Spiritual tourism is quickly catching on in today's fast-paced world, where people go on holidays for reasons beyond leisure. This quest for spirituality beyond borders forges cross-cultural ties, which can lead to progressive and holistic growth of humanity. If you are drawn towards spiritualism to quench your thirst for self-awareness or merely to improve the quality of your life, check out the top destinations that can heal your soul.
Spiritual Tourism - Liberate
88 Temple Circuit, Shikoku Island, Japan
Ishite-ji Shrine No 51, Shikoku
A panorama of beautiful shrines spread across 1,500 kms encompasses the Shikoku Island regions. By travelling the full circuit, which takes 30-60 days, it is believed that you can liberate your soul from the 88 vices listed in the Buddhist dogma.
Tokushima is the starting point comprising of the first set of 23 temples. Nowadays, bus tours are available to complete the full circuit. Some say walking the circuit in reverse order will bring good luck.
Camino De Santiago, Spain
An important Christian pilgrimage, Camino De Santiago is a World Heritage Site and is popularly known as St. James Trail or St. James Way. It is believed to be the burial ground of St. James, one of the 12 disciples of Jesus. There are different routes to this trail and the most famous one, which begins in rural areas of France and ends in Spain, is about 798 kms.
St. James Cathedral
Dome of the Rock, Jerusalem, Israel
Dome of the Rock, Jerusalem
Jerusalem in Israel is one of the most pious places in the world, where Islam, Christianity and Judaism have their roots. The oldest Islamic monument, the golden Dome of the Rock, is situated in Temple Mount, in the Old City. It is considered the 'Foundation Stone' by the followers of these three faiths.
Mecca, Saudi Arabia
The most mandated pilgrimage of the Islamic faith is the Hajj at Mecca. It was the birthplace of the Prophet Muhammad who is the founder of Islam. Prophet declared Mecca the first city of Islam and the Kaaba cuboid is the hub of Islam. Pilgrims go around the Kaaba seven times counter-clockwise.
Millions visit the Kaaba
Machu Pichu Citadel, Peru, Brazil
Machu Pichu, Peru
Machu Pichu, built in 1450 by the Incas, is the best known archeological site in the South American continent. The intricate stone walls and the adjoining peaks make it a sight to behold! A World Heritage Site, the cathedral was constructed based on the astronomical theme of the Incas. Many people who visit the Inca city have reflective escapades in the spiritual aura of the place.
Sanctuaries of Our Lady of Lourdes, France
Lourdes lies at the foothills of the Pyrenees mountains in southwest Europe. It is the second most important tourist spot in France after Paris. Lourdes is one of the most important sites of international Catholic pilgrimage claiming to attract about 6 million tourists a year who look for spiritual enlightment. People queue up for hours to take a dip in the icy cold bath in the Grotte de Massabielle.
Virgin Mary's statue at Massabielle cave
When you travel to such spirtual places, you transcend, transform and transmit holy vibes. While you plan to explore the world of spirituality, do remember to buy a travel insurance policy to add the element of peace!