Yardenit Baptismal Site on Jordan River bank where Jesus was Baptised!
It was around noon when we reached the holy place of Yardenit Baptismal site, situated on the southern coast of the Sea of Galilee.
Almost two millennia ago a man named Jesus was baptized here by John the Baptist, one of the priests of that time, ministry of Jesus is said to have commenced then and there. The ceremony of Baptism, at that time, was more of purification of sins than what it means now. Much like washing away sins in the river Ganga.
So this was the River bank where it all began!
Armed with these pieces of information we arrived at Yardenit, the Baptismal Site on Jordan River. This place is south of the Sea of Galilee and about 30KM from Tiberias. It was a hot day and the difference between our air con vehicle and outside temperature was stark.
The Jordan river, flows 250 KM from somewhere in Golan heights (2800M) into the Sea of Galilee and then flows to the Dead sea (-400m), with no outlet. In fact much of the distance is below sea level. It is one of the most important river and Yardenit is one of the holiest pilgrimage sites for Christians, after Nativity Grotto in Bethlehem and Golgotha in Jerusalem. We are fortunate to have visited all the three. 😀
Jordan River serves as a natural boundary between Israel and Jordan (the country). It is called Nehar ha Yarden in Hebrew, quite similar to Nahar ( नहर ) in Hindi!
On the walls of the entrance, called Wall of New Life, one can see the quotes from the Bible in several languages. We started looking around to see if we could see any of the Indian languages and were saddened to see none.
Once we entered the site, we saw long stretch of wall having the same quote in most of the world’s languages including many Indian languages!
The site was well maintained with gardens and paved way along the river. The Baptismal site is a few steps down and into the river, barricaded for safety. Each year hundreds of thousands of Christians come here for Baptism and renewal of their vows wearing white robes.
The baptismal site of Yardenit welcomes over half a million tourists and pilgrims annually who come to experience the spirituality and pastoral beauty of the waters of the River Jordan. We could see people from all parts of the world, including someone wearing a Saree! However, talking to that lady we found that she was from Uganda! Probably some descendant of Indian origin.
While sipping a drink at Manna restaurant, we were told that a few years back there have been excavations at Bethany in Jordan, which reveals a Baptism site too and some historians and archaeologists claim that to be the original site.
Well, whatever the truth be, it is the beliefs of pilgrims that make a site holy or not.
More Information on Yardenit Baptismal Site
Yardenit is only 30 KMs from Tiberias. One can either take a direct bus from Jerusalem (frequency is once a day) or go to Tiberias which is touristier and has more connections and then hire a cab or take local transport. I suggest the latter since you would want to stay for a few days in Tiberias itself. 🙂
Where to eat
Light refreshments are available at a small restaurant located in the baptismal pool area. A full lunch buffet is served daily (Sunday – Friday) at the newly renovated biblically-themed Manna restaurant.
Fees and other tips
Entry to the site is free and there is no charge for conducting baptismal ceremonies. To sustain a respectable and spiritual atmosphere, it is required that visitors wear special white robes during their baptism. These may be rented or purchased on site. To cover operating costs, Yardenit charges nominal fees for the use of some of its facilities.
Group size- Small parties of up to 40 people can visit Yardenit without advance intimation. Larger groups are advised to notify them in advance so we can plan to give you and other visitors the best possible service.
Souvenir shopping- There is a well equipped souvenir shop selling holy water, Glass Cross With Antique finish and Crystal, Olive Wood Rosary, postcards, Date Honey, Yardenit Adult Baptismal Gown, spiritual books and so on.
What else to do and Where to Stay in Israel
Hotels in Israel. Book your hotel now!
More Stories on Israel for you
- Hitchhiking in Turbulent Israel
- A complete guide for a 2 Days in Jerusalem Itinerary.
- Yoga in Israel
- Yemenite Art in Israel
- Our First Impression of Israel
- A Visit to the Biblical Places, Ports and Cities that still exists
- Exploring the Pastoral beauty of Tiberias
- Celebrating Yoga Day
- An enjoyable jaunt around Jaffa
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Beautiful piece. I loved the first picture. I am sure the woman’s ancestors must have been from India several generations back .
