The Info List - Pilgrimage

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A pilgrimage is a journey or search of moral or spiritual significance. Typically, it is a journey to a shrine or other location of importance to a person's beliefs and faith, although sometimes it can be a metaphorical journey into someone's own beliefs. Many religions attach spiritual importance to particular places: the place of birth or death of founders or saints, or to the place of their "calling" or spiritual awakening, or of their connection (visual or verbal) with the divine, to locations where miracles were performed or witnessed, or locations where a deity is said to live or be "housed", or any site that is seen to have special spiritual powers. Such sites may be commemorated with shrines or temples that devotees are encouraged to visit for their own spiritual benefit: to be healed or have questions answered or to achieve some other spiritual benefit. A person who makes such a journey is called a pilgrim. As a common human experience, pilgrimage has been proposed as a Jungian archetype by Wallace Clift and Jean Dalby Clift.[1] The Holy Land
Holy Land
acts as a focal point for the pilgrimages of the Abrahamic religions of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. According to a Stockholm University
Stockholm University
study in 2011, these pilgrims visit the Holy Land to touch and see physical manifestations of their faith, confirm their beliefs in the holy context with collective excitation, and connect personally to the Holy Land.[2]


1 Bahá'í Faith 2 Buddhism 3 Christianity 4 Hinduism 5 Islam

5.1 Shi'ism

6 Judaism 7 Sikhism 8 Zoroastrianism 9 Meher Baba 10 See also 11 References 12 Further reading 13 External links

Bahá'í Faith[edit] Main article: Bahá'í pilgrimage Bahá'u'lláh
decreed pilgrimage to two places in the Kitáb-i-Aqdas: the House of Bahá'u'lláh
in Baghdad, Iraq, and the House of the Báb in Shiraz, Iran. Later, `Abdu'l-Bahá
designated the Shrine
of Bahá'u'lláh
at Bahji, Israel
as a site of pilgrimage.[3] The designated sites for pilgrimage are currently not accessible to the majority of Bahá'ís, as they are in Iraq
and Iran
respectively, and thus when Bahá'ís currently refer to pilgrimage, it refers to a nine-day pilgrimage which consists of visiting the holy places at the Bahá'í World Centre
Bahá'í World Centre
in northwest Israel
in Haifa, Acre, and Bahjí.[3] Buddhism[edit] Main article: Buddhist pilgrimage

Ancient excavated Buddha-image at the Mahaparinirvana
Temple, Kushinagar

Tibetans on a pilgrimage to Lhasa, doing full-body prostrations, often for the entire length of the journey

There are four places that Buddhists pilgrimage to:

Lumbini: Buddha's birthplace (in Nepal) Bodh Gaya: place of Enlightenment(in the current Mahabodhi Temple, Bihar, India) Sarnath: (formally Isipathana, Uttar pradesh, India) where he delivered his first teaching Kusinara: (now Kusinagar, India) where he attained mahaparinirvana (died).

Other pilgrimage places in India
and Nepal
connected to the life of Gautama Buddha
Gautama Buddha
are: Savatthi, Pataliputta, Nalanda, Gaya, Vesali, Sankasia, Kapilavastu, Kosambi, Rajagaha, Varanasi, Sabari mala. Other famous places for Buddhist pilgrimage
Buddhist pilgrimage

India: Sanchi, Ellora, Ajanta. Thailand: Sukhothai, Ayutthaya, Wat Phra Kaew, Wat Doi Suthep. Tibet: Lhasa (traditional home of the Dalai Lama), Mount Kailash, Lake Nam-tso. Cambodia: Angkor Wat, Silver Pagoda. Sri Lanka: Polonnaruwa, Temple of the Tooth
Temple of the Tooth
(Kandy), Anuradhapura. Laos: Luang Prabang. Malaysia: Kek Lok Si, Cheng Hoon Teng, Maha Vihara Myanmar: Bagan, Sagaing
Hill. Nepal: Boudhanath, Swayambhunath. Indonesia: Borobudur. China: Yung-kang, Lung-men caves. The Four Sacred Mountains Japan:

Pilgrimage, 88 Temple pilgrimage in the Shikoku
island. Japan
100 Kannon, pilgrimage composed of the Saigoku, Bandō and Chichibu pilgrimages.

