Chartres Cathedral, also known as Cathedral of Our Lady of Chartres, is a medieval Roman Rite Catholic cathedral located in Chartres, France, about 80 kilometres southwest of Paris.
01&02 Pilgrimage Year 7
Lesson 01 – ‘Special Journeys’
Starter – Old Trafford – A Place of Pilgrimage
Watch this film clip titled ‘Old Trafford – A
Place of Pilgrimage’ and think about the
What similarities are there between this
‘pilgrimage’ and the Muslim pilgrimage –
The Hajj - we studied last term.
Do you think the title of the clip is
appropriate and why?
Re-examine the idea of pilgrimage and compare pilgrimages to other
types of journeys.
Understand what is meant by the idea of an ‘inner journey’ by
constructing our own journeys.
Reflecting on a special journey
Can you think of a place or journey that has had a special meaning for
you, or a member of your family?
On your hand outs, take it in turns to answer each of the three
questions. One person on your table needs to complete the hand
out, writing then answers from everyone else.
1) Where was the
journey to and why
was it special?
2) What was the
purpose of the
3) Who else went
on the journey?
In groups, discuss the following two questions:
What is meant by the term labyrinth?
How might a labyrinth apply to the idea of journeys/pilgrimages?
Labyrinths feature in many medieval
cathedrals and centres of pilgrimage.
One of the best examples is in Chartres
Cathedral. Unlike a maze, a labyrinth has
only one path - there are no dead ends.
The purpose is not to get lost, but rather
to ‘find yourself’.
The path has three stages:
The 'inward' journey
The 'outward' journey.
The theme of the 'inward' journey is letting go of things that hold us back
in life. The centre of the Labyrinth is a space of meditation and peace. The
theme of the 'outward' journey is relationship - with ourselves, with
others, with the planet and with God.
Design your own labyrinth
On the reverse of your hand out, design a modern-day labyrinth with
activities that you think would be appropriate for the 3 stages of the
Remember the three stages:
Stage 1 – The Inward Journey – Letting Go
Stage 2 – The Centre – Peace
Stage 3 – The Outward Journey - Relationships
Each group will be asked to present their labyrinth, explaining each of
Have you clearly designed a labyrinth and not a maze…
Do you have at least one activity for each stage of your journey?
Can explain the meaning of each activity – i.e. What you would want
someone to learn or think about as a result of your activity?
Starter: 4 pictures, 1 word.
What is the word…
Homework – Assessment on Pilgrimage
Pretend you work for a travel agent: you are going to write and design a travel
brochure. Your travel company specialises in trips to pilgrimage sites and has requests
for both pilgrim and tourist trips.
Focus on the Hindu pilgrimage site you have researched. Use one side of the sheet for
tourist trips and the other side for pilgrimages.
Your brochure must:
Contain a list of activities that a pilgrimage programme might offer and do the same
for a tourist programme. The list will have things in common and there will be
differences as well.
Contain reasons for going: why do people go there, what it means to them and why
they would recommend such a place for other people to visit (both as a tourist and
as a pilgrim).
Clearly show the difference between going on the trip as a tourist and as a pilgrim –
describe the emotions and feelings that tourists and pilgrims might experience.
Be attractive to potential customers - Use descriptive and persuasive language to
sell your trip and make it look exciting!
Visit the pilgrimage sites around the room and answer
the following questions…
1) Which avatar of the god Vishnu is said
to have grown up in this place?
3) Which king (and avatar of Vishnu) is
said to have been born here?
2) What things do the Puranas describe
this avatar of Vishnu
doing as a boy?
4) Which of the Hindu epics, a favourite
of Hindu children outlines the
adventures of this king?
5) By what other name is this city also
7) Explain why a Hindu may want to be in
Varanasi at the time of their death?
6) Which member of the Hindu trimurti
was said to have lived here?
8) Explain what ‘ghats’ are and how/why
they may be used by followers of
Vrindavan is the place where Lord Krishna is believed to have
spent his childhood. The Puranas state that as a boy Krishna
played pranks on the gopis (milkmaids) in the forests by
stealing their clothes while they bathed in the river.
The name ‘Vrindavan’ is said to have come from Vrinda
Devi, one of Lord Krishna’s friends during his childhood.
Vrindavan has 11 temples and one of the most
important of these is the Bankey Bihari Temple. Here
worshippers clash small cymbals together as they move
in time to ancient rhythms. The Bankey Bihari Temple is
home to a sacred image of Krishna which shows Krishna
with an almost blackened body. Worshippers enter the
shrine room and offer garlands of flower petals to the
spirit of the statue.
Ayodhya city was the capital of the ancient kingdom of
Ayodhya, where Lord Rama, the 7th avatar of Vishnu was
born. Rama should have been king of Ayodhya but was sent
into exile for 14 years. During this time his wife Sita was
abducted by Ravana the demon king of Lanka. After a long
journey and a massive war against Ravana, Rama saves Sita
and returns to Ayodhya where he becomes king and reigns
for 11,000 years.
The story of Rama King of Ayodhya is found in the Hindu
Epic the ‘Ramayana’.
The city of Ayodhya is one of the
seven holiest cities of India. Hindu
pilgrims visiting Ayodhya during
festivals and important religious
functions consider to wash in the
sacred River Saryu will bring them
The respected and ancient city Varanasi, also known as Banaras, is the religious centre
of the Hindu world. It is believed to be one of the oldest cities in India still in existence.
The city rises from the banks of the river
Ganga (Ganges), the holiest of all Indian
rivers. Life in Varanasi begins before dawn
when thousands of pilgrims come down to
the river to wait for the rising sun and for
the moment when washing in the sacred
river will cleanse them of their sins.
Soon after sunrise, the city's river banks burst
into life. Brahmins (religious teachers) read
passages from sacred Hindu texts, and priests
mark the foreheads of pilgrims with the ashes of
sacrifices burnt by the river in worship of the
gods and particularly Shiva who is believed to
have once lived here.
Hindu legend states Ganga (Ganges) is a
goddess and the daughter of the king of the
mountains. Ganga had the power to purify
anything that touched her and she flowed
from the heavens and purified the people of
India. Hindu belief holds that bathing in the
river Ganges causes the forgiveness of sins.
Many Hindus believe that to be in the Ganges,
especially at the holy city of Varanasi, at the
time of your death means you are immediately
freed from samsara, attain Moksha, and
become one with Brahman.
Special entry points called ‘ghats’ are
built to help people to get in and out of
the river. They are also used for
cremating bodies by the river. All Hindus
would like their ashes to be scattered
into the Ganges to help cleanse them of
Most Hindu pilgrimages end at a
temple. The most important are
Puri, Dwarka, Rameshwaram and
Badrinath. They also go to the holy
city of Varanasi and the River
As a class discuss what problems
there might be for an everyday
Hindu to go on Pilgrimage (use the
map above for help!).
Plenary – Think, Pair, Share
What is a pilgrimage?
Who might go on a pilgrimage?
Where might a Hindu go for a pilgrimage?
Why might a Hindu go on a pilgrimage?