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Sacred Spots around the World

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Jl. Badrawati, Kw. Candi Borobudur, Borobudur, Magelang, Jawa Tengah, Indonesia
The sunrise at Borobudur is one of those magical experiences that makes us spend so much money on travel. The site of the smoking volcano on the horizon, combined with the brilliant hues and Buddhas on the summit of the temple mountain, make this...
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Nyaung-U, Myanmar (Burma)
This was taken during sunrise over the plains of Bagan from a hot air balloon organized by Balloons Over Bagan, a first-rate ballooning outfit--while 300 bucks US might sound expensive, especially for Myanmar, let me assure you that it was worth...
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Krong Siem Reap, Cambodia
Crowds may swarm upon it daily from sunrise onwards, but exposure hasn’t dulled the impact of the largest religious monument in the world. Commissioned by King Suryavarman II in the 12th century as the centerpiece of the mighty Khmer empire,...
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Hana, HI 96713, USA
The Road to Hana is one of Maui's most famous attractions-- and it's no wonder, with its lush jungle vegetation and over 400 hairpin curves that follow this winding ocean road. Hana is true paradise, marked by its black and red sand beaches and...
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66448 Church St, Ninilchik, AK 99639, USA
Set upon a bluff overlooking Cook Inlet, the Transfiguration of Our Lord Russian Orthodox Church in winter with two of Mt. Iliamna's peaks visible in the background. The church is one of the most photographed sites on Alaska's Kenai Peninsula and...
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Pushkar Lake, Pushkar, Rajasthan 305022
In Pushkar, drought and failed urban planning have devastated the town's sacred lake, leaving it bone dry save for the bathing ghats which lie on what was once the water's edge. Standing beside one of the few remaining reservoirs, I watch as five...
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McLeod Ganj, Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh, India
Photographing the Dalai Lama in India was a dream come true. I'd been teaching photography in Dharamsala for 3 months and lived right down the street from him. But that didn't mean I got to see him very much. It's very difficult to get near the...
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Amritsar, Punjab, India
Amritsar is a popular tourist destination in India and people from all over the world come here to see The Golden Temple. But once you're done admiring the beauty of the temple, walk around and observe. Look at how almost every individual is...
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Tarn Taran Sahib, Punjab 143401, India
Sikhs and non-Sikhs go to Amritsar for one reason – to see the Golden Temple (Hamandir Sahib) so, that is what I did on my most recent trip to India. Except, I went on Mahatma Gandhi’s birthday which is a national holiday in India and because of...
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Tikal, Guatemala
From one temple-top to another: on top of the world in Tikal National Park in northeastern Guatemala. These Maya pyramids (8th century) were the tallest structures built in the Americas until twentieth century skyscrapers arose in New York City....
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Belize
In the Orange Walk district, in Northern Belize, lies one of the largest Maya ruins in the country: Lamanai. It is accessible by road but I arrived after a one-hour boat ride up the New River. The name “Lamanai” is roughly translated as “Submerged...
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Tikal, Guatemala
It will give you a jolt to see these crumbling Mayan temples in the middle of the Guatemalan jungle. The limestone rocks have been scraped smooth by archeologists desperate to stave off the jungle vines and mossy dampness and the green undergrowth...
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Krong Siem Reap, Cambodia
Better known as the Tomb Raider Temple since its starring role in the Hollywood movie of the same name, Ta Prohm has at least as much star quality as Angelina Jolie. Cloaked in dappled shadow and locked in the embrace of the vast root systems that...
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Bonampak, Chis., Mexico
The classic Mayan site of Bonampak, located deep in the jungles of Chiapas, Mexico, holds one of the most unlikely and important discoveries in the history of Mayan archaeological investigation. The story of the wall murals is a story of an...