Saigoku 33 Kannon, pilgrimage in the Kansai
region. Bandō 33 Kannon, pilgrimage in the Kantō region. Chichibu 34 Kannon, pilgrimage in Saitama Prefecture.

Chūgoku 33 Kannon, pilgrimage in the Chūgoku region. Kumano Kodō Mount Kōya.

Christianity[edit] Main article: Christian pilgrimage

Church of the Holy Sepulchre
Church of the Holy Sepulchre
in Jerusalem, Israel
according to tradition is the site where Jesus
was crucified and resurrected

The Sanctuary of Our Lady of Fátima is one of the largest pilgrimage sites (Marian shrine) in the world.

Christian pilgrimage
Christian pilgrimage
was first made to sites connected with the birth, life, crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus. Aside from the early example of Origen
in the third century, surviving descriptions of Christian pilgrimages to the Holy Land
Holy Land
date from the 4th century, when pilgrimage was encouraged by church fathers including Saint
Jerome, and established by Saint
Helena, the mother of Constantine the Great.[citation needed] The purpose of Christian pilgrimage
Christian pilgrimage
was summarized by Pope Benedict XVI this way:

To go on pilgrimage is not simply to visit a place to admire its treasures of nature, art or history. To go on pilgrimage really means to step out of ourselves in order to encounter God where he has revealed himself, where his grace has shone with particular splendour and produced rich fruits of conversion and holiness among those who believe. Above all, Christians go on pilgrimage to the Holy Land, to the places associated with the Lord’s passion, death and resurrection. They go to Rome, the city of the martyrdom of Peter and Paul, and also to Compostela, which, associated with the memory of Saint
James, has welcomed pilgrims from throughout the world who desire to strengthen their spirit with the Apostle’s witness of faith and love.[4]

Pilgrimages were, and are, also made to Rome
and other sites associated with the apostles, saints and Christian martyrs, as well as to places where there have been apparitions of the Virgin Mary. A popular pilgrimage journey is along the Way of St. James to the Santiago de Compostela Cathedral, in Galicia, Spain, where the shrine of the apostle James is located. Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales recounts tales told by Christian pilgrims on their way to Canterbury Cathedral and the shrine of Thomas Becket.

Hinduism[edit] See also: Tirtha (Hinduism), Hindu pilgrimage sites, Hinduism § Pilgrimage, and Yatra

Bathing ghat on the Ganges
during Kumbh Mela, Haridwar

to Kedarnath

Pilgrims on their way to Manikaran, Himachal Pradesh, India, in 2004

Simhastha held in holy city of Ujjain
in 2016

According to Karel Werner's Popular Dictionary of Hinduism, "most Hindu places of pilgrimage are associated with legendary events from the lives of various gods.... Almost any place can become a focus for pilgrimage, but in most cases they are sacred cities, rivers, lakes, and mountains."[5] Hindus are encouraged to undertake pilgrimages during their lifetime, though this practice is not considered absolutely mandatory. Most Hindus visit sites within their region or locale.

