The way to a human’s heart is through its stomach; maybe that is why every second Indian restaurant is named Taj Mahal nowadays. The actual name giver is located in North Indian Agra and was built by Great Mogul Shah Jahan in memory of his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal. His intensive and eternal love as well as the abilities of Persian architect Abu Fazel left the world a unique gem of Indo-Islamic architecture behind
The university town of Amritsar can truly be called to be the heart of Punjab. The city is located not too far from Pakistani border and is an important commercial hub as well as religious centre of the Sikhs, as it is the home of one of their highest sanctuaries, the Golden Temple. The temple complex has a wonderful open-minded, hospitable and spiritual atmosphere and allows interesting in-depth insights in the daily routine of pilgrims and the temple itself
Vārānasi, the metropolis at the Ganges River, is one of India’s oldest towns and central sanctuary of Hinduism. No other India picture is as famous as the Hindu pilgrims praying and washing themselves in the waters of Ganges River at the so called Ghats. There is no better reflection of the Hindu society than this river. For most of them Vārānasi is definitely the holiest spot on Earth, though for some of them this means some enormous exploitation potential they are taking advantage of with utter disregard.
Cows, elephants, rivers and even monkeys; in India literally everything you could bump into can be something sacred. One of the most interesting obeisances paid can be witnessed in Deshnok, a small desert town in western Rajasthan being the stage for a religious building dedicated to Karni Mata. Around this sacred patron of the Rajputs and reincarnation of Goddess Durga, the souls of the dead are gathering in the form of four-legged rodents at the Rat Temple
Millions of years ago the Ethiopian highlands got unfolded by volcanic activity. There, at an altitude of 2500m, the village of Lalibela is located. It is home to unique churches that are originating from the idea to build a second Jerusalem and became hewn into the bare red hard basalt lava rock. On important religious holidays, like for example Easter, the town develops a very interesting atmosphere of spirituality and touristic internationality
The town of Ende sounds like the final of a trip, but can also be quite a good start for travelling the Indonesian Sunda Islands eastwards, all the way to Jakarta. On the way to Indonesia’s capital you’ll surely experience plenty of possibilities to get in touch with the most diverse people plus look behind the scenes of illustrious names like Bali or Komodo. Indonesia, that also stands for volcanoes, earth quakes and tsunamis. At first glance that doesn’t sound all too well, but who knows, maybe the creative hand of volcanoes’ was active again when giving birth to unique things of culture like artful batik, huge religious temples or filigree old Indonesian shadow puppetry
Faith, believe and religion are most perceptible in Damascus. Western Europeans will surely immediately spot all the covered women, who are sometimes even completely shrouded in their burqas. In Damas you can meet the coexistence of about 30 different religions. Its adherents are peacefully living together.