Tag Archives: Holy Lands

Unwinding the Holy Lands …

The land(s) of every pilgrim’s dream… Legendary locations that any ardent Bible reader would long to visit in a lifetime… These are the ‘Holy Lands’ – the esteemed threesome of Jordan, Israel and Egypt – arguably the most cherished pilgrim destinations in the world.

Let’s have a close look at the three countries that constitute the ‘holy trinity’…

1
Jordan

A small country with around 5 million inhabitants, located right at the heart of the Arab World, Jordan is a fascinating land with plenty of ancient places (cultural / religious sites, desert castles…) and unspoilt natural locations.

Jordan’s assets are innumerable, ranging from the fertile ever-changing desert canyons to the red sea reefs… not to mention its splendid monuments, which are crowned by the rock carved city of Petra.

Some of Jordan’s major assets:


Dead Sea – a natural wonder where one can’t swim; just float !


Petra – the ageless ‘rock carved city’, one of the new 7 Wonders of the World


Wadi Rum – desert land of haunting wilderness

2
Israel

World’s only predominantly ‘Jewish state’, Israel lies at the junction of three continents – Europe, Asia and Africa. The land of Israel is the holy ground for three great religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam. While Judaism and Christianity originated here, Jerusalem is Islam’s most important place of worship after Mecca and Medina.

In spite of its long and eventful history that dates back to prehistoric times, people of modern Israel share the same language & culture originally shaped by the Jewish heritage around 3,300 years back – an unparalleled feat!

Israel contains geographically diverse features within its tiny frame, such as, forested highlands, fertile green valleys, mountainous deserts, coastal plains, semitropical regions … together with numerous cultural / religious attractions. A unique country that nicely blends the ancient with the ultra modern.

Some of Israel’s major assets:


Galilee – the land that witnessed many of Jesus’ holy deeds


Jerusalem Church – an ancient shrine closely associated with Jesus’ lifetime, perhaps second only to Vatican in religious significance


Jerusalem Mosque – Islam’s most important shrine after Mecca and Medina

3
Egypt

A leading economy in the Middle East, the North African country of Egypt boasts of a colourful ancient civilization, that has almost no equals in anywhere else.

But Egypt is not just a land of world-renowned religious & cultural monuments (of which Pyramids and Sphinx lead the list) on the other hand, this fascinating country also offers variety entertainments in the form of romantic river cruises and adventurous scuba diving. In short, a land throbbing with antique charm and excitement.

Some of Egypt’s major assets:


Luxor – dubbed as the ‘world’s greatest open air museum’, where one can see some fantastic remnants of ancient Pharaonic temple complexes & tombs


New Abu Simbel – land of ‘Nubian Monuments’, a world heritage site


Pyramid & Great Sphinx of Giza – the most celebrated Pharaonic masterpiece, permanent members in the 7 Wonders of the World

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Of late, tours to Holy Lands are becoming increasingly popular… especially as the people, getting choked in the chaos of modernity, have realized the importance of getting back to their roots.