Wednesday, December 28th, 2016 - A few days ago, I left the United States of America for the very first time. Currently I am in Jerusalem, Israel visiting the Christian Quarter of the town. I had experienced the joy of witnessing the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Did you know that this is one of the most top sacred sites for Christanity? This church is believed to be where Christ was crucified and three days later, resurrected. This site has many high ceilings, along with elaborate decorations. The church had many crosses over the entire building, and a few domed roofs. The domes are known as the Rotunda (Tomb) and are very important to those with christian faith. Inside the church, there was an alter to signify where Jesus had died and to worship him. The Church of the Holy Sepulchre was a magnificent first stop on my "religious journey" and I would recommend visiting it one day.
Sunday, January 1st, 2017 - After my first stop in Jerusalem, I traveled by car to the opposite side of the city, the Jewish Quarter. The trip lasted approximately 30 minutes from one location to the other. I embarked on a trip to visit the Haram Al-Sharif, to learn about Judaism. I've learned that Haram Al-Sharif, in English means "The Noble Sanctuary". The location of the first and second Jewish temples ruins lie where the Haram Al-Sarif now resides. To protect the temple's sanctity, the Jewish dare not step onto the grounds of the sacred site. Therefore, the Western wall of the temple is used for the main focus of Jewish prayer. This temple consists of a main building with a dome roof, surrounded by several boarder walls. The Western Wall of the boarder is also known as the "wailing wall". The temple, itself, is made with mainly blue tiles and the dome is a shinning gold. This stands out in contrast to the drab, dull colored walls surrounding this sacred site. The Haram Al-Sharif is now one of the most beautiful sites that I've travel to, and is a great idea for fascinating vacations/trips.
Tuesday, January 10th, 2017 - I have recently traveled to Saudi Arabia within the past few days. This trip took approximately two hours by plane. During this trip, I have visited the Kaaba and Al-Masjid Al-Haram, in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. It is extremely crowded at this beautiful religious site. All Muslims must travel to Mecca at least once in their lifetimes. The Kaaba and Al-Masjid Al-Haram is a large stone (the Grand Mosque) surrounded by walls. This stone is in the shape of a cube, it's four corners facing the four corners of the world. This stone has been made of granite from several hills in Mecca. One of the FIve Pillars requires every Muslim to preform the Hajj Pilgrimage at the Kaaba. So many people come to witness this historic site, that it is almost impossible to get in! This is Islam's most important and sacred site. I would 100% recommend a trip to this glorious and crowded sacred site.
Friday, January 20th, 2017 - I am now currently in India, touring Hinduism temples around the city that I am staying in. From Saudi Arabia to India, my flight took approximately four hours. Out of all of the temples I have witnessed these past few days, the Sri Ranganathaswamy temple stood out the most to me. This temple is so colorful and huge! It's stunning! This site attracts over 1 million tourists during the 21 day festival (December-January). The pillars of this temple were crafted to represent horses, with riders, trampling the heads of tigers. This is one of the largest temples in India, with its pyramid-like design. This was made with the Dravidian style of architecture. This temple has gained its significance from ranganatha swamy Mula virat. This temple's history traces back to old clashes between the Hindus and Muslims. Once again, I have encountered a wonderful place to travel to!
Thursday, January 26th, 2016 - I have finally traveled to my last stop on my tour of sacred sites of the five major religions. I have decided to visit Wat Arun for my last site to see and blog about. The flight from India to Thailand to took approximately 3 3/4 hours. Wat Arun is in Bangkok, Thailand. This temple briefly hosted the Emerald Buddha in the 1780's, after it had been recaptured from Laos. This temple received it's final name, Wat Arunratchawararam, from King Rama IV. Wat Arun has tiny sea shells, Chinese porcelain and colored glass. The use of these materials make this temple seem to sparkle and shimmer under certain lighting. The temple is a Khmer style of architecture, with it's very steep stairway, which represents a "stairway to Heaven". The temple has four small towers that have been devoted to the Buddhism Wind god, who's statute rests at the top. I would recommend visiting this sacred temple at dawn or dusk, to see it glimmer in the light. I hope you all have enjoyed my Religious faction blogs. Stay tuned for more unique places to travel to!