worship The first stop on my trip is considered the most sacred place in all of Islam. The Kaaba is a shrine located in Mecca. The first construction was done by the prophet Ibrahim and his son as a place to worship Allah. In the Quaran ( the Muslim holy text) it says that this was the first house that was built for humanity to worship Allah. After Ibrahim died people started filling the Kaaba with idols until the prophet Muhammad defeated the idol worshippers that the idols inside were destroyed and removed. When I went I felt out of place but it was really cool to be exposed to other cultures and learn more about their traditions and what they believe.
The next sacred religious site was Masjid al-Haram - the largest Muslim Mosque in the world. It surrounds the Kaaba and was first built under the leadership of Caliph Omar Ibn al-Khattab from 634-644. It is part of the five pillars of Islam that requires every Muslim to perform the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca at least once in their lifetime if they are able to do so. Multiple parts of the Hajj require pilgrims to walk seven times around the Kaaba in a counter-clockwise direction. The detail of the Mosque was very beautiful and intricate.
Next stop was the city of Mathura where Hindus believe that on the banks of Jamuna, near Agra, is the birth place of Krishna. The atmosphere of Mathura is in direct contrast to that of Benares. Mathura represents the religion of the living, while Benaras emphasizes the permanence of death. A magnificent temple for paying obeisance to Lord Shri Krishna was constructed by Seth Ramkrishnaji Dalmia in memory of his pious mother, Smt. Jadia Devi Dalmia. It is believed by the devotees that a darshan of the long-haired Keshavadevji, who is the complete incarnation of Vishnu, Rasa and love, can earn the blessings of the Lord. It is their unshakable belief that a darshan of Lord Keshavadevji can fulfil wishes and wash away the sins of the devotees. Today, this temple has become a centre of attraction for visitors from India and abroad.
down to the The Ganges river is very important to Hindu beliefs. Pilgrims come to the steps leading down to the river Ganges to wash away a lifetime of sins in the sacred waters or to cremate their loved ones. The local people kept referring to the river as “Mother Ganga”. the Ganges River is sacred to Hindus and it is regarded as goddess in Hindu mythology.
First Buddhist sacred site so far! The Maya Devi is considered the most important temple in Buddhism. It is named after Buddha's mother and the temple is built around the spot that Buddha was believed to born at to protect the area. There is a pond behind the temple where it is said Maya took a ritual dip when she went into labor. It is also believed to be the spot where Buddha took his first bath.
One of the oldest structures on the premises with three prayer halls is the Myanmar golden temple. Right inside the temple premises is the Lokamani Pula pagoda, another Burmese style pagoda that resembles the Shwe-dagon pagoda of Yangon.
The Western Wall is located in Jerusalem at the western side of temple mount and is important to Judaism a place of prayer and pilgrimage sacred to the Jewish people. It is the only remains of the Second Temple of Jerusalem, held to be especially holy by the ancient Jews and destroyed by the Romans in 70 c.e. The authenticity of the Western Wall has been confirmed by tradition, history, and archaeological research; the wall dates from about the 2nd century b.c.e, though its upper sections were added at a later date. travelers and visitors wedge slips of paper with prayers or prayer requests on them in between the stones.
The Belz Great Synagogue is significant because it is a replica of the original Belz synagogue that was destroyed by the Nazis during the holocaust. It was pretty special to see this beautiful ornate place of worship and history.
As a christian myself it was very exciting to visit the Church of the Holy Sepulchre where Jesus was buried and resurrected. The construction for the Church of the Holy Sepulchre was started in 326 after the death of Jesus.