Welcome to my travel blog! Here I am going to record my journey to visit the holy sites of five different religions -- Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, and Judaism.
Day 1 : Visiting the Vatican City
St. Peter's Square
St. Peter's Square, from the view of the St. Peter's Basilica.
The Architecture in St. Peter's Square was simply gorgeous. All of the pillars and figures on the Basilica, plus the obelisk in the center really gave me chills. I spent about an hour or two walking around the square, admiring the architecture. After observing the overseeing pillars and round geometric architecture, I decided to head over to the Basilica.
St. Peter's Basilica
Murals in St. Peter's Basilica, in the Vatican City.
The Vatican City's giant St. Peter's Basilica was very stunning. This structure is possibly the greatest sacred site in Christianity, or Catholicism, to be specific. Consecrated in 1626, the world's largest Basilica of Christianity has a 136 by 42 meter long dome at the top, and it can hold up to 20,000 people in it at once. The walls and ceilings are covered in significant artwork and literature from the late Renaissance era, thus giving the colossal Basilica such significance.
Day 2 : Visiting the Shiva Temple in Prambanan
Hindu Temples scattered across Prambanan.
Hindu structure, like the picture above, consists of large, tall, and symmetrical structure. The temples usually consists of basic geometric shapes (squares, circles, etc.). These sets of temples usually have a main temple, called a Shiva Temple. These structures are truly gigantic, I felt like an ant looking up to them. It's quite amazing how simplistic a building can be, like a temple, but yet be so awe-inspiring.
The Shiva Temple in Prambanan
The massive Shiva Temple in Prambanan
As mentioned above, every set of temples have a Shiva Temple, which is a building to worship the Hindu deity named Shiva. There as many as 2,500 temples dedicated to Shiva in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu. The Hindu religion focuses on living life according to the dharma, the teaching of religion of Hindu, and the ten commandments (do no harm, do not lie, etc.). They also believe in reincarnation, and the three debts (debt to God, sages and saints, and ancestors).
Day 3 : Visiting the Sanchi Temple and Stupa
Gupta Period Temple at Sanchi.
Most Buddhist temples follow the layout of Hindu temples, which consists of square inner space, a sacrificial arena, with a route around the temple, accompanied by lots of pillars. Unlike Hinduism, Buddhism's structures are identifiable as either viharas, stupas, or shrines/prayer halls (chaityas). These round-shaped stupas and more rigid-looking pagodas define the Buddhist culture.
The Great Stupa
The Great Stupa in Sanchi
The Great Stupa is the sacred site in Sanchi, Madhya Pradesh, India. This polished sandstone half sphere structure is the oldest structure of Buddhism, and when I visited it I could almost sense the divine, holy presence. It originates in the 3rd century BCE. Buddhists see their religion as a way of life, as they follow their Buddhist path, which can be generalized to lead a moral life, to be mindful and aware of thoughts and actions, and to develop wisdom and understanding.
Day 4 : Visiting Kairouan
The Great Mosque of Kairouan