The word “pilgrimage” is usually associated with one’s trip to a sacred place of his or her religious devotion. Such a place might be a temple, a church, a place where saint person was born or died, a place of enlightenment, and similar. Perhaps, the most usual way to make a pilgrimage is on foot, yet nowadays there are different kinds of options of traveling, like organized group trips, with transportation between religious sites. I will leave the discussion of pilgrimage versus tourism aside, as it’s everyone’s personal choice and will stick to the interest of how things changed or stayed the same since the very first pilgrimages.
The roots of religious pilgrimage are in the holy scriptures and the routes might be found in all inhabited continents of the world. In the “Roots” chapter, I will describe the place and meaning of pilgrimage in religions and faiths, starting with Bahá’í Faith, Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, Meter Baba, Native American Faiths, and Sikhism among others.