Throughout recorded history, the pilgrimage has been an important practice in most of the world's religions. It consists of an individual or a group leaving home and traveling to a sacred site that has a spiritual magnetism within their belief system. Pilgrims encounter both the core of the religion and their fellow believers in a new and enhanced way, before returning home somehow transformed by their journey. Such a site can be a unique center of divine presence (e.g., the Ka‘bah in Mecca [Makkah]), a place that is the group's “most precious possession” (e.g., the Western Wall, in Jerusalem, of the temple destroyed in AD 70, for Jews), a place linked with primordial history (e.g., Varanasi [Benares] on the Ganges, in Uttar Pradesh, India), the ...

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