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7 holiest places in the world

Western Wall, Jerusalem, Israel
Photo by Sander Crombach / Unsplash

1. Jerusalem

Jerusalem is one of the oldest cities on the planet. It is of great spiritual importance to the world's three largest religions - Judaism, Christianity and Islam - and has resulted in the end of war-torn history, with both Israel and Palestine claiming it as their capital. According to the Old Testament, King David made Jerusalem the capital of the Kingdom of Israel and his son King Solomon built the first temple. The New Testament made the city a place of crucifixion of Jesus, and according to the Quran, Muhammad made his night trip to Jerusalem where he ascended to heaven and spoke to God.

The holy Ganges
Photo by Tejal Shanbhag / Unsplash

2. Kashi Vishwanath Temple, India

Located on the western bank of the holy river Ganga, Kashi Vishwanath is one of the most famous Hindu temples. It is a Jyotirlinga temple, which is believed to be dedicated to Lord Shiva who has appeared here as a fiery pillar of light. Hindu people are expected to make a pilgrimage here at least once in their lifetime.

3. Lourdes, France

Lourdes is a small market town in the Midi-Pyrenees region of southwestern France. It gained fame among Catholics in 1858, when the Virgin Mary is believed to have appeared as Bernadette Sobyrus, a 14-year-old local 14-year-old girl. Lourdes has since become a pilgrimage site with over 200 million visitors since 1860, many of them expected to be healed by spring water from the Grotto.

4. Mahabodhi Temple, India

The original temple of Mahabodhi in Bodh Gaya, Bihar, was completed in the 7th century to mark the site of Prince Siddhartha Gautama's 'supreme enlightenment' and the moment he became Buddha. It is the holiest place of pilgrimage for Buddhists in the world.

5. Mecca, Saudi Arabia

As the birthplace of Prophet Muhammad and the religion he founded, Mecca is the center of the Islamic world. Located 45 miles inland from the Sirat Mountains and coast of Saudi Arabia, Mecca is an oasis in the sacred region known as Hijaz or Hijaz. Here is a Qubaid building within the Kaaba, al-Masjid al-Haram, Islam's holiest mosque, which all Muslims are expected to encounter while praying. Non-Muslims are not allowed to enter the city.

6. Uluru-Kata Tajuta National Park, Australia

More than a pair of Ularu and Kata Tajuta in the Central Australian desert, are millions of years old and have been home to tribal people of Yankunjitjara and Peitjantjatara for tens of thousands of years. They believe that the land was created by ancestors who have left behind in the earth and a spiritual law to direct their lives and relationships between people, animals and land.

7. Mount Sinai, Egypt

For Jewish, Christian and Islamic religions once again, Mount Sinai or Mount Horeb have been considered by many in Egypt, where Moses received the Ten Commandments from God. Saints, prophets, pilgrims and tourists have been coming here for thousands of years.