The Planet's Most Spiritual Places
Spiritual places can have the effect of making people feel serene, no matter what faith or religion they are. In fact, a spiritual experience can mean different things to different people, but there are some places in this world that surpass that and feel a peaceful place to whoever visits them.
Kyoto has been the center of Japanese culture for more than a thousand years and was once known as the ‘Capital of Peace and Tranquillity’. The 8th century Fushimi Inari Shrine, which sits on a hill on the outskirts of the city, is a good spot to look over the skyline that holds 1660 Buddhist temples, 400 Shinto shrines, and 90 Christian churches.
La Mezquita, Cordoba, Spain
The Islamic conquest of Iberia in the 8th century resulted in the existing building being shared by the Muslims and Christians. Towards the end of the century work began on a magnificent new mosque, and in the 16th century, a Catholic cathedral was squeezed into the building. The result is a clash of religions, of culture and of architecture. This makes it one of the world’s most surprising locations, but peace and serenity emanate from it.
Mecca and Medina
Every year, millions of Muslins travel to the two cities to perform the ritual of Umrah. These Holy cities both represent peace and calm to these travelers, and it is so important to them that several times a year, and from places all over the world, there are Umrah packages to help make the journey more affordable. They also make the logistics of pilgrimage much simpler to manage.
Avebury, Wiltshire, UK
One of the most spiritual places in the UK, you will not only find the famous circle of stones, Stonehenge, in Avebury, but also a long barrow dating back to 3650BC and the largest man-made mound in Europe. No one knows what all these things were for, but that does not stop the summer and winter solstice being celebrated there.
Adam’s Peak, Sri Lanka
In the middle of tea estates, there is a pilgrim trail that takes you through shrines, up steep steps along a path with long drops and a wildlife-filled forest. It leads to a peak where there is a piece of dented rock, which is called many different things depending on religion. Known as the sacred foot, it is said to be the heel mark of Buddha, Shiva, Saint Thomas or Adam. Devotees of many different religions make this pilgrimage every year.
Mount Kailash, Tibet Autonomous Region, China
Sitting in the wilds of western Tibet, this mountain soars to 6714m high. Four of Asia greatest rivers start there, in what is known as the navel of the universe. It is revered and considered sacred by billions of people from various different religions. The ultimate test is to perform a kora, which entails a circular pilgrimage of some 52 km around the mountain. Along the journey, pilgrims meet with yaks and see some of the most stunning views.
Spiritual feelings are personal to each individual, but there are some places, and many more than mentioned above, that make most people that visit them react in this way.