DAY 1: BUDDHISM EXPLORATION- So on day one of my global trip, I headed to China to learn about their religion, Buddhism. While in China, I saw tons of beautiful and magnificent temples. Most of them were located in the mountains/hills (the more ancient ones) and some were located in the public (the more modern ones). One particular famous and sacred religious site/architecture I visited is The Temple of Heaven. This temple is located in central Beijing, and it is what seems like three stories tall. It is a rounded building and was built in the Ming Dynasty. It is significant for how the architecture relates to power and seasons. Its architecture also relates to the relationship between sky and earth which was the core of understanding of the Universe at that time. It is also famous for the ancestor worship there, especially the emperor during the Ming Dynasty's worship of his ancestors. It was a beautiful site, and I would definitely like to go again.
The Temple of Heaven in Beijing, China
DAY 2: HINDUISM EXPLORATION- On my second day, I visited India to learn about their religion, Hinduism. I saw many huge Hindu temples all of great architecture. The temples were all so beautiful and most of them were either white or creme colored. Temples in Hinduism are actually called a mandir. Mandirs are very intricately designed and built. They have super tiny carves and statue like figures. One famous sacred site I visited was Sri Ranganathaswamy Mandir. Now this temple is a VERY famous and sacred site dedicated to Lord Ranganatha which is a reclining form of Lord Vishnu. It is very intricately designed and what is unique of it is the multiple tiny figures and the colorfulness. This sacred site is significant for its many visitors and pilgrimages every year. It is one of the largest religion complexes and very important to the pilgrims for visits. Hinduism definitely takes the title for most interesting architecture in my opinion.
Sri Ranganathaswamy Mandir
DAY 3: CHRISTIANITY EXPLORATION- On my third day, I traveled to the U.S. to learn about their main religion, Christianity. I saw a lot of cathedrals, and they were all very intricate too and elegant looking. Most were also either in a beige, white, or creme color. It was kind of like a royal castle in my opinion. One particular sacred site i visited was a cathedral in Washington D.C.. This particular site is the famous Washington National Cathedral affiliated with the Episcopal Church. It is significant as it serves as a spiritual home for all Americans. According to the people there, many state occasions are held here such as memorial services after national tragedies to funerals for senators and presidents. It also hosts concerts and lectures there. The cathedral is neo-Gothic in design but it also has many modern touches. It also has many crosses on the building as the cross is the symbol for Christians. I really liked this site as it was very beautiful and I would definitely like to attend some of the lectures and concerts held there in the future.
Washington National Cathedral in Washington D.C.
DAY 4: JUDAISM EXPLORATION- On my 4th day of traveling, I traveled to Israel to learn about their main religion, Judaism. In Israel, I saw a lot of synagogues there. Synagogues are where jews worship which in case you didn't know, judaism followers are called jews. The synagogues usually have dome looking roofs and tower like structures on the sides of the building. When compared with the other religious sites I visited, I would say synagogues probably look the simplest. There is really nothing that special to the architecture in my opinion, like there isn't that much of intricate designing. One particular sacred site I visited was the Hurva Synagogue. The architecture of it is white with domed roofs. It also has arched windows and trees around it. This sight is significant for being the center of the Jewish quarter by followers of Rabi Yehudah he-Hasid. But then after its formation only for a little bit, the synagogue was destroyed by Muslims in 1721, and it remained in its ruins for 140 years and then it was rebuilt in 1864 by Lithuanian Jews. Pretty interesting huh?
DAY 5: ISLAMIC EXPLORATION- FINALLY, on my last day, I decided to visit Saudi Arabia to learn about their main religion, Islam. In Saudi Arabia, it was pretty cramped and similar to India. I also saw their places of worships. Muslims worship in Mosques, which if once again you didn't know, muslims are followers of islam. The mosques have A LOT OF dome shaped roofs or tops. Most of them are also in the beige, white, creme color scheme. It seems like this color is quite popular among most religions haha. One particular sacred site i visited was the Masjid al-Hara Mosque. It is significant for being the largest mosque in the world. It is located in the city of Mecca, and it surrounds the Kaaba, the place which Muslims around the world depend on while offering daily prayers. It is also Islam’s holiest place. It can also accommodate up to four million muslims. Now the architecture of this stone brick like and is like a circular arena. It is open spaced, and surrounded with modern looking buildings or the city perhaps. It was very interesting to see how big a place of worship could be. And that my friends, wraps up my global trip!
Masjid al-Haram Mosque in Saudi Arabia