05/23/2011 12:53 pm ET Updated Jul 23, 2011

10 Holy Pilgrimage Destinations

One thing that most, if not all, of the world's religious traditions have in common is a strong reverence for specific holy sites that are important to the history and identity of the community. Accordingly, pilgrimage to these sites is a significant part of religious life for many individuals seeking a more visceral and immediate connection to the sacred.

Some of the major religious pilgrimages are organized around specific holidays or periods on the calendar, leading to an influx of thousands or even millions of people to a particular site at one time. Other holy sites are visited on an ongoing basis as a special act of devotion by individuals. Either way, religious pilgrimages are a powerful image of the lengths that dedicated believers will go in order to experience and honor the traditions of their faith.

Religious Pilgrimages