Life can sometimes have you looking up a vacation, bogged down by mundanity or an underlying dissatisfaction. Given the fact that it is only human to feel so once in a while, there is a plethora of places you can head to in order to see solace. All across the world, lie travel destinations in the form of tombs, sites, temples, mountains and more that address various spiritual needs. Given below is a list of ten most religious countries to visit for spiritual needs, along with the exact place to take off to!
- Cenote Sagrado, Mexico
You may not really seek divine intervention as you wish in your brain, “someone just plan my holiday”, but we are here to guide you! Cenote Sagrado literally translates to Sacred Waters. It is believed that several people and objects were sacrificed in this water body that looks like a huge well. It holds significance for worshipping the Maya rain god Chaac.
- Lalibela, Ethiopia
Perched in Ethiopia’s Amhara Region, Lalibela is a place characterized by eye-catching monolithic rock-cut churches. Owing to this fact, Lalibela is said to be the country’s holiest of cities. Additionally, this is where you can witness some of the earliest civilization traces of Ethiopia along with its being as the earliest city that adopted Christianity in the early fourteenth century.
- Shwedagon Pagoda, Myanmar
The Shwedagon Pago accommodates four buddha’s relics including Gautama’s eight strands of hair, Kakusandha’s staff, a piece of the robe of Kassapa and Koṇāgamana’s water filter. The entire ambiance of this place is tranquil with incense, chants, and hopeful worshippers. This 326-foot-tall pagoda will catch your sight from anywhere in Yangon.
- Bodh Gaya, India
India, indeed, is full of religious places that too holding relevance for many religions. Bodh Gaya, the place where Gautama Buddha attained enlightenment sitting under the sacred Bodhi Tree, is of great importance to Buddhists.
- Haridwar, India
Thronged by Shiva worshippers from across India, Haridwar is one place where people wash away their sins and attain purity by bath and performing rituals in the Holy Ganges. On the day of Kartik Poornima, as many as 2.5 Lakh visitors are said to gather at the Har Ki Pauri to witness the grandeur of the heavenly Ganga arati.
- Aiguilhe, France
Situated in the very centre of France, Aiguilhe is home to the Saint Michel chapel. With a construction that dates back to the year 969, this chapel holds relevance for being built in order to commemorate the return from the pilgrimage of Saint James.
To reach the chapel, one needs to climb a whopping 268 steps carved in the rocky mountain top.
- Tokyo, Japan
It is the Meiji Shrine that puts Tokyo on this list. Built as a usual shrine by the then Emperor Meiji, this shrine is today devoted to the spirits of him and his wife Empress Shōken.
- Mazar-i-Sharif, Afghanistan
Literally translating to “Holy Shrine”, the Mazar-i-Sharif is this beautiful turquoise blue mosque. It is counted amongst religious sites owing to a belief that the mosque houses the tomb of the Islamic prophet Muhammad’s cousin and son-in-law, Ali ibn Abi Talib.
- Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka
Credited to be Sri Lanka’s ancient capital, Anuradhapura holds religious importance for Buddhists. It is this place that was titled the centre of Theravada Buddhism, you can still see ruins of the first city wall, built by the then King Kutakannatissa.
- Mount Kailash, Tibet
First, it is the fact that it lies at the originating points of some of Asia’s longest rivers that garners much significance to it. It holds importance for not one but four religions of Jainism, Hinduism, Bön and Buddhism. Unlike most pilgrimage sites, this one is addressed by a counterclockwise beat around it.
A visit to any of these places is certain to grant you the ultimate spiritual retreat you have been seeking. What was your pick?! Let us know in the comments section below!