Spanish conquistadors in the New World yearned to find a route to the seven Cities of Gold, the Cibola, the location of El Dorado. Fifteenth-century scribes had placed these seven wondrous cities on the mythical island of Antillia – said to exist in the great ocean due west of Portugal. As that century drew to a close and the explorers finally managed to travel west, no Antillia was found, much less its wonderful cities. They were then re-located to south America, deep in the jungles; as an enticement to the conquistadors to explore further.
The concept of seven fabulous or sacred cities has been around for a long time-
India’s Pilgrimage sites are also known as tirathas(fords), crossings between the worldly and divine spheres. A tiratha may be a river such as, Ganges, or a mountain peak, such as mount Kailash – the mysthical Himalayan retreat of Lord Shiva. Several tirathas are places where the Gods are belived to descended to earth, and which may then act as gateways for thr pilgrim to divine realms. There are seven sacred cities in Hindu India, which are the principal pilgrimage centers : Varanasi and Hardwar on the river Ganges, Ayodhya, the birthplace of lord Rama; Mathura, Lord krishna’s Birthplace; Dwarka, where the adult Krishna ruled as a king and where the krishna Vasudeva was born; Kanchipuram, the great Shaivite temple city of Tamil Nadu; and Ujjan, site every twelve years of Kumbha Mela.
Rameshwaram(in the south), as the name suggests is an abode of Lord Rama. Rameshwaram is an island between mainland India and Sri Lanka, which Rama is said to have crossed on his journey to rescue his wife Sita from Ravana.