Fascinating stories of tourist destinations loaded with spirituality
Throughout the millennia, humans have created earthworks of gods, faith, and meditation on the earth. The energetic charge or even the cultural and spiritual dowry of these places attract hundreds of thousands of tourists each year, be they true pilgrims or just curious explorers.
These sacred destinations have, after some, true positive energy deposits. However, these places keep mysteries and remember the written or unwritten history of humanity. Here are some of the best places to meditate, restore and discover your spiritual side, according to a top produced by The Independent .
Camino de Santiago, Spain
The pilgrims followed the Way of Saint Jacob in Santiago de Compostela, because around the ninth century the remnants of the Apostle were found here in a long lost tomb. For a sacred ride there is the Camino Frances, which involves a 780-kilometer trip from Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port from France to Santiago. For a quieter pilgrimage, try Caminho Portugués, starting in Lisbon, or Camino Inglés, which starts at Ferrol’s Galician port.
Easter Island (or Rapa Nui) is a Polynesian island in the southeastern Pacific Ocean, located at the southernmost point of the Polynesian triangle. Chile’s special territory, annexed in 1888, Easter Island is famous for its 887 monumental statues, called moai, statues created by the island’s earliest inhabitants. At least 50 of these are still standing, unstable, some of them on the ocean. These monoliths, extremely tall and weighing a few tons, keep a mystery still unfulfilled. It has not yet been discovered how the Rapa Nui people carried the statues of the volcanic rock quarry located in the middle of the island to the coast of the island, about 25 kilometers away.
Mauna Kea, Hawaii, USA
Mauna Kea is an inactive volcano in the Hawaiian islands, one of the five volcanoes that make up Hawaii. Pu’u Wekiu, one of the many cones on the peak plateau, is the highest point in the state of Hawaii at 4,205 meters. In the Hawaiian language, “Mauna Kea” means the “white mountain”. For native Hawaiians, Mauna Kea is not simply a volcano – it is the umbilical cord that links the land of gods. He is certainly approaching the heavens: this monster on Big Island rises 4,207 meters above sea level and measured from its base on the ocean floor is more than 10,000 meters high.
Mount Kailash (Mount of Crystal), Tibet
Mount Kailash is a peak in the Himalayan mountains, located on the border between Tibet and Nepal. The Mount is a sacred place of pilgrimage in four Asian religions, Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Bön (Tibetan Shamanism), because it is considered the place of the gods: In Hinduism, the mountain is considered the home of Shiva; In Buddhism, the mountain is considered the home of Buddha Demchok; in Jainism, the mountain is considered the place where Tirthankara Rishabha reached the moksa (liberation); and in Bön, the mountain is considered the source of magic and spiritual energy. Pilgrims start on a long journey on the Tibetan plateau to complete a kora, a circular pilgrimage around the mountain. It is said that the effect of a kora is to release karma bad, if it is done once, while 108 kora leads to complete illumination. The route amounts to 52 kilometers.
From the age of 14, Bernadette Soubirous had a vision of the Virgin Mary in 1858, and the small town of Lourdes, at the foot of the Pirene, became a successful business. More than 200 million people have visited it since the 1960s. The sanctuary currently includes numerous chapels and churches, the Appearance Cave (where the Virgin appeared) and 17 baths where pilgrims can sink into the healing waters. To date, the Medical Observatory of Lourdes has officially recognized 69 cases as miracles.
Old Jerusalem, Israel
One of the oldest cities in the world, Jerusalem, has been attacked, besieged, destroyed and rebuilt several times over the millennia. It continues to be sacred to the three great monotheistic religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Admire the Temple Mount mosque, watch the Jewish pilgrims push the kvitlach into the cracks of the Western Wall and follow Via Dolorosa – the “path of suffering” – the road that is said to be the path Jesus traveled at his crucifixion.
The Ganges River is the most sacred part of India; so venerated that it became the first non-human entity in the country that enjoys the same legal rights as a person. Varanasi, on the left bank of the Uttar Pradesh Gangel, is one of the most sacred tirthas – places of spiritual passage that allow people to access divinity. Millions of Hindus come here to bathe, pray, and die.
Cape Reinga, New Zealand
Cape Reinga, located in the extreme north of the North Island, is one of the most spiritual places of the Maori population. It is the place where the souls of the deceased are said to descend into the beyond world.
Avebury is a Neolithic monument made up of three stone circles around the Avebury village of Wiltshire, southwest England. Unique among the megalithic monuments, Avebury contains the largest stone circle in Europe and is one of Britain’s best-known prehistoric sites. It is both a tourist attraction and a place of religious significance for contemporary pagans. Its original purpose is unknown, though archaeologists believe it was most likely used for a certain form of ritual or ceremony. The Avebury Monument was part of a larger prehistoric landscape containing several nearby ancient monuments, including West Kennet Long Barrow and Silbury Hill. If you are interested in the ancient landscapes, then start along the Ridgeway River, which starts here and is said to be the oldest road in the country.