Kumbh Mela: Kumbh Mela
Kumbh Mela
is one of the largest gatherings of humans in the world where pilgrims gather to bathe in a sacred or holy river.[6][7][8] The location is rotated among Allahabad, Haridwar, Nashik, and Ujjain. Char Dham
Char Dham
(Four Holy pilgrimage sites): The famous four holy sites Puri, Rameswaram, Dwarka, and Badrinath
(or alternatively the Himalayan towns of Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri, and Yamunotri) compose the Char Dham
Char Dham
(four abodes) pilgrimage circuit. Kanwar Pilgrimage: The Kanwar is India's largest annual religious pilgrimage. As part of this phenomenon, millions of participants gather sacred water from the Ganga
(usually in Haridwar, Gangotri, Gaumukh, or Sultanganj) and carry it across hundreds of miles to dispense as offerings in Śiva
shrines.[9] Old Holy cities per Puranic Texts: Varanasi
formerly known as Kashi (Shiva), Allahabad
formerly known as Prayag, Haridwar-Rishikesh (Vishnu), Mathura- Vrindavan
(Krishna), Pandharpur, Paithan, Kanchipuram
(Parvati), Dwarka
(Krishna) and Ayodhya
(Rama). Major Temple cities: Puri, which hosts a major Vaishnava Jagannath temple and Rath Yatra
celebration; Katra, home to the Vaishno Devi temple; Three comparatively recent temples of fame and huge pilgrimage are Shirdi, home to Sai Baba of Shirdi, Tirumala - Tirupati, home to the Tirumala Venkateswara Temple; and Sabarimala, where Swami Ayyappan is worshipped. Shakti
Peethas: Another important set of pilgrimages are the Shakti Peethas, where the Mother Goddess is worshipped, the two principal ones being Kalighat
and Kamakhya. Pancha Ishwarams
Pancha Ishwarams
- the five ancient Shiva temples of the island from classical antiquity. The Murugan
pilgrimage route of Sri Lanka, an ancient Arunagirinathar-traversed Pada Yatra
route of Tiruppadai temples includes the Maviddapuram Kandaswamy Temple
Maviddapuram Kandaswamy Temple
in Kankesanturai, the Nallur Kandaswamy temple
Nallur Kandaswamy temple
in Jaffna, the Pancha Ishwaram Koneswaram temple in Trincomalee, the Verugal Murugan
Kovil on the bank's of the river Verugal Aru, in Verugal, Trincomalee
District, the Mandur Kandaswamy temple of Mandur (Sri Lanka), Thirukkovil
Sithira Velayutha Swami Kovil, in Thirukkovil, Batticaloa, the Arugam Bay
Arugam Bay
and Panamai in Amparai district, the Ukanthamalai Murugan
Kovil, in Okanda, Kumana National Park and then through the park and Tissamaharama
to the deity's holiest site, Kataragama temple, Katirkamam
in the South.

Islam[edit] Main articles: Hajj
and Umrah See also: Holiest sites in Islam, Mecca, Medina, and Jerusalem

pilgrims circumambulate around the Ka'aba during the Hajj

Supplicating pilgrim at Masjid al-Haram
Masjid al-Haram
(Mecca, Saudi Arabia)

The main pilgrimage to Mecca
(Hajj) is one of the five pillars of Islam
and a mandatory religious duty for Muslims
that must be carried out at least once in their lifetime by all adult Muslims
who are physically and financially capable of undertaking the journey, and can support their family during their absence.[10][11][12] The gathering during the Hajj
is considered the largest annual gathering of people in the world.[13][14][15] Another important place for Muslims
is the city of Medina, the second holiest site in Islam, in Saudi Arabia, the final resting place of Muhammad
in Al-Masjid al-Nabawi (Mosque of the Prophet).[16] The third holiest site in Islam, Dome of the rock
Dome of the rock
was a major site for pilgrimage where Muslims
gather to pray and visit the structures of the holy mosque especially the footprint of Muhammad
before he ascended to paradise to meet with deceased prophets. However, due to conflict and disputes between Israel
and Palestine the site has been less popular amongst Muslims
to go to pilgrimage to in recent years. The Ihram (white robes of pilgrimage) is meant to show equality of all Muslim
pilgrims in the eyes of God, that there is no difference between a prince and a pauper. Ihram is also symbolic for holy virtue and pardon from all past sins. Shi'ism[edit] Main articles: Arba'een, Ashura, and Imam

