"We were meant to explore this Earth like children do... unhindered by fear... propelled by curiosity and a sense of discovery" (anonymous). Traveling brings a whole new light into how you see the world and in my case opened me up to new religions of the world.
I began traveling in the summer of 2015 on a journey to discover and learn about the religions of our world. My first religion that I grew interest in was Hinduism, which was a very popular religion of South Asia, with a following of about 750 million people. Before I left I made sure to read a little of the vedas, their holy book to gain knowledge on the religion. The hindu worship place is called a Mandir, and the religion is the oldest of all religions. First I went to the Badrinath Temple, a famous hindu temple in India; I stayed in the state of Ghangaria which is located just outside of the state where the temple is located. The Badrinath Temple is located in the town of Badrinath in Uttarakhand, the temple is beautifully structured with bright, welcoming colors. I loved being here, I did not go in, but I did speak to several people around the building who could tell me a bit about it. Two elephant heads were placed at the front of the building which were the most distinct feature. Next I had the pleasure of going to the Meenakshi Amman Temple which is another historic hindu temple. In a more localized area, the Meenakshi Amman Temple was located in Madurai, Tamil Nadu. Speaking to people who lived locally around this structure I discovered that there were 27 temples in this temple. The architect was Viswanatha Nayak, and the style was considered to be Dravidian architecture. This was my traveling experience the first day, the people were very nice, but I had to get a guide to help me understand most things.
Like hinduism, Buddisim originated in India so I decided to stay in India to do research about the intriguing religion. The holy book of buddisim is called the Tripitaka, the Mahyana Sutras and the Tibetan book of the dead which are in fact the three major noncanonical Buddhist texts. I did some research again before continuing my traveling. I discovered an important place that I would want to go is to Lumbini, the birth place of Buddha. When I went it was surprisingly larger than what I had expected and it was the most interesting out of all the places I stopped at, I stopped here on the third day of my travels. Lumbini was located in Nepal, India and was a while away from my first stop. My next stop, while still remaining in India was to see Bodh Gaya, the religious site and place of pilgrimage for Buddists. I visited the temple and the statue located in the same area. Once again I talked to some of the locals and discovered that there are the Four Noble Truths of Buddism which are: 1) existence is suffering, 2) the cause of suffering is the craving and attachment, 3) suffering ceases at some point and turns to Nirvana, and 4) there is a path to Nirvana which is made up of 8 steps, "sometimes called the Eightfold Path". Here I noticed that there were obviously less colors and things tended to look more sad. I was intrigued yet this was not one of my favorite religions to learn about.
The next day of my trip I decided to spend traveling to jerusalem which is west of India. Jerusalem has a lot of history on Jewish culture, which is another main religion that makes up our world. I decided that my first stop would be to The Great Jerusalem Synagogue, which is a popular place of prayer in Jerusalem for Jews. I took the same steps and met people who lived around there and who went to the church to give me background information on Jews. The torah is the holy book to their culture, which explains that there is only one god to their religion. Jews seem to believe that Judaism began 4,000 years ago when god made an agreement with the man named Abraham, who is very important to the religion. My next stop in jerusalem was, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, otherwise known as the Church of resurrection. The locals here were very friendly, but I discovered with many I needed a translator. Many spoke of the garden tomb as another holy site which jesus was crucified on the cross and resurrected. The people explained that Jews were the first relgion to establish the concept of there being one god. As mentioned earlier it started 4,000 years ago and due to God and Abraham making an agreement. The agreement was for God to protect Abraham and his people and that he would take them to a new land. The religion showed similar beliefs to my religion, christianity and that's what I was to study next.
Next I decided to research my own religion, christianity which has major roots in Jerusalem. Jerusalem is said to be some of the sites of jesus's teachings, Golgotha which is a major key of the religion for christ was crucified here. I went to Golgotha my 6th day of traveling and it was a very intriguing place. Gethsemane was the second place I visited that day, here jesus slept the night before he was crucified on the cross. The main concepts of christianity is that Jesus Christ is your one true lord and savior, there is jesus christ, god the father, and the holy spirit. The holy spirit enters your life when you decide to be saved by Jesus christ. In America a very popular religion idea is christianity, most people I know identify as a christian. The holy teachings are in the book called the holy bible, which consists of many books written by different authors which jesus told them what to write and by the works of christ all the books lined up. My father is training to become a preacher so learning/ knowing about this religion was very simple.
The last religion which is another one of the largest religions with a following of over 1 million people and they only believe in one god. The Qur'an is the holy book for Muslims which consists of the holy word of god, which once again I learned this information from people who are this religion in the places I stopped at. I went to the city of Mecca because it seemed to have the largest following and stopped at the Masjid al-Haram which is the largest Mosque in the city of Mecca. This is considered to be the holiest place on Earth and each day Muslims turn in prayer to pray towards it. I discovered the main thing to know about this religion is that there is one god which is named Allah. Allah created man from a clot of blood or it is said to be so. Humans are believed to be the greatest of all creatures and were created for the purpose of serving god. They are to live a style of life that would please Allah so that they may be granted into paradise.