Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Incredible Pilgrimages for Curious Travelers

People have made religious pilgrimages to locations around the world for thousands of years. Many religions have at least one pilgrimage of some kind, whether for local people or those who come from around the world. However, you don't have to be religious to follow one of these ancient paths. It does help if you're looking for something, though. It might not be spiritual fulfillment, but perhaps you're just trying to find yourself. If you feel like going on an epic journey, consider one of these famous pilgrimages. They're ideal for modern travelers from all walks of life.

Camino de Santiago in France and Spain

This pilgrimage is probably the best known in Europe. Also called the Way of St James, it receives more than 100,000 visitors each year. There's even a movie about it, starring Martin Sheen and written by Emilio Estevez. If you've seen the movie and you're feeling inspired, you might want to have a go yourself. There are several routes you can take. Starting in the south of France and making your way through the north of Spain is most popular. You don't have to walk the full 450 miles, although some people do. The end point is Santiago de Compostela and its cathedral.

Char Dham Yatra in India

If you're interested in Hinduism, you might consider exploring the option of Char Dham Yatra. This pilgrimage consists of four Hindu temples, which are roughly in the north, east, south and west of India. You'll visit Puri, Rameswaram, Dwarka, and Badrinath. Since India is such a large country, it's a pretty challenging route to take. However, it's probably not one you would want to walk. Taking trains, buses or even planes is an option. You can find tour operators who will help you visit each place in one trip. But you can also take a more leisurely pace and do individual journeys.

Glastonbury Tor to Stonehenge in the UK

Paganism is an interesting subject to explore when you visit the UK. Two of the county's most famous Pagan sites are Glastonbury Tor in the county of Somerset and Stonehenge in Wiltshire. Glastonbury Tor is a hill with St Michael's Tower on top of it. Visiting the summit of the Tor is supposed to be a journey of rebirth for the traveler. Stonehenge is just over 40 miles away and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It was and still is used for pagan festivals. If you visit in June, you can celebrate the summer solstice there.

Adam's Peak, Sri Lanka

This site in Sri Lanka is linked to several religious. Buddhists say the peak is the footprint of Buddha, while Muslims claim it's that of Adam. Hindus say that it's Shiva's mark. Thousands of pilgrims climb it each year, mostly during the cool cover of night time. Along the way, you can discover tea shops, where you can stop for a rest.

A pilgrimage doesn't just have to be for the religious. You can discover something about yourself and see some amazing scenery on one of these routes.

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