Al-Arba‘een (Arabic: الأربعين‎, "The Forty"), Chehelom (Persian: چهلم‎, Urdu: چہلم‎, "the fortieth [day]") or Qirkhi, Imamin Qirkhi (Azerbaijani: İmamın qırxı, امامین قیرخی, "the fortieth of Imam") is a Shia
religious observance that occurs forty days after the Day of Ashura. It commemorates the martyrdom of Husayn ibn Ali, the grandson of Muhammad, which falls on the 20th or 21st day of the month of Safar. Imam
Husayn ibn Ali
Husayn ibn Ali
and 72 companions were killed by Yazid I's army in the Battle of Karbala
Battle of Karbala
in 61 AH (680 CE). Arba'een
or forty days is also the usual length of mourning after the death of a family member or loved one in many Muslim
traditions. Arba'een
is one of the largest pilgrimage gatherings on Earth, in which up to 31 million people go to the city of Karbala
in Iraq.[17][18][19][20] The second largest holy city in the world, Mashhad
attracts more than 20 million tourists and pilgrims every year, many of whom come to pay homage to Imam Reza
Imam Reza
(the eighth Shi'ite
Imam). It has been a magnet for travelers since medieval times.[21]


Jews at the Wailing Wall
Wailing Wall
in Jerusalem
during the Ottoman period, 1867

See also: Temple in Jerusalem, Jerusalem
in Judaism, and Three Pilgrimage
Festivals While Solomon's Temple
Solomon's Temple
stood, Jerusalem
was the centre of the Jewish religious life and the site of the Three Pilgrimage Festivals of Passover, Shavuot
and Sukkot, and all adult men who were able were required to visit and offer sacrifices (korbanot) at the Temple. After the destruction of the Temple, the obligation to visit Jerusalem
and to make sacrifices no longer applied. The obligation was restored with the rebuilding of the Temple, but following its destruction in 70 CE, the obligation to make a pilgrimage to Jerusalem
and offer sacrifices again went into abeyance.[citation needed] The western retaining wall of the Temple Mount, known as the Western Wall or "Wailing" Wall, is the remaining part of Second Jewish Temple in the Old City of Jerusalem
is the most sacred and visited site for Jews. Pilgrimage
to this area was off-limits to Jews from 1948 to 1967, when East Jerusalem
was under Jordanian control.[22][23] There are numerous lesser Jewish pilgrimage destinations, mainly tombs of tzadikim, throughout the Land of Israel
and all over the world, including: Hebron; Bethlehem; Mt. Meron; Netivot; Uman, Ukraine; Silistra, Bulgaria; Damanhur, Egypt; and many others.[24] Sikhism[edit]

The Harmandir Sahib
Harmandir Sahib
(the Golden Temple) in Amritsar

The Sikh
religion does not place great importance on pilgrimage. Guru Nanak Dev was asked "Should I go and bathe at pilgrimage places?" and replied: "God's name is the real pilgrimage place which consists of contemplation of the word of God, and the cultivation of inner knowledge." Eventually, however, Amritsar
and Harmandir Saheb (the Golden Temple) became the spiritual and cultural centre of the Sikh
faith, and if a Sikh
goes on pilgrimage it is usually to this place.[25] The Panj Takht
Panj Takht
(Punjabi: ਪੰਜ ਤਖ਼ਤ) are the five revered gurdwaras in India
that are considered the thrones or seats of authority of Sikhism and are traditionally considered a pilgrimage.[26] Zoroastrianism[edit]

The Yazd Atash Behram
Yazd Atash Behram
in Iran
is a Atash Bahram, the highest grade of fire temple in Zoroastrianism

