places of worship

One thing that distinguishes humans from other sentient beings, is their capacity to worship and perform rituals. In most cultures special places have been assigned for this purpose, where people are meeting for spiritual cleansing, healing or praying. Here are some remarkable examples:

Göbekli Tepe

Göbekli Tepe is the oldest known place of worship in the world, dating from around 10000 BC.
An article from the Archaeological Institute of America is here: Göbekli Tepe – The World's First Temple
and a Turkish/English website with lots of interesting information is here: Göbekli Tepe – The Oldest Temple of the World


Sanchi, ancient Buddhist Stupas in Central India



One of the oldest Buddhist stupas and monastic buildings on a small hill in central India. The Buddhist monk Mahendra, son of Ashoka the Great, came here on his way to Sri Lanka.

Meenakshi Mandir in Madurai

One of the biggest Hindu temple compounds in Tamil Nadu dedicated to Meenakshi, a manifestation of Shiva's consort.


Kedarnath, Shiva's biggest temple in the Himalayas


Badrinath, great Vishnu temple in the Himalayas


Swayambhunath, the hill temple in Kathmandu.

A sanctuary for Buddhists and Hindus alike.

Boudhanath, the main Buddhist temple in Kathmandu


Chitrakoot, ancient pilgrimage place in Central India

Ram and Sita, the heroes of the great Hindu epic Ramayana, lived here for some time in the forest, while they were exiled.


Bali, the Island of the Gods

The blending of Hinduism and earlier animistic practices formed a unique culture on this little island amidst the Indonesian archipelago. The Balinese see themselves as healers of the planet and it is indeed surprising, how many successful healers you can find there. Nobody knows, why Bali is the only island in the whole area, where the ancient traditions were not destroyed by the Islamic conquerors. The Balinese are still practicing the ancient music, religious and shamanic rituals and medicine .
There are two calendars with different time spans in use, so they have two new year days, which fall on different dates of the Western calendar every year. One is Nyepi day, when all demons are burnt and banned from the island and afterwards twenty four hours of silence are strictly kept all over the island. No fire, no cooking, no driving, no electric lights and everybody has to stay inside their houses. Even in the big cities there is no noise besides the barking of the dogs and the crowing of the roosters.


Glastonbury, an ancient place of ritual and worship in Somerset

250 B.C. there was an iron age settlement. On Glastonbury Tor (a hill in the plains) a medieval building was discovered and the ancient tower has been restored. The ruins of Glastonbury Abbey are still giving proof of the flourishing medieval monastery, which was abandoned in the 16th century. The Chalice Well is a fountain, that apparently never dried out.
Around these ancient locations many legends have been created and Glastonbury has become one of the New Age capitals of Great Britain. (pictures from various sources in the internet in 2016)