Visiting Temples And Ruins During Your Next Vacation
Have you ever considered structuring your entire vacation on one single purpose? Perhaps this could be simply to visit some of the temples that were created long ago. The history and impact these amazing structures had on culture and civilization as a whole is tremendous. So the first thing that most people ask is: "what is the definition of a temple?". A temple originates from a latin term "templum" which literally means a place that is set aside for religious purposes or other spiritual kinds of activities. These spiritual activities include: prayer or other sacrificial acts. The word originates back to about the 6th century BC. Its original connotation was widely believed to be related to Roman types of religion. But if you look in other resources such as the Old Testament, the type of place that is known as a temple existed far before the Romans existence.
You realize that you can actually visit the oldest known temple in existence right? The name of this temple is Gobeki Tepe and it is located in modern day Turkey. Can you believe that this temple dates back over 11k years ago? Other civilizations had temples. I will list a few and also discuss some of the things that they were known for.
Greek/Roman Temples - These temples were not only confined in definition to the actual structures. They also meant the actual precinct or area that was reserved for religious importance and practices. This included open air sacrificial tables. One popular place that I have visited in Rome is the Pantheon. This temple has remained in pristine condition, especially since it is located in the heart of a bustling city. While most temples of this time faced towards the sunrise (east) this was an exception to the rule. The Pantheon faces to the north.
Hindu Temples - Most Hindu temples that were started in India are dedicated to a single deity. There are some however that are built to honor several, but they are generally rare. Most of the Hindu temples are near places that emanate natural beauty, as they believe that is where the gods reside. It is not uncommon to find them near springs, rivers, ocean, waterfalls, and on top of hills.
Egyptian Temples - The Egyptians believed that temples were essentially homes for gods on earth. This was the main place of interaction between humans and the gods using a variety of different rituals. The rituals almost encouraged the gods to continue to play a role in nature and the earth activities. The temples also play a significant role for the economy. Many key commodities were stored in them for the purposes of later marketplace sales.
Buddhist Temples - Buddhism is a religion that focuses on peace within and also without. It is to resemble a pure place to be and worship or honor the Buddha. While visiting Thailand, I realized how much emphasis they place on having temples and the need for occasional weekend getaways. At first I couldn't really understand this, but after just a few short days of visiting probably close to 20 temples, I realized that temples are a peaceful and calming place to worship.
How Your Family History Ties In
Many people often wonder just where they came from and how their family got started. Sometimes they are fortunate enough to have everything carefully researched by an ambitious relative or professional they hired. But sometimes that just isn't enough or they don't have those resources available. It is unbelievable to realize that many ancient temples already have a detailed history of the people and places that inhabited them in the past. For instance, kings and other royal families often had the genealogy listed on scrolls or even on the walls of the ancient ruins. Consider searching through some of the available archives for footprints to your own family tree.
Our history is what defines us. It certainly doesn't make who you are and can be from a clean slate perspective, but it does show the roots and where we as people came from. I have several family members who have traced down the relatives throughout history through various methods of research, including archaeology of ancient sites.
Nonetheless, have a fun time researching this and check out some of the other topics on this site. For more information and other writing examples, check out the Bios page.