In Iran, there are pilgrimage destinations called pirs in several provinces, although the most familiar ones are in the province of Yazd.[27] In addition to the traditional Yazdi shrines, new sites may be in the process of becoming pilgrimage destinations. The ruins are the ruins of ancient fire temples. One such site is the ruin of the Sassanian
era Azargoshnasp Fire Temple in Iran's Azarbaijan Province. Other sites are the ruins of fire temples at Rey, south of the capital Tehran, and the Firouzabad ruins sixty kilometres south of Shiraz
in the province of Pars. Atash Behram
Atash Behram
("Fire of victory") is the highest grade of fire temple in Zoroastrianism. It has 16 different "kinds of fire", that is, fires gathered from 16 different sources.[28] Currently there are 9 Atash Behram, one in Yazd, Iran
and the rest in Western India. They have become a pilgrimage destination.[29] In India
the cathedral fire temple that houses the Iranshah Atash Behram, located in the small town of Udvada
in the west coast province of Gujarat, is a pilgrimage destination.[29] Meher Baba[edit] The main pilgrimage sites associated with the spiritual teacher Meher Baba are Meherabad, India, where Baba completed the "major portion"[30] of his work and where his tomb is now located, and Meherazad, India, where Baba resided later in his life. See also[edit]

Burial places of founders of world religions HCPT – The Pilgrimage
Trust Journey of self-discovery Junrei List of shrines List of significant religious sites Monastery Pardon (ceremony) Romeria Sacred travel World Youth Day


^ Cleft, Jean Darby; Cleft, Wallace (1996). The Archetype of Pilgrimage: Outer Action With Inner Meaning. The Paulist Press. ISBN 0-8091-3599-X.  ^ Metti, Michael Sebastian (2011-06-01). " Jerusalem
– the most powerful brand in history" (PDF). Stockholm University
Stockholm University
School of Business. Retrieved 1 July 2011. [permanent dead link] ^ a b Smith, Peter (2000). "Pilgrimage". A concise encyclopedia of the Bahá'í Faith. Oxford: eworld Publications. p. 269. ISBN 1-85168-184-1.  ^ https://w2.vatican.va/content/benedict-xvi/en/speeches/2010/november/documents/hf_ben-xvi_spe_20101106_cattedrale-compostela.html ^ Werner, Karel (1994). A popular dictionary of Hinduism. Richmond, Surrey: Curzon. ISBN 0700702792. Retrieved 30 October 2016.  ^ Thangham, Chris V. (2007-01-03). "Photo from Space of the Largest Human Gathering in India". Digital Journal. Retrieved 2014-03-22.  ^ Banerjee, Biswajeet (2007-01-15). "Millions of Hindus Wash Away Their Sins". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2014-03-22.  ^ "Millions bathe at Hindu festival". BBC News. 2007-01-03. Retrieved 2014-03-22.  ^ Singh, Vikas (2017). Uprising of the Fools: Pilgrimage
as Moral Protest in Contemporary India. Stanford University Press.  ^ Long, Matthew (2011). Islamic Beliefs, Practices, and Cultures. Marshall Cavendish Corporation. p. 86. ISBN 978-0-7614-7926-0. Retrieved 2 September 2014.  ^ Nigosian, S. A. (2004). Islam: Its History, Teaching, and Practices. Indiana: Indiana
University Press. p. 110. ISBN 0-253-21627-3.  ^ "Islamic Practices". Berkley Center for Religion, Peace & World Affairs. Retrieved 7 April 2017.  ^ Mosher, Lucinda (2005). Praying: The Rituals of Faith. Church Publishing, Inc. p. 155. ISBN 9781596270169. Retrieved 18 September 2014.  ^ Ruiz, Enrique (2009). Discriminate Or Diversify. PositivePsyche.Biz Corp. p. 279. ISBN 9780578017341.  ^ Katz, Andrew (16 October 2013). "As the Hajj
Unfolds in Saudi Arabia, A Deep Look Inside the Battle Against MERS". Time. Retrieved 17 October 2013.  ^ Ariffin, Syed Ahmad Iskandar Syed (2005). Architectural conservation in Islam: case study of the Prophet's Mosque (1st ed.). Skudai, Johor Darul Ta'zim, Malaysia: Penerbit Universiti Teknologi Malaysia. ISBN 9835203733. Retrieved 30 October 2016.  ^ uberVU – social comments (2010-02-05). "Friday: 46 Iraqis, 1 Syrian Killed; 169 Iraqis Wounded - Antiwar.com". Original.antiwar.com. Retrieved 2010-06-30.  ^ Aljazeera. "alJazeera Magazine – 41 Martyrs as More than Million People Mark 'Arbaeen' in Holy Karbala". Aljazeera.com. Retrieved 2010-06-30.  ^ "Powerful Explosions Kill More Than 40 Shi'ite
Pilgrims in Karbala". .voanews.com. 2010-02-05. Retrieved 2010-06-30.  ^ Hanun, Abdelamir (2010-02-05). "Blast in crowd kills 41 Shiite pilgrims in Iraq". News.smh.com.au. Retrieved 2010-06-30.  ^ "Sacred Sites: Mashhad, Iran". sacredsites.com. Archived from the original on 2010-11-27. Retrieved 2006-03-13.  ^ "The Western Wall". mosaic.lk.net. Retrieved 6 June 2017.  ^ "The Western Wall: History & Overview". www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org. Retrieved 27 March 2018.  ^ See David M. Gitlitz and Linda Kay Davidson, Pilgrimage
and the Jews (Westport, CT: Praeger, 2006) for history and data on several pilgrimages to both Ashkenazi and Sephardic holy sites. ^ "Sikhism". Archived from the original on 23 November 2001.  ^ " Special
train to connect all five Takhats, first run on February 16". Retrieved 5 February 2014.  ^ Aspandyar Sohrab Gotla (2000). "Guide to Zarthoshtrian historical places in Iran." University of Michigan Press. LCCN 2005388611 pg. 164 ^ Hartman, Sven S. (1980). Parsism: The Religions of Zoroaster. BRILL. p. 20. ISBN 9004062084.  ^ a b Shelar, Jyoti (2017-12-01). " Pilgrimage
or mela? Parsis split on Udvada
festival". The Hindu. Retrieved 2017-12-21.  ^ Deshmukh, Indumati (1961). "Address in Marathi." The Awakener 7 (3): 29..

