The Way of Religion My travels to religious, architectural SIGHTINGS

That long, crowded bus ride to Badrinarayan was tedious, impatient, but in the end, completely worth it. June 20th, 2016. This two day journey has led me to one of Hinduism's most holy sites: the Badrinarayan Temple located in Uttarakhand, India. Probably one of the most beautiful temples I've ever seen in my lifetime. Just the exterior of the temple is all one needs to instantly be breath-taken. The bright, vibrant colors of blue, red, yellow, all designed in intricate patterns along the walls. I had found out that the hues of this architecture is brightly painted evoked by the buddhist gompas dedicated to their ancient, holy ruler, Lord Vishnu. I must say, though, very crowded. Many had traveled and it had taken me a few hours just to get into the door of the temple. One word: marvelous.

The outsides of the Badrinarayan Temple as well as one of the worship spaces inside.

Long bus hours, a small train ride, and hitchhiking a ride on a jeep, but I've made it. June 24, 2016. Lumbini, Nepal. Its pristine white walls stand out in its beautiful scenery. The temple, itself, has many historical parts that follow the birth of Lord Buddha, one of Buddhism's most sacred gods who had taught others how to escape the cycle of life and death. For example, the sacred tree--as shown in the photos--is the location as to where Lord Buddha was born. Many have gathered around the tree to worship. Then there's the temple above on the rooftop used as another place of worship. The temple, architecturally beautiful, but the view, was surely one of the most unforgettable sights yet, especially as the sun had begun to set.

The Lumbini settlement including: the gardens, ponds, worship spaces, rooftop temples, and the sacred tree.

One small pricy flight and one bus ride, but I've made it to possibly one of my favorite stops so far. June 26, 2016. Jerusalem, the place where many of the world's most popular religions consider as their holy city, including Islam, Judaism, and Christianity. However, my expedition to Jerusalem today primarily focused on a popular, most sacred siting to Christians: The Garden Tomb. Also known as the tomb where Jesus, the son of God, was placed when he had died and had supposedly resurrected into heaven a few days later. I just say the tomb was not the most attractive-looking siting throughout my travels. The architecture itself really is just gently-modified stone and Jesus' actual place of resurrection in the tomb was blocked off. However, the garden surrounding the tomb really adds a beautiful scenery to a simple--yet meaningful--cave. A very unique siting, I must admit.

The interior and exterior of the Garden Tomb of Jesus

After the Garden Tomb (see last post), I decided to do more personal site seeing and later decided to end my day in one of the many hotels in Jerusalem. June 27, 2016. Of all of Jerusalem, this next sacred site surely stood out in--well all of Jerusalem. The Temple Mount. The dome rooftop was large, lustrous gold that anyone could notice for miles. The walls of the building--although not as bright and obvious as the dome--was surrounded by a beautiful pattern of tiles of blue and yellow. The structure itself, I must say, was very intriguing. This site does, however, partially share claims with the Islamic religion. However, for Judaism, this was their most sacred siting. The Temple, often called as the Har HaMoriyah to the Jews, was built over where what used to be a holy temple. They had rebuilt a new temple in memory to remember all of God's leadings of religious characters to the temple before the temple had been destroyed. In addition, the Western Wall (as shown in one of my pictures), had been used many years ago leading to the temple with a secret tunnel leading to it. This was one of four walls surrounding the temple. I was very disappointed to have to leave this marvelous piece of history, but I am now off to my final siting in

Different viewpoints of the Temple Mount including the Western Wall.

A three-day bus ride to Saudi Arabia, but I've finally made it. June 30, 2016. My final destination. Today I had visited the Great Mosque of Mecca. Very crowded I must say. Although this site is best to see as night falls, be prepared to be very crammed with others.The mosque, though, was absolutely stunning. the high pillars full of light, and the bright lights brightening up the entire city at night. BEAUTIFUL. The entire structure was built specifically to enclose and protect one of the Islamic religion's most sacred items: the Ka'Bah. The Ka'Bah (see photos) is a black box-like artifact designed with simplistic gold designs around the box. This holy item was made to where Islam's face during their five daily prayers, bury the dead, and cherish their pilgrimage. This ginormous mosque's designs and structures have truly blown me away. A perfect way to end my journey.

The Great Mosque of Mecca and the Ka'Bah
Created By
Kristine Soriano
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Credits:

Created with images by neufal54 - "jerusalem israel dome of the rock" • gunthersimmermacher - "jerusalem gold dome" • hoyasmeg - "Dome of the Rock and Colonade_1876"

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