The sacred well, Zamzam, is
situated at the perimeter of the sacred complex of
Significance of Name (in light of rawayat)
The noun zamzam is of onomatopoeic type of word (formation of word from sound associated with thing named). It is apparently to be associated with the qualificatives zamzam or zunazim which denote, according to mediaeval Arabic dictionaries, an "abundant supply of water", ma zumazmi - kathir or in ancient contests a "water-point" regarded as "never drying up".
Explanations are given in other mythic accounts mostly constructed according to the sense-also onomatopoeic type-which associates the qualificatives zamzam and zumzim with a dull sound. This sound can apply equally well to a distant roll of thunder presaging rain, or to any guttural sound with closed mouth emitted by an animal (camel or horse, etc.) or by a man.
The mediaeval Arabi sources
generally attribute the murmuring of the zamzama to the sayings or to the
prayers of the Zoroastrians. Their association with the well of Zamzam is
described in the following fashion: They made regular pilgrimages to
In another version relayed by
Yakut, it is the angle Gabriel (AS) himself who is said to have murmured over
the well. Hagar (Hajra Bibi, RAT) and her son Hz Ismail (AS) brought by Abraham
According to al-'Ayni, the noun zamzam is to be understood as deriving from zamazima, the precious "bridles" that the eponymous ancestor of the Sasanids is supposed to have donated to the well. 
There is very early reference to the story of Hagar (Hajra Bibi, R.A.T.) and the discovery of the source of water/Hajra Bibi R.A.T. was searching for the water for her thirsty son (Hz Ismail AS) The tiny child was crying due to thirst and rubbed his little heels on the sand suddenly water gushed up from the sand where Hz Ismail (AS) rubbed his heels. The rediscovery of the source, accompanied by miraculous signs, attributed to Hz Abd al-Muttalib, the grandfather of Holy Prophet (Peace be upon him!). In the latter case, it is a typical revival story. This is taken to justify the function of giving water to pilgrims, sikaya, which was to remain in the lineage of al-Abbas, one of the sons of Hz Abd al-Muttalib, under of Holy Prophet (Peace be upon him!), and ancestors of the Abbasid dynasty.
Before its revival by the family of Holy Prophet (Peace be upon him!) the water source which had sprung up "in the time of Hagar (Hajra Bib R.A.T)" was dried up by God on account of the misconduct of the Diurhum. This tribe, supposedly of Yemeni origin, is associated with Ismail (AS).
The grandfather of Holy Prophet
(Peace be upon him!) is supposed to have found in the well that he had just
rediscovered offerings consisting primarily of gazelles cast in gold and
precious swords. Al-Masudi sees this as proof of the coming of "Persians" to
In the absence of archaeological proofs, different hypotheses of historical topography of the well have been proposed. It could be thought that the presence of this probably perennial water (Wellhausen describes it as a Quelle, a spring which is said to have been the only Meccan water, (Reste, 76, n. 2); 'Ga«defroy-Demomobynes relays the information given by mediaeval Arab geographers. According to which the well was allegedly supplied by three springs, "towards the Black Stone" ... "a place which is the confluence of numerous dry valleys in the lowest part (vulnerable to occasional flooding by pluvial streams)".
It is on the basis of this singularity of terrain that the installation came about of the betylie complex which probably constituted the original perimeter of the Ka 'ba mualla and its adjacent sacred stones (al-Safa and al-Marwa). This sacred complex would have taken precedence over the water-point, relegating it to second place in ritual and in representation.
The fervent faith of pilgrims, from early Islamic times to this day, has not ceased to lend outstanding qualities to the water of the well of Zamzam, which is perceived as bearer of baraka and as a "curative source". It is stressed that Holy Prophet (Peace be upon him!) drank this water and used it regularly for various purposes. Zamzam, Yakut attributes to Mudjahid, taken to be a habitual transmitter of Ibn Abbas, the following words: "It you drink at Zamzam in the hope of a cure, God will cure you; if you are thirsty, God will quench your thirst; if you are hungry, God will satisfy you!"
This fervious has led to modes of conduct which can be described as being of a magical type, for example:
• Linen dipped in the holy water serving as a shroud
• After wadu (ablutions), and parts of the body dipped or sprinkled by the water of Zamzam are also considered clean and pious.
• Zamzamiyyal, small phials of clay or metal sealed and sold as containing water from the sacred well, are still today highly-prized by pilgrims and are taken back by them to their own countries as gift for presenting to their relatives and friends.
