Each religion has identified itself with a particular city that they call their holy city. The qualifications for a holy city are rather straight forward and irrefutable. These cities must have some kind of very close association with a certain religion’s past. It should be agreed upon without doubt that a certain city has been identified as a holy city. From these very simple qualifications it is pretty clear that unless you come up with a new religion like the scientist in Florida did you cannot declare a city as holy one.
Florida is the Holy city for all those who do not believe in that that cannot be proven or backed up by scientific proof. This is the church of Scientology. This religion is barely two decades old and thus its holy city was declared to be in Florida.
Christianity has their Holy city as Jerusalem. It is among the oldest cities in the world. Jericho is the oldest city in the world. No need to say about this city, if anyone is unknown about this city, then he or she can search for information about this city. In Internet, huge amount of information are present about this city. When you look back at Jerusalem’s history you will realize why it was declared a world heritage centre as well as Christianity’s holy city. Jerusalem besieged 23 times and as if that was not enough it was attacked 52 times. Despite all these it was recaptured a total of 44 times. If that isn’t a true depiction of a holy city I don’t know what is.
Other Holy cities in the world include:
o Heliopolis which is an ancient Egyptian Religion
o Touba in Senegal
o Salt Lake City Mormonism
o Cuzzo for the Ancient Incan Religion
o Rome for the Roman Catholics
o Saint Peters Square in Vatican
This is short and inconclusive list gives the idea of how wide spread holy cities are on earth. If ever you get an opportunity to visit any of them you are bound to learn a lot.
Religious tourism, also commonly referred to as faith tourism, is a form of tourism, whereby people of faith travel individually or in groups for pilgrimage, missionary, or leisure (fellowship) purposes. The world’s largest form of mass religious tourism takes place at the annual Hajj pilgrimage in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. North American religious tourists comprise an estimated $10 billion of this industry.
Modern religious tourists are more able to visit holy cities and holy sites around the world. The most famous holy cities are Jerusalem, Mecca, and Varanasi. The most famous holy sites are the Church of Nativity, The Western Wall, Brahma Temple at Pushkar, and the Kaaba. Religious tourism has existed since antiquity, and unlike commercial tourism, is not done for exclusively hedonistic purposes. A study in 2011 found that pilgrims visited Jerusalem for a few reasons: to understand and appreciate their religion through a tangible experience, to feel secure about their religious beliefs, and to connect personally to the holy city.
Some Tips for Pilgrimage travellers :
a)Carry your medicines and water always.
b)Eat healthy food
c)Writer down the details of you your family members, their phone numbers, doctors phone number, home address etc and carry it with you.
d) Carry a copy of your passport and visitor insurance document.
e)Do not get carried away by the words of any stranger. Be with your family or friends who have travelled with you.