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Roads to divinity

Holy Shrine of Imam Reza, Iran Visitors: 15 mn The complex contains the mausoleum of Imam Reza, the eighth imam of Imami Shia Islam, which is the largest branch of Shia Islam. The complex, which houses the second largest mosque in the world, is a major centre of tourism in Iran.

Vaishnodevi, Jammu and Kashmir Visitors: 8. 75 mn
Located in the Himalayas, the cave of Vaishno Devi is the second most visited religious destination in India. A visit to this shrine that is at an altitude of 5, 200 feet mandates a 12-km trek from the base camp.

Vatican City, Italy Visitors: 6 mn

The episcopal jurisdiction under the supervision of a bishop is located in Rome and is the central government of the Roman Catholic Churches. Vatican City, the only theocratic state and the world's smallest independent nation, is the home of the Pope. It attracts tourists from across the world who visit to see the impressive St. Peter's Basilica and museums that host priceless art.

Meiji Jingu, Japan Visitors: 3. 2 mn

The shrine is a holy destination for those who follow the Shinto religion;its values are deeply engrained in the lives of the Japanese. According to the Shinto tradition, divinity is found as Kami (divine spirit) and this shrine is dedicated to Meiji Empress Shoken's spirit.

Our Lady of Aparecida, Brazil Visitors: 8 mn

The two shrines of the lady Aparecida are located in the town of Aparecida in Sao Paulo, Brazil. It is believed that in 1717 the statue of the patroness saint of Brazil was found by fishermen who went to fish for a feast organised to honour the governor of Sao Paulo.

Mount Tai, China Visitors: 8 mn

The most famous of the Five Great Mountains of Taoism, Mount Tai is the most popular pilgrimage destination in China. It has remained a top place of worship for more than three millennia. The foot of the mountain is connected to its top by over 7, 000 stone stairs, which run for 9 kilometres.

Reader's opinion (2)

Umashankar DashMar 31st, 2011 at 12:48 PM

Would also include Tirupathi in the list. Believe Tirupathi has almost as many pilgrims as Vaishno Devi, if not more.

Adnaan JanMar 26th, 2011 at 19:24 PM

Why is there no mention of Makkah. We all know it has the largest congegration of people during Hajj. Moreover, people come from all parts of the world to perform Umrah mostly in Ramadhan.

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