A Spiritual Journey to the World's 13 Most Sacred Places

Jerusalem - a sacred place
Undoubtedly, the world today is more of a battleground, unlike the haven it used to be many centuries ago. However, despite all the peril and danger, there are still some sanctimonious places where man can retain his faith and sanity. The city of Jerusalem in Israel is one of the most sacred places in the world, that radiates peace and power, and is a holy site for the Jews, Christians, and Muslims.
Shwedagon Pagoda of Myanmar
Also called the 'Golden Pagoda', the Shwedagon Pagoda of Myanmar is one of the most religious places in the world, and is believed to house the relics of the four previous Buddhas. This is the oldest Buddhist stupa in the world, and is 325 feet tall. It is designed using original gold plates, and it is customary for the Burmese to perform rituals, offer flowers, pour water over the Buddha images, and offer prayers.
Lotus Temple, India
Located in the capital city of New Delhi, the Lotus Temple is one of the most sacred and peaceful sites in the world. It was built in 1980. A stunning piece of architecture and a Baha'i place of worship, it contains an enormous interior hall that can house around 2,500 people, where they can pray and meditate without any religious restrictions.
Hagia Sophia, Turkey
Originally a church and then a mosque, the Hagia Sophia is now a museum located in Turkey. It was a Greek Orthodox Cathedral and then a Roman Catholic Cathedral, and was dedicated to the Wisdom of God. It was converted to a mosque in 1453, and then into a museum in 1935. Its design and construction has been an inspiration to many similar models.
Meiji Shrine, Japan
Named after and built in honor of Japan's first modern emperor, Emperor Meiji, this shrine is dedicated to the spirits of the Emperor and his consort. The grounds of the shrine are spacious and extend over 150 acres of land. A peaceful haven with an air of tranquility, this shrine welcomes the most number of visitors for the first prayers of the New Year.
Mecca, Saudi Arabia
The Holy City of Mecca is a religious site for the followers of Islam. Once ruled by the descendants of Prophet Muhammad, Mecca welcomes more than 15 million Muslims every year during the Hajj (pilgrimage). It is one of the most pious cities of the world, and is declared as the center of Muslim pilgrimage.
Abu Simbel Temples, Egypt
The Abu Simbel Temples located in Nubia, Egypt, are twin rock temples situated close to Lake Nasser. They are dedicated to several gods, and symbolizes the prominence of the Egyptian religion. According to legend, the architects of the temple positioned the axis in such a way that the sculptures of the deities were illuminated by sunrays during October 22 and February 22.
Ghats of Varanasi, India
The city of Varanasi is located in Uttar Pradesh, India, and is one of the world's most religious sites. The Ghats of Varanasi are actually the steps that lead down to the holy river Ganges. Extensive rituals and religious ceremonies take place at these ghats, and the city houses around 87 such ghats. Most of the ghats have a mythological legend behind them.
Batu Caves, Malaysia
A popular religious site near Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, the Batu Caves are dedicated to Lord Murugan, one of the popular and revered Hindu Gods. This is one of the most famous Hindu shrines, and is actually a limestone hill that houses a number of cave temples. There are more than 270 concrete steps leading to the temples, and the entrance has an enormous statue of Lord Murugan.
Advertisement
Boudhanath, Nepal
The Boudhanath is a stupa in Kathmandu, Nepal, and was built after the demise of Lord Buddha. It is one of the many sacred Buddhist places in the world, and is a UNESCO World Heritage site too. The stupa holds a rich and colorful history, and is believed to house the remains of Kassapa Buddha.
Angkor Wat, Cambodia
Angkor Wat is located in Cambodia, and is the largest religious monument in the world. It was built by King Suryavarman II of the Khmer Empire, and was dedicated to Lord Vishnu, one of the Gods of the Hindu Trinity. Later, however, the temple became a Buddhist place of worship. Its architecture is believed to be one of the grandest of its era, and today, it is a symbol of Cambodia.
Tiger's Nest, Bhutan
The Paro Taktsang, also known as the Tiger's Nest, is one of the most notable Buddhist places of worship in the world, and is located in the Paro valley in Bhutan. It was originally a small temple complex, where Guru Padmasambhava, who introduced Buddhism to Bhutan, is believed to have meditated. The elegant monastery has been built over the decades, and is today a cultural icon of the country.
Vatican City, Rome
Sacred to the multitude of Christians all over the world, Vatican City, also called Vatican City State, is an independently-recognized state in itself. It is located within Rome, in Italy, and is the headquarters of the Roman Catholic Church. It functions stringently as per the rules of the Pope and the Bishop of Rome. Other state dignitaries include the numerous Catholic clergymen of various nationalities.
Advertisement