More of the World’s Most Visited Spiritual Travel Destinations3 min read
Every year, billions of people make their way to temples, churches, shrines, and a number of other sacred sites around the world. From Vatican City to Machu Picchu to Jerusalem, these destinations draw steady streams of visitors for varying reasons. Whether they’re inspired by their own spiritual beliefs or want to explore the history and culture of a particular location, they’re guaranteed an incredible experience.
Last year, we took a look at some of the most popular spiritual destinations around the world. Here are a few others you certainly won’t want to miss:
Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Australia
Located in the Central Australian desert, the park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and home to the most recognizable landmarks in the country: two massive red rock formations. Uluru is a large flat-topped sandstone rock and Kata Tjuta is made up of over 30 domes of various rock types (e.g. granite and sandstone). Both rock formations are sacred to the Pitjantjatjara Aboriginal tribe and are central to the belief system of one of the most ancient human societies. Today, the Aborigines continue to perform ancient rituals and ceremonies throughout the park. Visitors can take a guided tour and check out the Cultural Center and Aboriginal rock art sites.
Mount Sinai, Egypt
Located on Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, Mount Sinai is believed by Jews, Christians, and Muslims to have been the place where Moses received the Ten Commandments from God. Although there isn’t a lot of archeological evidence to support this, it’s still considered to be a sacred site; several Christian monasteries (including St. Catherine’s Monastery) were built in the area.
Mahabodhi Temple Complex, India
The Mahabodhi Tree is believed to be the place where the Buddha (Prince Siddhartha) attained enlightenment. Now a UNESCO World Heritage site and the location of one of the most sacred Buddhist temples in the world, it is a popular pilgrimage destination for believers and non-religious travelers alike. Although the original Mahabodi tree is long gone, there still remains what it believed to be a descendant of the original tree.
Al-Masjid al-Haram, Saudi Arabia
Also known as “the Holy Mosque,” Al-Masjid al-Haram is the holiest and largest mosque in the world. Located in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, the mosque was originally built centuries ago to enclose the Ka’bah, the holiest shrine in Islam. The Holy Mosque is the main destination of the Hajj pilgrimage (a trip that is required by all Muslims that are physically and financially capable of doing so) and holds up to four million people during this time.
Photo from Telugism.