A long walk cures your mind. It allows withdrawing the mind from external affairs and makes it inward. Walking along the path is a dynamic meditation. Taking a long route, a few couple of kilometers gives a glimpse of spiritual experience. Not just 2 or 3 kilometers, it’s 100s of kilometers. It requires considerable mental strength. Certainly, it affects the state of the mind.
Most of the pilgrim centers listed here range from 100 to 1000 kilometers and the rest of the sites need trekking for few kilometers including mountaineering.
The popularity of these pilgrim centers is an account of the number of visitors and its spiritual significance. These are the important ancient secular spiritual centers where a person with any religious faith can visit. These centers have their own customs and religious practices and few centers restrict the trekkers to follow such customs there.
1. 88 Temple Shrine Japan
These are the collection of 88 temples that leads to spiritual enlightenment and nirvana. This is a millennium-old spiritual trail that ranges more than one thousand kilometers. Even though the Buddhist religious customs follow here, anyone interested to get spiritual growth goes for a trial here. The pilgrims usually wear a white dress with a traditional hat. One can complete the pilgrimage on foot or in a vehicle or a combination of both.
2. Camino de Santiago
It is the shrine of the Apostle St. James. His remains were buried here. This church follows the customs of Orthodox Christians. The people with any sects of faith and even the atheists can undergo the pilgrims. This trail is also one thousand kilometers. Walking one thousand kilometers in a month verily influences the mental state and causes a glimpse of spiritual experience in them.
3. Sabarimala South India
Once, this ancient temple was located in a remote dense forest. Before the 10th century AD, it was inaccessible for centuries. Later the rise in numbers of pilgrims and the advancement in the civilization made it easily accessible to the public. In those olden days, the trial lasts for few weeks to months.
Now the trail has been shortened to just 4 kilometers. However, some pilgrims follow the old traditional trails. This shrine doesn’t allow women of reproductive ages. The pilgrims have to follow strict penance and the religious customs there.
4. Muktinath Nepal
The place where one can realize the virtue of liberation. It is in the high altitude and belongs to the sects of the Vaishnavaite temple. Trekking is possible here or the person can hire a jeep to the shrine. This archeological site is a combination of Vaishnavaite and Buddhist art pieces. Anyone can visit this temple regardless of faith.
5. Adam’s Peak Sri Lanka
A peak of spiritual significance is located in the southern hills of Sri Lanka. It has a rock formation representing the shape of afoot. Different religious people consider it concerning their religious representation. So, all kinds of people go there. There are more than one thousand steps to reach the mountain summit. It would take hours of walk.
Walking through the deep forest and aligning the mind with the natural rhythm of the surrounding gives the visitor a unique experience.
6. Kailash Tibet
The Hindus, Buddhists, Jains, and bonus consider Kailash as a holy mountain. Trekking at this high altitude is a different experience. The Buddhists and Hindus circumscribe in the clockwise direction. The people consider this mountain channelize the spiritual energy. For them, it is the meditating place of Siva, the first yogi. This pilgrim’s importance has dated back to 3000 years. Its significance is noted in ancient Sanskrit and Devanagari scripts.
7. Rila Monastery
It is one of the religious and spiritual centers in the eastern world. It has the greatest collections of arts and paintings of the medieval period. People go there to experience the religious and spiritual richness of the place. This historic site is worth the visit for those who need relief from a stressful lifestyle.
8. Machu Pichu Peru
It is a heritage site and there is a restriction on trekking. They allow only 500 trekkers per year including the guide and porters. Trekking macho Pichu is open to new excitements. When a trekker explores new areas of macho Picchu his mind will be filled with new excitements. It gives a deeply spiritual experience in exploring this century-old culture and the prevailed religious and spiritual practices.
9. Borobudur Indonesia
It is the world’s largest Buddhist temple built around the 8th century AD. It is an Indonesian masterpiece. It is a Buddhist pilgrim site and doesn’t restrict people from other faiths.
The Buddhists say that once you visit the shrine you feel a sense of connection with the soul. They say when you are closer to the shrine you feel you are closer to your real self. Remarkably, this archeological site was inaccessible for centuries.
10. Kashi Viswanath Temple, India
It belongs to the part of the trek that includes a few of the prominent ancient temples in north India that ranges more than 1500 kilometers. This site is the oldest spiritual city in the world. The ancient Upanishads and Puranas mention this site that denotes the early golden era of this pilgrim center and its spiritual significance. It’s the popular Shiva temple. It belongs to age-old esoteric tantrism and Shaktism practice. It opens the door for salvation. It is believed that once you visit the shrine, it helps to get rid of one of your prominent desire.