never completed his journey to Tang China, but it is said that before turning back he found enlightenment
in a cool drink from a loose skull. Today an international group is following in the footsteps of the 7th century Korean monk. Conveniently, they keep a blog
posted by Winnemac
on Dec 12, 2011 -
This weekend marks the time of the Hajj
, a core pillar of Islam in which great tides of humanity
venture to the ancient city of Mecca to honor God.
Predating Mohammed's birth by centuries, the pilgrimage comprises several days of rites
, from congregation like snow on Mount Arafat
and the ritual stoning of Shaitan
to the circling of the sacred Kaaba
cubical monolith Muslims pray toward daily
) and kissing the Black Stone
(colored by the absorption of myriad sins, and believed by some to be a fallen meteorite
While the city has modernized
to handle this largest of annual gatherings -- building highway-scale ramps, gaudy skyscrapers for the ultra-rich
, and tent cities the size of Seattle
-- it remains mysterious, as unbelievers are forbidden from entering its borders
Richard Francis Burton became famous for touring the city in disguise
to write a rare travelogue
, but contemporary viewers have a more immediate guide: Vice Magazine
journalist Suroosh Alvi, who smuggled a minicam into the city to record The Mecca Diaries [alt]
, a 14-minute documentary of his own Hajj journey.
Browse the manual
to see what goes into a Hajj trip, or watch the YouTube livestream
to see the Grand Mosque crowds in real time.
posted by Rhaomi
on Nov 4, 2011 -
This year alone, over 20,000 Russian Orthodox pilgrims followed an icon of St. Nicholas from Kirov to Velikoretskoye on foot. The 180km-long pilgrimage through the Russian countryside dates back to the 14th century.
Sergey Kozmin's photos
. Some extra info
posted by ersatz
on Aug 15, 2008 -
. Martin Gray is an anthropologist and photographer specializing in the study of sacred sites and pilgrimage traditions around the world. Traveling as a pilgrim, Martin spent twenty years, visiting and photographing over 1000 sacred sites in eighty countries. 1000s of photos, Atlas of Sacred Sites, travel journal, etc..
posted by stbalbach
on Nov 30, 2004 -
Echoes of Incense: A Pilgrimage in Japan.
'The route of the eighty-eight temples of Shikoku is the classic Japanese Buddhist pilgrimage. Its 1300 kilometers test the body and spirit and open the mind to an experience of its true nature. For over a thousand years, only Japanese followed the path to the remote places of the Japanese island of Shikoku. In the winter and spring of 1993, I walked this path. Afterwards, I wrote Echoes of Incense to record what I experienced in words and pictures. '
Related :- Experiencing the Shikoku Pilgrimage
, from the Asian Wall Street Journal, 1977.
posted by plep
on Dec 20, 2003 -