I am also of the same view. 🙂
As they say history and Christianity religion was made here…. 🙂
Very true. 🙂
Really really very nice pictures 🙂 🙂 . Picture says a thousand words 🙂 .
Thank you Viju. 🙂
I’ve always wanted to visit Jordan. I’ve been to Israel on a pilgrimage from Cyprus with my mother, but never venture North. Didn’t know the river was where Jesus was baptised or acts as the natural boundary between the 2 countries.
Oh that’s sounds lovely.
Now you know about the natural boundary. 😛
Such beautiful photos! I can’t believe how much it looks like a tropical paradise.
Yes, it’s a beautiful site. 🙂
This would be part of a pilgrimage my husband and I would like to do! Thanks for sharing it with us! Now I know one stop I will include in the pilgrimage.
Glad that this post could help you in deciding. Let me know if you need any more info.
It looks a a beautiful place and very spiritual even if you are not religious. I bet it was a highlight of your travels.
Yes, it’s very calm and spiritual place. Gives soothing effect. 🙂
The river with the lush green plant life surrounding it is so pretty! Such a contrast to what you imagine when you think of Jordan and its hot deserts. You can see how meaningful a visit would be for Pilgrims who make the journey.
Yes, that stole my heart as well. 🙂
Umm… it’s not Jordan, it’s Israel. Name of the river is Jordan. 🙂
Beautiful photos. I’ve been reading a lot about Jordan as I’d like to get there in 2017. I didn’t realize until recently that this river is the border. What an awesome to thing to see first hand.
It is not Jordan. Name of the river is Jordan and it divides the two countries. 🙂
I’m always amazed by the history in Israel and this is no exception. Not only is it beautiful but also significant to the Christian faith.
Have you been there?
I learnt a lot reading this post, thank you! It does look like a really beautiful spot and interesting to travellers regardless of your faith.
Glad that you liked it.
Yes indeed. You are right.
The Jordan River is on top of our list, it is not what I imagined what it would look like, it’s so much more beautiful. My husband and I would definitely love to do a pilgrimage there. The information here is great, I will bookmark it.
Thank you so much.
It was my husband who took interest, not that he’s religious but just for the sake of traveling. 🙂
What a cool experience! It’s always interesting to hear about spots like this, even if there is some discrepancy about the correct location of the baptism. This area of the river looks amazing–I can’t believe how pretty it is! I would love to check it out sometime!
I so agree with you !
Yes, I didn’t expect it to be this beautiful. 🙂
I can only dream of going to this place, not too certain about its safety now. Anyway, thank you for your write-up. Great job!
Ah it’s not unsafe I can say. In fact we extended our trip by a few days and visited Palestine.
What a stunning place. Although not a religious person myself, I am fascinated with the journey of Jesus and many of the Bible sites. I hope one day I get to visit for myself. Thanks for sharing.
Even I am not a religious person but I love to listen to stories (upto an extent) and I visit these places just for the sake of traveling.
What a beautiful place and serene place. I’m not religious, but the history is so fascinating.
Same here Yuen. Glad that you liked it.
This trip must definitely rank as one of your most memorable ones. Touching a part of history and that too such an impactful place at that is really something to be cherished. It must indeed have been one of those WOW travel moments when you stood at the place where Jesus was baptized. The place seems to have a serene splendour which looks apt. Happy to see the quote in Hindi.
Yes, it was a memorable experience. It wasn’t in original itinerary, then we realized we need to do this and much more…….. we extended our trip and couldn’t have happier than before. 😀
When you are a child, in religion classes, you learn about the place where Jesus was baptized but you don’t really think that it actually exists in real life. The river bank looks so peaceful and beautiful and it’s nice to see those bible quotes in so many languages nearby.
You are so right!! I was so mesmerized by this place even though I am not religious at all.
Peaceful and soothing, I can say.