Other names of Zamzam
Just as 'Zam-Zam' has many virtues and benefits, similarly , it has many names, The following names are recorded in "Lisaanul Arab": "Zam-zam, Maktoomah, Maghnoonah, Shubaaghanah, Suqyaa, Ar-ruwaa, Rakdhatu Jibreel, Hazmatu Jibraeel, Shifaa-u-Suqm, Ta'aam-u-Tu'am, Hafeer-atu Abdil Mutallib, Zam-zaam, Zawaa-zim" (LisanulArab, vol. 15, page 166). It is reported from Hz Abdullah Ibn Abbaas (radhiallaahu anhu) that during the era of ignorance it was known as 'Shubaa'a'. (Akhbaar makkah, page 291). Imaam Zubaidi (rahmatuilahi alaih) states that if the various names of 'Zam-zam' are gathered from the aahhdith kitaabs and dictionaries, it will total up to 60 names. (Taajul Uroos, Vol. 8, Vol. 328) .
Early chronological history
When Zamzam well came
into being, it attracted the tribe of Banu Jurhum and led to their settling
down, in this area. They stayed and governed the area for 300 years, and
according to some narrations, 500 years. It was the immorality, mischief, and
flagrant disobedience of this tribe that led to their disgraceful eviction from
But, when Allah ta'ala desired to revive this well and satiate the ummat with it, He used the Quraish and the grandfather of Holy Prophet Peace Be Upon Him, by way of a dream to dig up the well. Abdul Mutallib used to say that one night he had a dream, wherein someone was telling him to dig up. Tayyibah. He says that he asked: "What is 'Tayyibah'?" But the person (in his dream), just walked away, without giving a reply. On the following night he said that he had another dream, wherein he was told to dig up 'Maghnoonah". He says that he asked: "What is 'Maghnoonah'?" But, again this person simply disappeared. On the third night he again had a dream wherein he was told to dig up Zamzam, and clean it up. He says that, he asked: "What is 'Zamzam'?".
He was then told that it is a well, whose water will never decrease, and that he will find no difficulty in digging it up. Also that he will find no embarrassment in it, and that it is the inheritance of his father. He was told to serve it to the Haajis. Abdul Muttalib, says further that he asked for a sign of the location to this well. He was told that it is at the place where the ant-hills are in abundance. He was also told that when he would reach the place in the morning, he would find a crow pecking at the exact spot, where he had to dig.
The next morning, Hz Abdul Mutallib left home towards the haram Shareef, with his eldest son, Hz Haarith, taking with them a pic-axe and a spade According to the glad-tidings of Allah ta'ala, he saw a crow pecking at a spot between the idols, 'Assaaf and Naila. There were also many ant-hills around that spot. Following the instructions of Allah ta'ala, both the father and son started digging.
Even the Quraish, become a hindrance, and objected by saying that this is the sacred place of their idols, and that they will never consent to its being dug up. However, Hz Abdul Mutallib did not listen to any of this and he continued his task. In a short space of time he reached his objective and struck water. He also found the buried treasures of the Jurhum, which they left there, upon their departure from Makkah mukarrama.
When the Quraish saw that Hz
Abdul Mutallib succeeded in his objective and that he unearthed a great
treasure, they laid claim to it as being the inheritance of their fore-father,
Hz Ismaeel (A.S). They therefore claimed a stake in it. They also wanted a share
in the distribution and protection of the Zam-Zam well, but Hz Abdul-Mutallib
rejected their claim and became the sole-custodian of the well. This led to a
conflict and they decided to call in a third party, to arbitrate the issue. They
decided on the tribe of Banu Sa'ad Bin Huzail, which was stationed in
During the era of ignorance, two
idols, 'Assaaf and 'Naila' were kept upon the well of Zam-Zam. 'Assaaf was a
male and 'Naila', a female, who had a connection with the tribe of Jurhum, and
they were inhabitants of
Imamul Mu'arrakheen, Allama
Azraqi, states; ' When Assaaf Bin Bughaa
and Naila Binti Zi'ib committed their vile and immoral act in the haram
shareef, then Rabb zul jalal turned them into stone. The people flung one of
When the era of Qussay Bin Kilaab came, he placed the statue of Assaaf near the Kaaba and that of Naila near the well of Zam-Zam. Hence, the mushrikeen, used to begin their tawaaf of the Kaaba mua 'ala at the statue of Assaaf and end at Naila. They also made istilaam at these idols. Then, when Allaah ta'ala placed the control of Makkah mukarrama in the hands of Rahmatul lil alameen, these two idols (like all the others) were destroyed"
The minds of the mushrikeen were obscured due to their idol-worship. Soundness of mind leaves them. Just look at this, where a totally immoral and depraved man and woman shamelessly commit an act of indecency in front of the Kaaba shareef, and Allaah ta'ala turns them into stone as a lesson for man to come, the mushrikeen turn this very curse into their object of worship, from whom they ask of their needs.
