Sites all over the world and throughout civilization have taken on many cultural interpretations. There’s holy land, like, Mecca; land that carries historical significance, Rome; and sacred land, which has been used for spiritual celebration. And sacred land in America, like Panhe, an ancient village that’s an hour North of San Diego, is still used to honor age-old rituals and Native traditions.
But, take a step outside the US and discover five sacred places around the world that, according to Fox News, are worth the trip.
1. Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Australia
The Anangu people of the Pitjantjatjara Aboriginal tribe believe that the Uluru (sandstone rock structure that’s 1,100 feet high) and the Kata Tjuta (made of various types of rock, including granite, sandstone, and basalt and stands at least 1,800 feet high) are still inhabited by their ancestor’s spirits.
Both sites (known as Ayers Rock) are located within the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, which is a World Heritage Site, but the rocks are at least 30 miles apart.
The site is also located in Australia’s Red Centre. Tourists can fly into Ayers Rock Airport/Connellan (AYQ) or take the scenic route, a 280-mile drive or bus tour to the park from Alice Springs.
Admission is $25 for a three-day pass.
2. Cenote Sagrado, Mexico
The Mayan believed that Chac, the god of rain, visited the cenotes — a natural pit, or sinkhole that exposes groundwater –in Mexico. And as a result of his visits, Chac “blessed” some of the cenotes and they were designated as sacred spots.
Several of those spots were also used for rituals, and to offer sacrifices, while others were saved for drinking, bathing and for crops. Chichen Itza is considered one of Mexico’s heavily visited archeological sites and is a day’s trip away from the country’s capital, Mexico City. The entry fee is $8.
3. Mount Kailas, Tibet
According to explore.org,Tibet is the spiritual heartbeat of the world. This reputation easily lends to the black rock mountains in the western part of the country which are considered sacred to Buddhists, Hindu, and Jains.
Buddhists say that the mountain is the home of Buddha Demchog, who represents supreme bliss, and that three key Bodhisattvas live in the surrounding hills. While Jains believe it is the site (which they call Mount Ashtapada) where the first Jain attained nirvana, Fox reported. The mountains are called the Axis Mundi, thought to be the connection between Heaven and Earth.
Mount Kailas attracts many, but unfortunately, it is extremely remote. From Lhasa, which is the second most populous city on the Tibetan Plateau, it’s a four-day mobile journey to a base site where most travelers stop before they depart on foot or ride a yak to get to at the base of Mount Kailas, 32 miles away.
No word on how much it costs to actually rent a yak.
4. Mount Sinai, Egypt
Mount Sinai is often referred to as the sacred mountain or “mountain of God.” Christians believe that it was on this mountain that Moses heard from God and delivered to him the Ten Commandments. Archeological evidence, however, cannot confirm this.
Unlike Mount Kailas, it is possible to climb this mountain. Visitors have made it to the Holy Trinity chapel, which is a climb up from the St. Catherine’s Monastery. The monastery is thought to be where Moses saw the burning bush that led him to follow God’s voice up to receive the commandments. For more information, go to SeeTheHolyLand.net.
5. Glastonbury Tor, England
The Glastonbury Tor is an iconic landmark located in Somerset, England. The stone structure, which is hundreds of years old, is called the St. Michael’s tower and sits on top of a grassy hill that was once an island. Its long religious history is pervaded with evidence of Pagan and Christian settlement, the BBC reported.
But several myths about the roofless church tower lend to a “magical” connection. Pagan’s may have held ceremonies inside of the church to celebrate Gwyn ap Nudd, who was known as the Lord of the Underworld and King of Fairies by ancient Celtic civilizations.
The great thing is that it’s an easy trip to from Glastonbury and admission is free.