Pilgrimage

Table of contents
1 Pilgrimage in Hinduism
2 Pilgrimage in Buddhism
3 Pilgrimage in Judaism
4 Pilgrimage in Christianity
5 Pilgrimage in Islam
6 Pilgrimage in Bahai
7 Pilgrimage in Mesoamerica

Pilgrimage in Hinduism

There are several holy places with great significance to Hindus. Some of these (in India) include:

Badrinath
Kedarnath
Gangotri
Yamunotri
Rishikesh
Haridwar
Benares

The first four sites in the list above together comprise the Chardham, or four holy pilgrimage destinations. It is believed that travelling to these places leads to moksha, the release from samsara (cycle of rebirths).

Pilgrimage in Buddhism

Gautama Buddha spoke of four holy sites that followers may seek.

Lumbini birth place
Sarnath (formally Isipathana) where he delivered his first teaching
Bodh Gaya place of Enlightenment
Kusinara (now Kusinagar, India) where he passed away

Pilgrimage in Judaism

Pilgrimage in Christianity

The earliest surviving descriptions of Christian pilgrims and pilgrimage experiences to the Holy Land is from the 4th century.

Canterbury
Conques, France
Jerusalem
Lourdes, France
Rome
Santiago de Compostela
Vierzehnheiligen

Pilgrimage in Islam

Pilgrimage to Mecca - the hajj, is one of the Five Pillars of Islam. It should be attempted at least once in the lifetime of all able-bodied Muslims.

Pilgrimage in Bahai

Bahá'u'lláh presribes pilgrimage in His Motherbook (Kitáb-i-Aqdas). The Most Holy Shrine (the Qiblih), the Blessed House in Baghdad and the venerated House of the Báb in Shihraz are consecrated to pilgrimage, and it is "obligatory" to visit these places. No rites have been prescribed for pilgrimage to the Most Holy Shrine. The obligation is not binding on women.

Pilgrimage in Mesoamerica

The concept of pilgrimage was also found in Pre-Columbian Mesoamerica. Important pilgrimage sites included:
Teotihuacan (still visited centuries after its buildings fell to ruin), said to be where the gods gathered to plan the creation of mankind
Chichen Itza, especially the sacred cenote, a natural well sacred to the rain god Chac, into which sacrifices were thrown.
Izamal, sacred to the creator god Itzamna
Cozumel, sacred to Ix Chel, goddess of the moon and childbirth.

See also: Pilgrim



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