A Worship and Dining Guide for Traveling Indians
A guide to maintaining spiritual and dietary practices when you travel in the United States.
One of the biggest challenges of traveling abroad is maintaining one’s religious routine and diet. If you are visiting the United States, fear not—American cities are well-equipped with worship and dining options for followers of all major religions. Here are some online directories for Indian travelers.
A highly comprehensive online resource for traveling Indians is www.courtesyindia.com. Complete with temple and restaurant listings for all U.S. states, the site also provides a list of Hindu holidays so the global traveler can celebrate accordingly. CourtesyIndia provides a wealth of information including currency rates, Indian associations, current events and apparel listings. A good listing of Jain temples and places to eat is http://www.jainsamaj.org. The site also provides a list of other Jain Web sites. Another useful site, www.infopunjabidirectory.com offers a database of gurdwaras and temples in several U.S. states, along with Punjabi business listings. The site has an extensive restaurant directory for all states as well as every other business category a traveler could need. Punjabi DJ’s—bonus!
The World Buddhist Directory, www.buddhanet.info/wbd, is among the top global registries of Buddhist temples and meditation centers. Well-organized and easy to navigate, this Web site is an offshoot of Buddhanet. The site has helpful links to a multitude of centers, learning mediums and useful tips for Buddhists.
As one of the world’s biggest online directories of halal restaurants and products, www.zabihah.com keeps the international traveler informed. After displaying search results, there are tabs for restaurants, markets, schools, businesses and even caterers. If you choose the mosque option, you are sent to www.salatomatic.com, a global mosque directory with detailed locations across America.
California visitors have www.yourmasjid.com at their disposal for Los Angeles and San Francisco mosque searches complete with prayer times. The site features a PDF version of the Quran and mapping technology so travelers can easily navigate their way.
Last, but certainly not least, www.yelp.com has a sophisticated search engine for places of worship and specific dietary needs. For example, one can search for halal, vegetarian or vegan restaurants within a chosen distance (thanks to the effective filter options) and have many options to choose from. Yelp continues to be one of the top choices for detailed, informed searches in major cities across the United States.
Kimberly Gyatso is a freelance writer and humanitarian activist based in San Francisco.