Day 1: July 17th, 2014, I was in Rome, Italy visiting the Saint Peter's Basilica, it was gorgeous! The ancient architecture was astounding and I could not believe that this 510 year old cathedral has retained its beauty this long! The murals on the ceiling and stone walls reflect Catholicism with paintings of Jesus Christ and his Apostles. This is the burial site of St. Peter, one of Jesus' 12 Apostles and the artwork is one of Michelangelo's wondrous masterpieces! Thousands upon thousands of Christians flood the Basilica to glorify and admire their religion's beauty and sacred presence it brings to all Christians.
Day 2: July 18th, 2014, still in Vatican CIty but I visited the Sistine Chapel just down a few blocks from the Basilica. The murals here are even more breathtaking than in St. Peter's! I can't believe the brilliant colors and how they reflected the renaissance period, it's truly amazing. The chapel is 508 years old and still remains as one of the most popular Christian sacred landmark to visit in a lifetime! Isn't that crazy?? The most famous Michelangelo mural, the Creation of Adam and Eve is awed at by all who see it on the ceilings of the Chapel itself. True beauty lies in this chapel and I'd recommend seeing it to everyone!
Day 3: July 22nd, 2014, I went to Israel to see The Western Wall in Jerusalem. The "Wailing Wall" was not beautiful in the architecture per-say but the significance and seriousness given to it by Jewish people is just as beautiful as the murals in the Vatican, or the Sistine Chapel. Did you know that this wall was the only standing architectural vestige of the Temple Mount, and never really was apart of the temple itself, it was just a wall! It has been disgraced throughout time by many races and groups of people. The first Israeli man to visit it after the Jordians took over was Moshe Dayan, an he created a precedent of putting a signed petition in a crack on the wall, his last prayer was that lasting peace would descend upon the house of Israel. In the Jewish faith, the pilgrimage to see the Western Wall is for all devoted Jewish men and women. The praying children, adults, and seniors were amazing. The serenity alone was breathtaking!
Day 4: July 28th, 2014, I flew to India to find one of the most sacred Hindu temples, Varadharaja Perumal Temple, which is dedicated to the Lord Varadaja. The temple was built by chola kings in 1053 A.D. and expanded by Chola King Kulutthunga I and Vikra Cholas during 1075-1135 A.D.. Later it was renovated by Vijayangar Kings in 12th century A.D.. That's a lot of renovation!!!! The front entrance is 96 Feet tall! That's one big temple!! The architecture of the temple is extremely historical and you can tell how respected it is by the way Hindustanis approach it and how they worship in the temple. The silence and peacefulness of the temple is absolutely 100% astounding and the respect given to the temple was impressive. The temple itself is a must-see for everyone because of the architecture and pure beauty, but not only the looks and outside-appeal, but the prayers and solemness are radiated through the walls of the temple.
Day 5: July 31, 2014 After seeing the intricate architecture of the Varadharaja Perumal Temple, I traveled across to Bahir, India to the Mahabodi Temple to see the Bodh Gaya. the amazing Buddhist temple was striking with peace and flooded with devoted worshipers who come to seek enlightenment from the same place that the Gautama Buddha sought enlightenment, and found it. The crystal rivers and reflecting pools add a peaceful and thoughtful setting for anyone to seek peace to solely worship and to just be alone with your thoughts and nothing else. The luscious vegetation and flowers give a down-to-earth feeling to all who come and wish to enter an everlasting peace.
The temple is one of the four sacred temples which relate to the life of the Lord Buddha. The original temple was built in the 3rd century B.C.!!! Isn't that crazy?!? It was dedicated to the learning and obtaining of Enlightenment buy anyone who dedicates themselves to worship and truly study the beauty and wonders of the temple itself. The overall sacredness of the temple and even surrounding area was astonishing. The Buddhists give the Bodh Gaya such an amazing amount of respect, and boy can you tell! By just looking at it, you can certainly tell that this temple is a sacred site for all who seek gresta enlightenment and tranquility!
Day 6: August 3rd, 2014 Once we visited the Bodh Gaya in India, I journeyed to see the Green Dome in Medina, Saudi Arabia. The sacred site was built on top of the prophet Muhammad's tomb and is a sacred pilgrimage to all Muslims. Did you know that through history, it has changed colors?? At first it was the color of wood, then it became white, and then blue, and then green, and has remained green ever since then. However, in 886 AH, the temple and dome were burned down during the reign of Sultaan Qayit Bey the temple was rebuilt in 887 AH. The dome and temple was rebuilt with stronger pillars mad with brick and were made the correct height to fully support and protect the sacred temple from being destroyed. Millions of dedicated Muslims and devoted worshipers make the sacred pilgrimage to this temple and dedicate themselves to prayer and adoration of their God Allah.