Faith and religion draw millions of people to the most popular religious sites across the world. But these two are certainly not the criteria to be drawn to the stunning temples and holy places. The splendid architecture and religious history are enough to inspire you to book international tour packages and embark on a journey to these places. With choices enough to confuse you, here’s our list of the must-visit religious places around the world:
1. Shwedagon Pagoda, Myanmar
Famous for holding the relics of four Buddha, this place is one of the most visited holy shrines in the world. The scents rising from the incense sticks and rhythmic Buddhist chants filling the air will give you an unearthly feeling. Visit at night to enjoy a great view of golden stupas of the temple overflowing with spotlights.
2. Saint Michel d’Aiguilhe Chapel, France
This beautiful church mounted atop a hill offers a breathtaking view of the surrounding landscape. To reach this 10th-century church, you have to climb about 200 steps up a volcanic rock.
3. Meiji Shrine, Japan
This centuries old shrine was built to honour the souls of Emperor Meiji and Empress Shoken of Japan. This serene temple is nestled amidst a dense forest and a beautiful tranquil garden. In stark contrast to the ultramodern cityscape of Tokyo, this place is a haven of peace. People often visit this place to meditate or simply to catch fresh air.
4. The holy ghats of Varanasi, India
One of the most sacred cities in India, Varanasi is famous for its ghats – a place where pilgrims converge from all over the world to take a dip in the Holy Ganges and wash away their sins. The terraced ghats are the place where you will come across meditating saints and sadhus and even cremations. Take a boat ride along the ghats for a visceral and overwhelming experience.
5. Tiger’s Nest Monastery, Bhutan
Standing above a beautiful pine forest, the Taktsang Monastery or Tiger’s Nest Monastery appears like it’s hanging from a cliff. Perched at the height of 3,000 ft in Paro, it takes a tough three hours hike to reach this monastery. The view of the Paro valley from this monastery is something that you won’t forget for sure.
6. Borobudur, Indonesia
This 9th-century temple complex is one of the finest examples of Buddhist architecture. This 7 storied temple is the largest Buddhist temple in the world. Decorated with more than 500 Buddha statues this stunning stupa is wrapped around a small hill and forests.
7. Notre Dame Cathedral, France
One of the most visited cathedrals in Paris, this place is an architectural marvel. There is no space left in the cathedral that it not filled with stained glass windows depicting Biblical stories, and statues of angels and saints. This is as much as an art gallery as a holy place of worship.
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