Further reading[edit]

al-Naqar, Umar. 1972. The Pilgrimage
Tradition in West Africa. Khartoum: Khartoum University Press. [includes a map 'African Pilgrimage
Routes to Mecca, ca. 1300–1900'] Coleman, Simon and John Elsner (1995), Pilgrimage: Past and Present in the World Religions. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. Coleman, Simon & John Eade (eds) (2005), Reframing Pilgrimage. Cultures in Motion. London: Routledge. Davidson, Linda Kay and David M. Gitlitz (2002), Pilgrimage: From the Ganges
to Graceland: An Encyclopedia. Santa Barbara, Ca.: ABC-CLIO. Gitlitz, David M. and Linda Kay Davidson (2006). Pilgrimage
and the Jews. Westport, CT: Praeger. Jackowski, Antoni. 1998. Pielgrzymowanie [Pilgrimage]. Wroclaw: Wydawnictwo Dolnoslaskie. Kerschbaum & Gattinger, Via Francigena – DVD – Documentation, of a modern pilgrimage to Rome, ISBN 3-200-00500-9, Verlag EUROVIA, Vienna 2005 Margry, Peter Jan (ed.) (2008), Shrines and Pilgrimage
in the Modern World. New Itineraries into the Sacred. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press. Sumption, Jonathan. 2002. Pilgrimage: An Image of Mediaeval Religion. London: Faber and Faber Ltd. Wolfe, Michael (ed.). 1997. One Thousands Roads to Mecca. New York: Grove Press. Zarnecki, George (1985), The Monastic World: The Contributions of The Orders. pp. 36–66, in Evans, Joan (ed.). 1985. The Flowering of the Middle Ages. London: Thames and Hudson Ltd.

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