Epicenter of The Religious Sites
Mecca is the Holiest city of Islam located in the western part of Saudi Arabia 45 miles inland from the Red Sea Port of Jeddah. Mecca has been linked by Islam as it is the birth place of Holy Prophet Muhammad [S.A.W.W]. It is the religious place and attracts large number of Muslims from all over the world. Mecca received millions of tourists annually and lined itself in top tourist religious destinations.
The Hajj and Umrah are the two pilgrimages. Hajj is greater than Umrah and millions of Muslims used to perform Hajj once in a year in Mecca and its near places. While millions of Muslims perform Umrah in the rest of the year. The largest mosque in the world, Masjid al Haram is present in Mecca which surrounds the Kaaba. Muslims face towards Kaaba while offering prayers. Because of this holy importance Mecca has become the most diverse city in the Muslim world.
Most important visiting sites of Mecca is the Kaaba which is covered with a gold embroidered black silk and it is made of granite. Kaaba is known as “the House of Allah”. Pilgrims from all over the world try to touch the corner stone of Kaaba. Second most important site is the Holy Mosque (Masjid Al Haram), which is the largest mosque of the world. Other famous sites are the hill of Arafat and the Mountain of light (Jabal-al-noor). Mountain of Arafat also known as “the Mountain of Mercy” is the place where Muhammad [S.A.W.W] had delivered his final sermon. Jabal-al-noor is the mountain where Muhammad [S.A.W.W] received the revelation of Holy Quran.
Other visiting places around the city are Tanem and Hudaibiyah. Well of Zamzam has a special importance. Pilgrims love to drink from the well of Zamzam as it is believed that its water has special properties.
Thour Mountain is regarded as a historic visiting site of Mecca. It is a cave where Prophet Muhammad [S.A.W.W] spent three days with his companion Abu-Bakar-Siddique when He left Mecca for Medina.
Besides these holy sites, the colorful markets, the aromatic spices that show holy grace and the charm of land also attracts tourists.
Mecca is equipped with well known hotels to accommodate millions of tourists from all over the world. These Mecca hotels provide finest hospitality and allow only for Muslim guests. These hotels are afforded by all pockets. Most requested hotels in Mecca are Fairmont Hotel, Hilton Hotel Makkah, Le Meriden Makkah, Crowne plaza, and Golden Tulip Al Hamra hotel. Mecca can be easily accessible by all means of transport for residents and visitors alike, both during and outside of the pilgrimage season.
Large number of tourists from all over the world has made this place crowdy and detracts from the spirituality of the pilgrimage visit. Pilgrims also face problems to move between holy sites. For avoiding this problem Pilgrims have a new way to avoid crowds i: e the train, known as Mecca Metro that will move pilgrims between holy cities. The first project of train is that it will transport pilgrims between Mina, Muzdalfa and Arafat. This train will replace thousands of buses that transport the pilgrims between holy cities. This train will also reduce heavy traffic and pollution.
Non Muslims are restricted to enter this holy city because of fear of destruction, thus provide a place of peace and refuge for Muslim believers Visitors have little freedom of movement in Mecca.
In 1999, the government expanded the travel rights of foreign Muslims. It is estimated that over 1 million foreigners and 700,000 Saudis are permitted to visit the holy cities. Mecca is truly an incredible religious tourist’s destination.
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