Way of drinking zamzam water (for Muslims)
It is better for the person who drinks zamzama water, to combine two things: drinking by three sips and breathing outside the container. Ibn Abbas said: "If you drink Zamzam water drink your fill, turn towards the qiblah, say "bismillah" (in the name of Allah) and breath three times and when you finish, you should say 'alhamdu lillah' (all perfect praise be to Allah). [Al-haakim]. The sunnah when drinking Zamzam or any other drink is to drink by three sips. Imam Al-bukhaari and muslim reported that the Holy Prophet Peace Be Upon Him used to drink in three sips, breathing outside the container. Ibn qataadah also narrated that Holy Prophet Peace Be Upon Him forbade breathing into the container when drinking. When a person drinks in one go, he will possibly breath into the inside of the container (the thing which is forbidden)  |5].
Present dimensions of well
Zamzama well 30 meter deep.
Depth to water is 3.23 meters. There are some springs contributing to the well
at approximately 13 meters to 12.72 meters below surface and then to 13.39
meters, after which the water level stopped to recede. Water level recovered to
3.9 meters below surface just 11 minutes after pumping had stopped. The aquifer
feeding the well seems to recharge from rock fractures in neighbouring mountains
The sacred water is distributed through taps (on earlier architectural features since the beginning of the 'Abbasid era), the basin for ablutions and the circular basin around the curbstone of the well where water for drinking is collected in buckets and lifted with the aid of a system of pulleys, to be subsequently transferred to pitchers or earthenware casks.
Purity of Zamzam water and fake zamzam water scam [10,15,20,26]
Many Muslims believe that the
water of the Zamzam well is divinely blessed (it is believed to satisfy both
hunger and thirst, and cure illness) and make every effort to drink of this
water during their pilgrimage. The water is served to the public through coolers
stationed throughout the masjid al haram in
As the Muslim population of the world has grown, and air travel has made the hajj more accessible to them, the hajj is increasingly crowded. There can be up to four million pilgrims performing the hajj. There is increasing concern that the Zamzam well may not be able to provide enough water to satisfy all demands.
There have been some attempts to scientifically validate Muslim beliefs regarding the special nature of Zamzam water. The water is said to contain high levels of some minerals: calcium, magnesium, and fluoride.
On the other hand, senior experts of Bangladesh Atomic Energy Commission have found the water of Zamzam well to be scientifically superior to tap or solar pump water. They have analysed and tested samples of water from the Zamzam well and from tap and solar pumps recently, 'it was found that the Zamzam water has a curative effect. Alkaline in nature, the Zamzam water can neutralize excess hydrochloric acid formed in the stomach and reduces heartburn. Iodide, sulphate and nitrate contents are also much higher in the Zamzam water. Supply of Iodide "through Zamzam may sufficiently fulfill the requirement of Iodide for the thyroid organ of a body." The research carried out jointly by M.A. Khan, A.K.M. Sheriff, K.M. Jdris Ali and M. Alamgir revealed that contents of micro-nutrients like magnesium, sodium and potassium were manifold higher in Zamzam water than in tap and solar pump water .
