8 holy rivers in the world
Water is always a source of life, energy, and baptism in religions around the world. Temples, cities, and even empires are often built around water sources. From Christianity, Hinduism, to Nigerian Yoruba religion, the river always plays an important role in the lives of believers. Unfortunately, many important rivers which are considered holy rivers, have been polluted, even destroyed by urbanization and urban waste. Even so, millions of pilgrims continue to come here to seek forgiveness and peace of mind.
1. Urubamba River
Cutting through the lush valley of Peru, the Incas regard the Urubamba River as a reflection of the Milky Way. Flowing along the spiritual center of Inca culture, the river passes through important ruins like Machu Picchu and Raqch’i temple. According to the beliefs of the Incas, the river is the convergence of water on the earth before flowing into the sky.
2. Jordan River
Jordan River connects the Dead Sea to the Mediterranean, passing through Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria. The river is a sacred symbol for both Jews and Christians because, in the Old Testament, ancient Jews had to cross the river in search of freedom after years of wandering the desert; in the New Testament, Jesus Christ baptized John de Baptist on this river. The exact location of the ceremony is defined in Al-Maghtas, Jordan, which is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
At a length of 2.5 km, the Ganges flows through India and Bangladesh and is one of the seven holy rivers of Hinduism. Tens of millions of followers go to this river every year to bathe in the desire to wash away from sin. The Ganges is now heavily polluted by industrial plants and wastewater from urban areas which it flows through. Billions of dollars have been committed from Indian and international funds to clean up the river.
4. Columbia River
What makes America's Columbia river sacred has been devastated by the federal government and the state government of Oregon by building three dams in the Columbia River Gorge. Dams have killed the salmon's migration area and flooded sacred fishing areas.
5. Yamuna River
The Yamuna is the longest river branch of the Ganges River, stretching from northern India through New Delhi and Taj Mahal in Agra, meeting the Allahabad River at the pilgrimage site of Hindus. Although the Yamuna River is quite clear and its source is from melting ice in the Himalayas, it is India's most polluted river. The river accumulates toxic foams when it flows through urban and industrial areas, but the followers still bathe and drink water here.
6. Osun River
Nigeria's Yoruba religion has affected polytheistic religions like Santeria in Latin America and Candomble in Brazil after the Yoruba arrived in these areas during the slave trade. Religion is based on 401 souls and the Osun River is said to connect with Oshun of Yoruba - God of Water and God of Love.
7. Whanganui River
New Zealand's Whanganui River has long been a sacred river of the Maori. The Maori considered it a living ancestor and last year, Whanganui became the first river in the world to be granted legal rights as a human. The Maori has had a sacred relationship with this river since 1870. The New Zealand government has spent $ 78 million to create a legal framework and maintain the existence of the river.
8. Bagmati River
Bagmati River in Nepal is the final resting place for many Hindus. Their bodies were dipped three times into the river's water and cremated at the Pashupatinath temple in Kathmandu. The ash will be spread to the river, which is the meeting place with the branches of the Ganges in northern India.
By: Kelly Jonas