We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience.
We all find ourselves struggling to find inner peace and fulfillment. Everyone has different ways of doing so. One of the most satisfying ways is travelling. Travelling to different places brings new chapters and we find ourselves unfolding in ways we never thought of. Our physical surroundings play a major role in mental orientation and there are some places people go to in order to connect to themselves and their inner beliefs.
We bring to you the top 10 spiritual places in the world.
1.LOTUS TEMPLE, INDIA
Amidst all the chaos and movement running through the capital of India, we have the Lotus temple which contains nothing but soul enriching tranquil. It gets its name from the lotus shape in which it has been built. This Baha’i house of worship was completed in 1986. It is open to everyone regardless of religion, gender or faith. It is that one place where there is so much peace that one can actually feel their troubles being lifted. It is permitted to read any scriptures belonging to any religion as long as there is no disturbance being created.
2.MECCA, SAUDI ARABIA
Mecca is the capital of the Makkah province in Saudi Arabia. It is a holy site for Muslims. Being the birthplace of Muhammad and the site of his first revelation of Quran, it is considered that every able-bodied Muslim must visit this place once in their lifetime. A large number of Muslims from around the world take part in a pilgrimage to Mecca (known as hajj), every year. The other pilgrimage is known as Umrah.
3.ANGKOR WAT, CAMBODIA
A Chinese traveller from the 13th century stated that it was believed by some people that this temple was built in a single night by a divine architect. The beauty of Angkor Wat complex is difficult to explain in a few words. This complex consisting of countless temples was restored in the 20th century by the removal of excess vegetation and earth deposits. It was initially built as a Hindu temple for the Khmer empire by Khmer king Suryavarman II. Angkor Wat is dedicated to God Vishnu.
Jerusalem is one of the oldest cities in the world. During the early Canaanite period, Jerusalem was known as “Urusalima” which translates to – “the city of peace”. This city became a World Heritage site in 1981. Jerusalem’s old city is divided into 4 quarters – Christian, Jewish, Muslim and Armenian. The city has great religious relevance. Apart from that it consists of many artistic and cultural venues. It’s religious and spiritual landmarks continue to attract tourists for a soulful experience.
5.BODH GAYA, BIHAR
Bodh Gaya is a pilgrimage and a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Bihar. It is believed that Gautama Buddha achieved enlightenment here under the Bodhi Tree after an intense period of meditation. Historically, it was known as Uruvela, Sambodhi, Vajrasana or Mahabodhi. The main monastery of Bodh Gaya used to be called the Bodhimanda-vihāra (Pali). Now called the Mahabodhi Temple, it was originally built during the 3rd century BC by King Ashoka.
6.MOUNT KAILASH, TIBET
Mount Kailash is a peak in the Kailash Range which has immense spiritual and religious relevance. It is considered a sacred place in four religions namely – Bon, Buddhism, Jainism and Hinduism. With its mighty and capturing appearance, Mount Kailash is a site to behold. Setting foot on its slopes is considered a sin and it is believed that the stairways on Mount Kailash lead to heaven. The pilgrimage to Kailash is a difficult one as one has to get past the harsh physical and environmental conditions. Its completion is said to bring fulfilment and blessings.
7.VATICAN CITY, ROME
With an area of around 44 hectares the Vatican City, is a walled enclosure within the city of Rome. The religious and cultural sites in Vatican City showcase some of the most famous paintings and sculptures. One of these sites is St. Peter’s Basilica. According to Roman Catholic mythology, this place is built over the site where St. Peter was buried.
Varanasi, also known as Benares or Banaras, is a city located on the banks of the Ganges in Uttar Pradesh, 320 kilometres (200 mi) southeast of the state capital, Lucknow. Hindus hold the belief that death in Varanasi helps the soul to reach heaven. The city looks stunning during the evening because of the lamps which people send floating across the river banks. And if all of that is not enough for you then trust what American author Mark Twain said about Kashi (another name for Varanasi) – “Benares is older than history, older than tradition, older even than legend, and looks twice as old as all of them put together.”
9.TIGER’S NEST, BHUTAN
This is a significant Himalayan Buddhist site which is considered sacred. It is said that in the 8th century, Guru Padmasambhava meditated here for three years, three months, three weeks, three days and three hours. The shrines here are breath-taking. If you are in search of a place which can bring to closer to your spiritual self then here is where you should be.
10.GOLDEN TEMPLE (HARMANDIR SAHIB), INDIA
It is a beautiful Sikh Gurdwara located in the city of Amritsar, Punjab, India. It was built by the fifth Sikh guru, Guru Arjan Dev, in the 16th Century. Adi Granth, the holy scripture of Sikhism, was completed by Guru Arjan Dev in 1604 and installed in the Gurdwara. People come here in hope of peace and spirituality. Its magnificence is undeniable and once you are here, you will find yourself in a state of devotion.
The definition of spirituality is fluid. People have been visiting these places for years and have come back with enlightening experiences. Such destinations are much more than vacationing spots. They are a delight for the spirituality enthusiasts!