Asia is home to hundreds if not thousands of amazing temples as the continent is the birthplace of most of the world’s mainstream religions as well as many other beliefs.
Asia offers a western visitor an exciting, exotic change of culture. The abundance of gilded temples in Asia earned this region the nick name ‘The Golden East’. Religious structures in Asia encompass some of the most spectacular architecture ever built, from modern temples bustling with worship and activity to evocative, crumbling ruins whose ancient stones tell of thousands of years of history, Asia’s temples offer a visitor a tantalizing glance into a different way of life, religion and fervent belief. Reflecting the beauty and rich history of Asian religions, here are 7 of the most awe-inspiring temples in Asia.
Tiger’s Nest Monastery – Bhutan
The holiest place in Bhutan- the Tiger’s Nest Monastery was built in 1692 and rebuild in 1998 after a fire. This monastery is built in a unique way that it balances precariously on the edge of a 3000 feet high cliff in Paro Valley. Another standout part is that this monastery is build around a cave considered to be holy. Fable has it that the second Buddha, Guru Rinpoche flew onto the cliff on the back of a tigress and medicated in the cave. The monastery formerly called Taktshang Goemba, is now restricted to Buddhists only during religious occasions and are off limits to tourists.
Temple of Heaven – Beijing
The Temple of Heaven is a Taoist Temple located in southern Beijing, the capital of China. It is the largest existing complex of ancient sacrificial buildings in China. The Temple’s architecture is quite interesting. In its overall layout and that of its individual buildings, it symbolizes the relationship between earth and heaven – the human world and God’s world.
Wat Rhon Khun – Thailand
Wat Rhon Khun must be the most unique sacred spot for all the Buddhists. Also known as the White Temple, Wat Rhon Khun is built by the famous Thai artist Chalermchai Kositpipat. The reason why it’s called the White Temple is because it’s made out of mosaic mirrors and it keeps on shining all day and night. One of the interesting facts is that the temple is still under construction and Kositpipat expects that it will take another 90 years to complete, making it to similar to the Sagrada Familia church in Barcelona, Spain.
Temple of Srirangam
The Temple of Srirangam is considered the largest functioning Hindu temple in the world. Located in the Indian city of Tiruchirapalli (also known as Trichy) in Tamil Nadu, this massive temple complex encompasses an area of over 150 acres. The temple is dedicated to Vishnu, one of three Gods in Hinduism.
Borobudur – Indonesian
Borobudur is a gigantic temple located on the Indonesian island of Java. Built in the 8th and 9th centuries, it is the largest and most famous Buddhist temple in Indonesia. This amazing temple has nearly 2,700 relief panels and 504 Buddha statues. It remains a mystery as no one knows for sure why it was built, nor the reason for its complete abandonment in the 14th century.
Golden Temple – India
The Harmandir Sahib, better known as the Golden Temple, is the most sacred shrine of Sikhism. It is located in Amritsar, in the Indian state of Punjab. The Temple itself is decorated with marble sculptures, gilded in gold, and covered in precious stones. The Golden Temple is a stunning temple and remains crowded with thousands of pilgrims from all over India.
Shwedagon Pagoda – Myanmar
The Shwedagon Pagoda is one of the holiest places for Buddhist’s across the globe. Situated in Myanmar, the Shwedagon Pagoda has so much of uniqueness that it is an amazing structure across the globe. Legend has it that the Shwedagon Pagoda was built between 6th and 10th century, but archaeologists say that its 2,500 years old. The Shwedagon Pagoda is also called the Golden Temple as the whole temple is made of gold. If that isn’t enough the whole dome is covered with 5,000 diamonds and 2,000 rubies including a 76 carat diamond at the very tip. Also this temple holds the holiest relic in Buddhism- eight strands of Buddha’s hair.