there, there were hundreds of rabbis praying against it. It was known to be part of King Solomon's temple and the temple was destroyed in 70 AD by the Romans. A known tradition is to write a prayer and stick it in one of the cracks in the wall if you ever get the chance to visit it. Don't expect to find much pork in Israel, they are friends with the piggies.

In the bottom left hand corner is a picture of where people write and put their prayers. On the right was my kosher meal for the night. (12-3-16)

One of my friends is a tourist and he asked to join me on my Islam mission, so I interrupted the Israel stay to go to the nearby country of Saudi Arabia. I didn't feel safe from the terrorism here, but he showed me the safest places to go. We ended up in a decent place to stay and got a good night sleep to prepare for the next day. The following morning we awoke and mapped out where we wanted to go. As much as we wanted to get information from Mecca, Non-Muslims aren't allowed there. So we decided to keep our routes in Riyadh, the capitol. We drove to the Imam Turki Ibn Abdullah Mosque, to observe and learn. Muslims pray 5 times a day and men and woman are separated while worshipping. The meaning of the daily praying is known as Shahadah, Salat, Zakat, Sawm of Ramadan, and Hajj. There were no English speakers we could find, so we simply observed and took notes on their traditions.

The two top photos are located in Mecca. ( 12-4-16)

I headed back to Israel to finally learn about my religion, Christianity. I heard about the tours of where Jesus got crucified and where his tomb was. To me, that was absolutely fascinating. Here is a short backstory on what I am talking about. In the bible, Jesus was crucified on a cross in Jerusalem for claiming to be the "King of the Jews" according to most gospels. Three days later he was buried in a tomb near it. The story goes as he was only in the tomb for 3 days until he resurrected and spent another 40 days on earth, before going to heaven. Jesus Christ is the Christians lord and savior. Since you now know the story i will continue my travel journey. I chose to visit the tomb and it was an incredible sacred place to be at as a christian. There is a fairly small sliding circular rock that is located in front of it that was used to enclose the tomb. Inside was a small flat area where his body was put and other space around it. I am very glad i got to experience this because it was a peaceful thing to see.

The two left photos are Jesus's tomb, and the first right one is Jesus resurrection and the bottom one is a representation of how the crucifixion was set up.(12-5-16)

I will be going home to Texas tomorrow morning, and it will be a very long day. I have had a long trip of documentation and exploring and cannot wait to get to the comfort of my own bed. Thank to the villages and the locals who spoke english for helping me with this exploration. I could not do it without you.

Credits:

Created with images by aditya_wicak - "buildings mosque sunset" • Manu praba - "Ruwanmali Maha Sthoopa - Anuradapura" • lkmal - "stairs" • hassage - "Mihintale Sri Lanka" • Thanuja - "ancient ruins stones" • vijay_chennupati - "Maha Lakshmi Temple, Kolhapur, Maharashtra" • girish_327 - "Mahalaxmi Rathotsav 2013" • vijay_chennupati - "Maha Lakshmi Temple,Kolhapur, Maharashtra" • vijay_chennupati - "Maha Lakshmi Temple, Kolhapur, Maharashtra" • easycooking - "Aval Payasam/Phova Kheeri" • u07ch - "Wailing Wall / Western Wall" • Alpat - "Goat Island Purakanui (Mapoutahi Pa)" • ddouk - "jerusalem the wailing wall israel" • joshuapiano - "In-Flight Meal" • ebrahim - "mecca night muslim" • jakman1 - "al abrar mecca saudi arabia building" • chzaib - "kaaba house of allah muslim" • mobauser0 - "mecca holy saudi arabia" • hoyasmeg - "Empty Tomb_2046" • Waiting For The Word - "Easter Morning 45" • hoyasmeg - "Roadside Tomb_0656" • geralt - "cross sunset sunrise"

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