The kingdom of Saudi Arabia has set up the Zamzam studies and research center (ZSRC) under the Saudi Geological Survey (SGS), is working to determine scientific solutions for effective monitoring and management of the acquifer feeding the Zamzam well and to ensure the purity and security of supply," according to an abstract of the research project obtained by Arab news. ZSRC is also focusing on storage and distribution system currently in use. With the increasing number of pilgrims and visitors, demand for Zamzam water has been continuously increasing. ZSRC also seeks to estimate sustainable well yield and recommend measures to ensure that sustainable supply limits are not exceeded. The research aims to present solutions to those complex problems through an integrated approach to water catchments management and conservation. "Through these actions, the quality and quantity of supply from the Zam Zam well can be sustained to meet the spiritual needs of the world's one and quarter billion Muslims," said the abstract. In order to manage demand, water from Zam Zam well is pumped, treated and stored in underground storage tanks on a continuous basis at the moment. Before distribution among consumers and transportation to Madinah, Zam Zam water is also treated by a series of sand filters, micro filters and ultraviolet disinfection. The Saudi Geological Survey research center is also engaged in designing and upgrading the treatment system. Already, two phases of upgrading have been completed and the third phase is in active consideration. Moreover, the research center follows these activities and ensures strict quality assurance measures. Pilgrims habitually carry Zam Zam water back to their homes in plastic containers of 10 or 20 liters which they fill themselves from access points, situated around the Holy Mosque or at a central filling station. More commonly they buy the filled containers from roadside venders on the outskirts of Makkah. This distribution system is without standard hygienic conditions and offsets the efforts of treatment. Therefore, the research center is in the process of evaluation of the present filling system and design of upgrading which will minimize direct human involvement and discourage peddling by vendors.
The Saudi government, which
controls the Hijaz and
According to the Royal embassy
Executive member for citizen an'
consumer rights, councilor Frank Connor (
Public health authorities in the emirate have decided to destroy large quantities of a brand of bottled water which was being sold in the local markets claiming to be from Zamzam after it was found unfit for human consumption. The Zamzam water was being bottled in a local factory. The bacteriological and chemical tests carried in Sharjah indicated that the water doesn't conform to the country's hygiene specifications and has a high degree of salinity .
Principal Environmental Health office, Dr Yunes Teinaz, who has been battling the problem for a number of years, said it was imperative that the Muslim community be made aware of the dangers of drinking this water containing high levels of arsenic and nitrate. This water, which is on sale, has high levels of arsenic which can damage the health especially in children and the elderly. It is poisonous water. He warned. He added "I recommend the Muslim community not to buy any Zamzam water, but to only take it from pilgrims who have visited the Holy land of Mecca and brought back their own personal supply. They (pilgrims) should make sure that the water is put in a proper recognized container .
Box 1 Some Hadith on Zamzam
1. Bukhari: narrated Ibn Abbas: Allah's Apostle came to the drinking place and asked for water. AI-Abbas said, "0 Fadl! Go to your mother and bring water from her for Allah's Apostle ." Allah's Apostle said, "Give me water to drink." Al-Abbas said, "O Allah’s Apostle! The people put their hands in it." Allah's Apostle again said, 'Give me water to drink. So, he drank from that water and then went to the Zam-zam (well) and there the people were offering water to the others and working at it (drawing water from the well). The Prophet Peace Be Upon Him then said to them, "Carry on! You are doing a good deed." Then he said, "Was I not afraid that other people would compete with you (in drawing water from Zam-zam), I would certainly take the rope and put it over this (i.e. his shoulder) (to draw water)." On saying that the Prophet Peace Be Upon Him pointed to his shoulder.
2. Bukhari: narrated Ibn 'Abbas: The Prophet Peace Be Upon Him said, "May Allah be merciful to the mother of Ishmael! If she had left the water of Zam-Zam (fountain) as it was, (without constructing a basin for keeping the water), (or said, "If she had not taken handfuls of its water"), it would have been a flowing stream. Jurhum (an Arab tribe) came and asked her, 'May we settle at your dwelling7' She said, 'Yes, but you have no right to possess the water. They agreed."
Bukhari: narrated Abu Jamra Ad-Dabi: I used to sit with Ibn 'Abbas in
Bukhari: narrated Ibn 'Abbas: The Prophet Peace Be Upon Him said, "May
Allah bestow His Mercy on the mother of Ishmael! Had she not hastend (to fill
her water-skin with water from the Zamzam well). Zamzam would have
been a stream flowing on the surface of the earth. "Ibn Abbas further added,
"(The Prophet Peace Be Upon Him) Abraham brought Ismael and his mother (to
5. Imaam Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyah (may Allah have mercy on him) said: "Zamzam water is the best and noblest of all waters, the highest in status, the dearest to people, the most precious and valuable to them. It was dug by Jibreel and is the water with which Allah quenched the thirst of Ismael."
