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.

Har Ki Pauri Ghats
Aarti (fire worship) at Har Ki Pauri Ghats in Haridwar

Here are some remarkable examples:

  • Göbekli Tepe
  • The Oldest Temple in the World

    • Meteora
    • Medieval Greek Monasteries

    • Delphi
    • Ancient Greek Town with Temple Sites

    • Sanchi
    • Ancient Buddhist Stupas and Monastery in Central India

    • Meenakshi Mandir
    • Huge Hindu Temple in Madurai, Tamil Nadu

    • Kedarnath
    • Shiva's biggest temple in the Himalayas

    • Badrinath
    • Great pilgrimage site and Vishnu temple in the Himalayas

    • Chitrakoot
    • Ancient pilgrimage site in central India

    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

    About 250 BCE there was an iron age settlement. Then, according to legend Joseph of Arimathea travelled from the Holy Land to Britain, bringing the Holy Grail with him and then burying it in a secret place. In their quests King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table searched for this Grail. After Joseph arrived in Britain with his twelve followers he established the first monastery at Glastonbury and built the first wattle church; in one version of the story Christ himself travelled with Joseph from the Holy Land and helped in the building work. 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, because it was supposedly the hiding place of the Holy Grail.
    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)