Significance of Rituals

Ritual formed structure and hierarchy and helped define their place in the world. Ritual gives shape to emotions and helps humans come to terms with the major events of life. As modern religions emerged, ancient rituals were absorbed into new forms. A religious ritual is a standardised, repetitive sequence of activities. It involves the manipulation of religious symbols such as prayers, offerings, and readings of sacred literature.

Se Cathedral: The largest church in Asia

The Sé Catedral de Santa Catarina, known as Se Cathedral, is the cathedral of the Latin Rite Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Goa and Daman and the seat of the Patriarch of the East Indies. It is located in Old Goa, India. The word Sé is Portuguese for See. An episcopal see is, in the usual meaning of the phrase, the area of a bishop's ecclesiastical jurisdiction.

Shahbandar Café: A traditional cultural café in Baghdad

Shahbandar café is one of Bagh­dad’s few remaining traditional cultural cafés. Since opening its doors, Shahbandar café had become a hub of Baghdad’s intellectual life, drawing poets and politicians to its wooden benches and photo-lined walls.  The café still stands, a testament to the resilience of the country and the capital, Baghdad, even if so much has happened here. From British rule to modern-day Iraq, Shahbandar has lived through the birth of a nation, the toppling of its monarchy, decades of domination by Saddam Hussein, the drama of the US-led invasion and the bloody chaos that followed.

Deori Mandir, Ranchi-Tata Highway (NH33), Jharkhand, India

Deori Mandir: Ancient Sixteen-armed Durga Temple

An ancient solahbhuji (sixteen-armed) Durga temple at village Deori, near Tamar, around 60 km from Ranchi, on the Jamshedpur-Ranchi Highway (NH-33). The original temple is made up of big stone placed one over another without using any cementing material in between, like many ancient constructions. According to some local beliefs, this Solah Bhuja Devi Prachin Durga Mandir is in existence since the Mahabharata times.

Al-Kadhimiya Mosque, Baghdad

Al-Kadhimiya Mosque is a shrine located in the northern neighbourhood of Kadhimiya district in Baghdad on the west bank of river Tigris. It contains the tombs of the seventh Shia’i Imam Musa Al-Kadhim and the ninth Shia’i Imam Muhammad al-Jawad. Also buried within this mosque are the famous historical scholars, Shaikh Mufid and Shaikh Nasir ad-Dīn aṭ-Ṭusi. Due to its special geographical location, Kadhimiya has been considered important and its history is thought to date back before Jesus Christ. This place was then known as Shoneezi, an Arab name meaning the Black Grain.

Ujjain: The Temple City

An ancient city situated on the eastern bank of the Kshipra River, Ujjain was the most prominent city on the Malwa plateau of central India for much of its history. It emerged as the political centre of central India around 600 BCE. It was the capital of the ancient Avanti kingdom, one of the sixteen mahajanapadas. It is an important place of pilgrimage for Shaivites, Vaishnavites and followers of Shakta. It is a known Hindu pilgrimage centre with the Kumbh Mela held here every 12 years.

Omkareshwar: Blessed by Gods, adorned by nature

It can only be termed as a blessing, by Lords and mother nature, that Omkareshwar, the sacred island called Mandhata or Shivapuri in the Narmada river, is shaped like ॐ (Om) - the holiest symbol of Hinduism. Not surprising then that this serene town is also one of the 12 Jyotirlinga shrines in India. Pilgrims in unimaginable numbers visit the shrine every year, seeking the blessings of Lord Shiva.