6. It was reported in Saheeh Muslim that the Prophet Peace Be Upon Him said to Abu Dharr, who had stayed near the Ka'bah and its coverings for forty days and nights with no food or drink other than (Zamzam): How long have you been here?" Abu Dharr said: I have been here for thirty days and nights." The Prophet Peace Be Upon Him said, "Who has been feeding you?" He said, " I have had nothing but Zamzam water, and I have gotten so fat that I have folds of fat on my stomach. 1 do not feel any of the tiredness or weakness of hunger and 1 have not become thing, " The Prophet Peace Be Upon Him said: "Verily, it is blessed, it is food that nourishes," (narrated by Imam Muslim)
7. Other scholars added, with their own isnaads, "... and a healing for sickness." This was narrated by al-Bazzaar and al-Tabaraani in al-Sagheer. In Sunnan Ibn Maajah (al-Manaaski), it was reported from Jaabir ibn 'Abd-Allah that Prophet Peace Be Upon Him said: "the water of zamzam is for whatever it is drunk for." The salaf and ulama acted upon this hadeeth. When Abd-Allah ibn al-mubarak went for Hajj, he came to zamzam and said, "O Allah, Ibn Abi'l mawaali told us from Muhammad ibn al-munkadir from Jaabir (may Allah be pleased with him) that your Prophet Peace Be Upon Him said, "The water of Zamzam is for whatever it is drunk for.' I am drinking it to ward off thirst on the day of resurrection". Ibn Abi'l Mawaali is thiqah (trustworthy) so the hadeeth is hasan (good).
8. Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: Myself and others tied seeking healing with Zamzam water and saw wondrous things. I sought healing with it from a number of illnesses, and I was healed by the permission of Allah. I saw someone who nourished himself with it for a number of days, half a month or more, and he did not feel hunger; he performed tawaaf along with the other people just as they did. And he told me that he consumed nothing but Zamzam water for forty days and he had the strength to have intercourse with his wife, to fast and to perform tawaqf numerous times. [Zaad al-Ma'aad]
9. Shaykh Ibn 'Uthaymeen (may Allah preserve him) said: So you should have the intention of you want to gain by drinking this water. He should drink his fill, i.e., fill his stomach with it, until it is filled to the ribs, because this water is good. A hadeeth has been narrated concerning this: this difference between the believers and the hypocrites is drinking one's fill of Zamzam water, (narrated by Ibn Maajah in al-manaasik, al-Haakim)
10. Al-Boosairi said: this is a saheeh isnnad; its men are trustworthy. This is because Zamzam water is not sweet; it is somewhat salty, and the believer only drinks this somewhat salty water out of faith, believing that there is barakah (blessing) in it. So when he drinks it, upto his fill, this is a sign of faith, (Sharh al-Mumti').
Box No. 2
Is Aab-e-Zamzam fit for drinking?
It will be interesting to note observation of Egyptian doctor concerning impurities in Aab-e-Zamzam and a reply given by KSA and displayed in the e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Director: Abu-Bakar Dawjee, research and Information Network (Rain) P.O box 26119, Isipingo beach, Durban, South Africa 4115)
In 1971, an Egyptian doctor wrote a letter to the European press saying that Aab-e-Zamzam was not fit for drinking! Fortunately, the news came to Late King Faisal who ordered the ministry of Agriculture and Water Resources to investigate and send samples of Aab-e-Zamzam to European laboratories for testing.
The results of tests of water samples by the European laboratories and the one, which was analyzed at a laboratory in KSA, were found almost identical.
"The difference between Aab-e-Zamzam and other water (city water) was in the quantity of calcium and magnesium salts. The content of these was slightly higher in Aab-e-Zamzam. This may be why this water refreshes tired hajis, but more significantly, the water contains fluorides that have an effective germicidal action. Moreover, the remarks of the European laboratories showed that the water was fit for drinking. Hence the statement made by the Egyptian doctor proved false. When this was reported to King Faisal he was extremely pleased and ordered for issuance of contradiction of the report in the European press"
The salient features of Aab-e-Zamzam can be summed up as follows:
1. This well has never dried up. On the contrary it has always fulfilled the demand for water.
2. It has always maintained the same salt composition and taste ever since it came into existence.
3. Its potability has always been universally recognized as pilgrims from all over the world visit Khaan-e-Ka'aba every year for hajj and umrah, but have never complained about it. Instead, they have always enjoyed the water that refreshes them. Water tastes different at different places.
