12.24.2014 Jerusalem, Israel

"Jerusalem by far is one of the most fascinating cities I have ever seen.The place oozes mythology in real time;even if you believed in your own world that these things never existed,it gives you ample air of faith to make you believe that it did.Words cannot define the silence of prayers I had on the wishing wall as were the many others who wrote down their honest wishes in a chit and placed it in small little cracks on the wishing wall.I too did the same,except I made a list because this may be my first and last visit to Israel and I jumped with joy that I was in one of the holiest places in the world holding significance to not only Christians but Jews and Muslims as well.”

To read my previous post on Israel,click here

What we also saw at the site was the guys wearing Tallit.Tallit is a piece of white cloth with blue/black stripes on it,that symbolizes Judiasm.

Dating back to more than 500 years,and one of the oldest cities in the world,Jerusalem has a distinct character which makes it different from any other place I have had ever seen before.Why so?Because not any other place in the world would be soaked in biblical air with so much finesse. Jerusalem on the other hand,is class apart.The whole city is surrounded by a wall which was built in the middle of the 16th century by a Turkish Sultan.It has seven open gates.

The city of Jerusalem too has all buildings/homes made up of same red rock as part of a rule and that makes it all the more interesting.While Tel Aviv is fast forward,the pace at Jerusalem is more relaxed.

                                        To know about Israel more:visit Israel Tourism

Jerusalem is pretty much divided into two parts even though it is not political but understood between communities and neighborhood. Till 1967,the east part of Jerusalem was controlled by Jordan,and the west part by Israel.Hence the east part is mostly where there are Arabs,and the west part is mostly Jews.Ever since 1967 and after,the environment is more culturally mixed i.e now we have Arabs living in Jewish neighborhood and Jews in Arabic neighborhood though not as common but still exists.

Jerusalem is holy place for Christians , Jews And Muslims.

Why Is Jerusalem Important?

Significant For Jews

Originally there is a hill.This is a hill that the bible calls Mount Moriah.At the top of the hill there is a rock-the natural bedrock.This in Judaism is known as the stone of foundation because all the beginnings were linked to this rock.As per Jewish traditions,the world was created from here.Adam the first human was from here.Into this stone Abraham bought his son Isaac for the sacrifice as god has asked him for the test of faith he had in him.So all the beginnings of mankind or Jewish people are linked to this.

First Temple

Around the year 1000 BC king Solomon built the first temple.This temple was built just over the stone of foundation and hence it became a place of holy significance.This temple stood for 420 years till the Babylonians came and destroyed it in 586 BC.

Second Temple

After 50 years,the Babylonians are gone and Persians are new boss in town.King cyrus of Jews lets the permission to rebuild the temple.They came back from the exile in Babylon and they rebuilt the temple.It took 20 years to build and by 516 the temple was built at the same place.This temple undergoes a few renovations.

Second Temple - King Herod’s Expansion - Temple Mount

In 19-20 BC,king Herod ,king of Judaic wanted to rebuilt the temple making it nicer.he has a problem.He wants to build a larger base for a larger temple but in order to do that you could either cut down the mountain,flatten it and have a larger base but then you would lose the stone of foundation,the reason why the temple is here.So king Herod build huge retaining walls all around the mountains,and now he can built a larger platform,the area is 35 acres around 20 football field put together,Now he can build a larger and nicer temple than before and of course his holy area was bigger than all the holy areas of the ancient world.

The Temple Mount is around 20 football fields put together.

This comes to an end after a Jewish Rebel in the year 70 AD.Since the year 70,there was nothing atop the mountain until the Muslims came in the 7th century in 638 and later,built the dome of the rock(golden dome),Adopting all Jewish tradition of sanctity to the mountain and adding one more.

Significant For Muslims

To this rock came Mohammed and to this rock he ascended to the heaven on his miraculous night journey which is mentioned in the Quran in the 17th chapter.

The third most sacred city in Islam is Jerusalem

The Dome of The Rock and Crusaders

When the crusaders came,in 1099,this building was too beautiful to destroy so they christened it.All they have to do is take off the crescent and put a cross.Now it is known as temple of domino /temple of the lord and in Christianity the same tradition was linked to the church of the holy Spartacus and golgatha or calvary was known as the place of creations.By 88,the crusaders are kicked off by Saladin and Muslim armies,what Saladin had to do was take off the cross and put a crescent which is still there.

Significant For Christians

Jerusalem was important to Jesus during his preaching days ,a place where Jesus died and raised from the dead on the third day.

The Church Of The Holy Sculpture

This site is where Jesus was crucified and is said to be buried.

The Church Of Assumption

Is the church were tomb of Mary is located.People from all over the world come and pray here.

Tomb of David

The building is divided into three floors - ground floor having Jewish Synagogues.Second level is holy place for Christians as it is the location of last supper.The third level has the Muslim Muezzin Tower.

Western Wall or Wailing Wall or Wishing Wall

More than million people from around the world come here at the site with their wishes.The walls “Southern and the Western” ones were part of the big stage i.e Temple Mount.The western wall is located on the same area where Abraham bought his son Isaac for sacrifice.The western wall is also the only small visual part of the original wall king Herod had built over the temple mount.

Jerusalem Neighborhoods: Ma’ale Adumin

As we entered into Jerusalem from our trip to Masada and Dead Sea,we passed through a small city right outside Jerusalem called Ma’ale Adumin. Mentioned in one of the stories of New Testament in Bible,the Parable of the Good Samaritan is a parable told by Jesus. According to the Gospel of Luke ,a traveler is beaten, robbed, and left half dead along the road. First a priest and then a Levite(priest of a lower rank) come by, but both avoid the man.  Finally, a Samaritan comes by. Samaritans and Jews generally despised each other, but the Samaritan helps the injured man.

’The Inn of the Good Samaritan’ is considered to be where it happened and hence is part of the pilgrimage route in Ma’ale Adumin.

This gives a very important message in Christianity that First of all,you are a person and then you have your religion.

With this good message,we end our part 1 on Jerusalem.The remaining part was carried out on Deccan Chronicle so guys if you have time, do check where you can shop in Jerusalem and what to do in Jerusalem.I was lucky to be part of this amazing biblical site during my trip in June.The cities have layers and layers underneath holding the stories of civilizations,yet to be told.


  1. Back to my memories when I visited this Place in 1999 & 2000.... Written well!

  2. @Sreedhar Bhattaram:Oh wow good to know that you did visit this place,not once but twice.I tried my best to make it easier for people to understand,thanks for appreciation :)

  3. Very well written. Nice and crisp with touch of humour. I am actually quite convinced that I should go to Jerusalam at least once.

  4. @Amitabhagupta:You must.It will give you a different perspective on religion and beliefs.And its fascinating as I said.I am yet to share the pictures down under the city but..I would say,a place everyone should go once..

  5. I would like to go there place in future, This is shows that all religion are equal and we have to respect all them.


Please introduce yourself here.