Each year, Hundreds of millions of pilgrims travel great distances to sites with unique spiritual significance in seeking hope, transformation and wisdom. These fourteen pilgrimage destination call close to 200,000,000 people to their wonders every year. Have you been to any of these locations? Will you be making a pilgrimage this year? Please offer your thoughts and suggestions in the comments section.

 

13| Bodhi Tree

According to Buddhist tradition, it was at this spot that Siddharta Gautama meditated for 49 days before attaining enlightenment. However, the tree is sacred for other reasons as well. Known as the “mythical World Tree,” some say it is here that believers can reach liberation through spiritual development. Between 800,000 to over a million people mainly from Asia visit the Bodi Tree each year making this one of our most popular pilgrimage spots.

 

12| Rumi’s Tomb, Konya, Turkey

Muslims and foreign tourists visit Mevlana Jelaluddin Rumi’s tomb. On 17 December 1273, the founder of the Mevlevi Sufi Brotherhood, and now one of the most widely read poets in the world, Mevlana Jelaluddin Rumi, died in Konya. The Mevlana mausoleum with its mosque, dance hall, dervish living quarters, school and tombs of various leading adherents to the Mevlevi order continue to draw pilgrims.

 

11| Machu Picchu

According to an Italian study, Machu Picchu was never an actual city, but an Incan pilgrimage site. It seemed to have been the private estate of the emperor Pachacuti and was symbolically centered to the Andean vision of the cosmos. Even today, nearly one million people visit this serene mountain top annually with 2500 people arriving daily from May until September.

 

10| Bethlehem

As Jesus’ birthplace, the city of Bethlehem is a popular pilgrimage site particularly during Christmas when all the city’s hotel rooms are booked solid. Annually, nearly 1.4 million people visit the city and the surrounding historical sites. The number of visitors has steadily been on the rise in recent years according to Israeli government figures.

 

 

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