4. This water has never been chemically treated or chlorinated as is the case with water pumped into the cities.
5. Biological growth and vegetation usually takes place in most wells. This makes the water unpalatable owing to the growth of algae causing taste and odor problems. But at the well of Aab-e-Zamzam no such biological growth is observed.
6. Centuries ago, Bibi Hajra searched desperately for water in the hills of Sufwa and Murwa for her newly born son Hazrat Ismail. As she ran from one place to another in search of water, her child rubbed his feet on the sand. A pool of water sprung off, and by the grace of God, shaped itself into a well, which is Aab-e-Zamzam.
Sacred waters known in religions other than Islam     [37-40]  
Like aab-e-zamzam which is sacred for muslims. some other waters from oceans, rivers and springs arc sacred for followers of other religions
In the Christian tradition, the pool of
Visitors to Hindu and Shinto temples will often sprinkle blessed water upon themselves before entering the sacred places, Sikhs immerse themselves in the holy waters of Hari Mandir.
Bormanus, Bormo or Borvo, Danuvius (the Danube), and Luxovius are found on inscriptions as names of river or fountain gods, but goddesses are more numerous—Acionna, Aventia, Bormana, Brixia, Carpundia, Clutoida, Divona, Sirona, Ura—well-nymphs; and Icauna (the Yonne), Matrona, and Sequana (the Seine)—river-goddesses .
The spirit of the waters was often embodied in an animal, usually a fish. Even
In spite of twenty centuries of Christianity and the anathemas of saints and councils, the old pagan practices at healing wells have survived a striking instance of human conservatism. S. Patrick found the pagans of his day worshipping a well called Slan, "health-giving," and offering sacrifices to it, and the Irish peasant today has no doubt that there is something divine about his holy well ,
Certain waters had the power of ejecting the demon of madness. Besides drinking, the patient was thrown into the waters, the shock being intended to drive the demon away, as elsewhere demons are exorcised by flagellation or beating. The divinity of the waters aided the process, and an offering was usually made to him. In other cases the sacred waters were supposed to ward off disease from the localities.
The mahabharata described the virtues of
In September 1995, I visited
However, industry is not the
only source of pollution. The sheer volume of waste estimated at nearly 1
billion liters per day, of mostly untreated raw sewage - is a significant
factor. Also, inadequate cremation procedures contribute to a large number of
partially burned or unbumed corpses floating down the
made to grape this religion was
like liquid through my fingers - there was nothing sure and solid However, I did
discover one thing common among Hindus: an obsession with
The sacred sangam
The sacred sangam is the
confluence of three of the holiest rivers in Hindu mythology -
It is an extraordinary thing to consider that there are still literally thousands of holy wells in the British Isles Most of these are natural springs; some open pools like St. madron's, while others are contained by a stone edifice, often covered. The majority, however, are in ruins, overgrown and no longer visited. Some have been desecrated by cattle or human presence. And yet, many, like St. Madron's still continue to be a center of pilgrimage as they were from pagan times 
People visited the wells for
their traditional virtues of healing and divination. If a physical cure was
sought, the believer would drink or sometimes bathe in the water. And in fact,
the water of some holy wells have indeed been found to contain curative
properties, mostly -due to the presence of certain minerals. But the healing
influence of the well s was due to more than their medicinal qualities The holy
wells of the
Archaeological excavations have
revealed the human use of the hot mineral springs at
This great healing shrine of Aquae Sulis was constructed following the departure of the Roman legions from Britain early in the fifth century AD, then, city and its splendid temples and baths swiftly fell into decline Over time the baths were covered by the relentless silting of the spring and only the fallen temple of Sulis-mmerva marked the ancient sacred site. Yet the town was not abandoned. Rather it continued to grow and by the seventh century the first Christian structure had been established directly upon the ruins of the Roman temple For the next twelve hundred years a succession of churches rose and fell upon the hallowed ground.
Situated high in the Bolivian
Andes (at 3856 meters and covering 8000 square kilometers), Lake Titicaca is the
pre-eminent holy place of all ancient Andean cultures and the source of a
hundred cosmogenic myths. Legends say that long ago in a forgotten time the
world experienced a terrible storm with tremendous floods. The lands were
plunged into a period of absolute darkness and frigid cold, and humankind was
nearly eradicated. Some time after the deluge, the creator god Viracocha arose
from the depths of
well, Zamzam, is situated at the perimeter of the sacred complex of
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