List of holy cities

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This is a list of cities that various groups regard as holy. Cities may be either considered holy in themselves (as Mecca for Muslims), important sites for worship or study (Fatima for Catholics), or the high seat of particular religions (Moscow for Russian Orthodox). Within each section the cities are ordered by their importance to the group. Groups are listed alphabetically.



  1. Swamithoppepathi
  2. Ambalappathi
  3. Muttappathi
  4. Tamaraikulampathi
  5. Pooppathi
  6. Vakaippathi
  7. Avatharappathi


  1. Akko Site of the tomb of Bahá'u'lláh
  2. Haifa Second most holy site to Bahá'í, administrative headquarters of the church
  3. Shiraz House of the Báb


  1. Bodh Gaya where Gautama Buddha's attained Enlightenment
  2. Sarnath where Gautama Buddha first taught the Dharma, and where the Buddhist Sangha was founded
  3. Kushinagar where Gautama Buddha attained Parinirvana, and was cremated
  4. Lumbini commonly recognized as the birth site of Gautama Buddha

Tibetan Buddhism

  1. Lhasa


  1. Bethlehem Birthplace of Jesus
  2. Jerusalem Site of Jesus's crucifixion as well as other biblical events
  3. Nazareth Site of many of Jesus's acts and miracles
  4. Antioch Once the center of Christianity

In addition, various Christian denominations have separate holy cities:

Armenian Apostolic

  1. Echmiadzin
  2. Jerusalem

Roman Catholicism

Jubilee cities

  1. Jerusalem
  2. Rome and Vatican City, Center of the Catholic Church, and site of the four Major Basilicas that are required to be visited to gain a Roman Jubilee
  3. Santiago de Compostela Site of the tomb of St. James the Greater
  4. Santo Toribio de Liébana

Marian shrines

  1. Mexico City Popular pilgrimage site after a 16th century appearance of Our Lady of Guadalupe
  2. Knock Popular pilgrimage site after a 19th century appearance of the Virgin Mary
  3. Lourdes Popular pilgrimage site after a 19th century appearance of the Virgin Mary
  4. Fatima Popular pilgrimage site after a 20th century appearance of the Virgin Mary
  5. Jasna Góra Popular pilgrimage site - monastery with an icon of the Black Madonna of Czestochowa

Eastern Orthodox

  1. Constantinople Once the center of the entire Church
  2. Mount Athos Site of 20 monasteries
  3. Kiev Origin of Slavic Christianity, which evolved into Russian Orthodox Church

Ethiopian Orthodox

  1. Axum
  2. Lalibela

Russian Orthodox

  1. Moscow Capital of Russia
  2. Troice-Sergiev Posad The center of the modern Russian Orthodox Church


  1. Canterbury, Kent The center of the Anglican Church


  1. Wittenberg Martin Luther posted his 95 Theses
  2. Geneva earliest center of Calvinism
  3. London location of John Wesley's conversion & earliest HQ of Methodism

Latter-day Saint theology

  1. Independence, Missouri
  2. Nauvoo, Illinois
  3. Salt Lake City, Utah
  4. Palmyra, New York


  1. Ahobilam
  2. Ayodhya
  3. Benares
  4. Gaya
  5. Haridwar
  6. Kanchipuram
  7. Madurai
  8. Mathura
  9. Pandharpur
  10. Prayag
  11. Sabarimalai
  12. Thanjavur
  13. Tirupati
  14. Udupi

Jyothirlingams (Shaivism)

  1. Bhimashankar
  2. Deogarh
  3. Dwarka
  4. Grishneshwar
  5. Kedarnath
  6. Omkareshwar
  7. Rameswaram
  8. Somnath
  9. Srisailam
  10. Trimbakeshwar
  11. Ujjaini (Avantika)
  12. Varanasi (Benares)

Kumbh Mela sites

  1. Haridwar
  2. Nashik
  3. Prayag
  4. Ujjaini (Avantika)

Other "Snanam" sites

  1. The Mahamaham at Kumbakonam
  2. The Pushkaram at Rajahmundry

The Shankara Matham's

The four Peetham's established by Sri Adi Shankaracharya

  1. South: Sringeri
  2. West : Dwaraka
  3. North: Jyotirmath (Badrinath)
  4. East : Puri Jagannath Peetham

Subrahmanya Kshetram's

The six main Subrahmanya Kshetram's {Known as "Aaru Padai Veedugal"):

  1. Tirupparamkunram
  2. Tiruchendur
  3. Tiruvavinankudi (Palani)
  4. Tiruverakam (Swami Malai)
  5. Kundruthoradal (Tiruttani)
  6. Palamuthircholai

Ranganatha Kshetram's

The three Ranganatha Swamy Kshetram's on Islands standing on the river Kaveri

  1. Adi Ranga at Srirangapatna
  2. Madhya Ranga at Shivanasamudram
  3. Antya Ranga Srirangam


  1. Mecca Holiest city in Islam. Location of the Ka'aba, focus of the Hajj.
  2. Medina Second holiest city in Islam, site of Masjid al-Nabawi, where Muhammad is buried.
  3. Jerusalem Location of The Dome of the Rock where Muhammad ascended through the heavens to god

Shi'a Islam

In addition to the cities listed above under Islam

  1. Najaf Site of the tomb of Imam Ali in Imam Ali Mosque, who the Shi'a consider to be their founder. Also site of Wadi-us-Salaam cemetery.
  2. Karbala tomb of Husayn bin Ali in the Mashad al-Husain
  3. Mashhad -site of burial of Imam Reza
  4. Qom -site of the shrine of Fatima Masoumeh, sister of Imam Reza


  1. Mount Abu, site of the Dilwara Temples
  2. Shravanabelagola


Jerusalem has for several thousand years been the main holy city of the Jews. There are also three other "holy cities" of less importance to the Jewish people. These cities -- Tiberias, Safed, and Hebron -- have played important roles in Jewish history, and were (along with Jerusalem) the main centers of Jewish population in Palestine between the Roman conquest of Jerusalem and the 19th century.

  1. Jerusalem - Ancient capital of the Kingdom of Israel, mentioned repeatedly in the Torah, site of First and Second Temples and the remaining Western Wall
  2. Hebron -site of Cave of the Patriarchs, traditional tomb of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Sarah, Rebekah and Leah. Capital of Ancient Israel before King David moved it to Jerusalem. Also revered in Islam.
  3. Safed -site of another important tomb, as well as a center of Kabbalah mysticism as practiced by Isaac Luria. Much of the Jerusalem Talmud was written near Safed.
  4. Tiberias, last meeting place of the Sanhedrin, site of a number of important tombs.


  1. Ise Site of Grand Shrine of Ise
  2. Nagoya Site of Atsuta Shrine
  3. Izumo Site of Grand Shrine of Izumo
  4. Kyoto Site of other important shrines, such as Yasaka Shrine, Fushimi Inari Shrine and Iwashimizu Shrine. This was also the old capital where the Emperors once resided.


  1. Amritsar Site of the most holy location in Sikhism, the Golden Temple
  2. Nankana Sahib The Birth place of Guru Nanak. the founder of Sikh religion.

See also


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