Hinduism and Buddhism are being practiced for centuries. People have worshipped many gods and they have built their sacred places. Buddhism began as an atheist philosophy but with the time and tide Buddhists had their need for their own prayer houses. People who follow Sikhism and Taoism also need their own temple. So there are a lot of different types of temples around the world which are different from each other in architecture as well as the deity they worship. Here we represent ten astonishing temples from around the globe. There is no order as we have said in the previous episodes, we are not judging between the holy places.
10. Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple
Location: Srirangam, India
Type: Hindu Temple
Legends and Facts:
1. This is the largest Hindu temple that is currently running. The temple has a huge campus of over 150 acres land with seven concentric wall. The outermost wall is four km long. The walls separate more sacred from the least, and the inner wall guards the most sacred place which is only accessible by Hindus.
2. Legend says, a wise man was passing the temple area with a statue of Vishnu, a god in Hinduism. He put down the statue where Vishnu is reclining on a serpent. Later he found that the statue was unmovable, so he rather built a temple over it. With time, larger temples grew over the smaller one and thus the present condition has been arrived.
9. Shri Swaminarayan Mandir
Location: Toronto, Ontario
Opening Date: July 22,2007
Type: Hindu Temple
Facts: The temple was constructed by 2,000 builders who follow ancient Hindu rules.
The temple is full of intricately hand carved-marble. No nails and steel are used . it is just held together with sheer force of gravity like jigsaw puzzle.
8. Angkor Wat
Groundbreaking: 12th century
Type: Hindu Temple at the beginning, became a Buddhist temple at late 14th century
This is the largest temple ever built. It is included in UNESCO world heritage site in 1992.
7.The Golden Temple
Location: Amritsar, India
Time period of Construction: December 1585 AD to August 1604 AD
Type: Shrine of Sikhism
Legends and Facts: For the Sikhs, the Golden Temple is the symbol of infinite freedom and spiritual independence.
The temple and the surrounding lake set up a soothing and peaceful atmosphere. Even Buddha came to meditate here.
The lake is called “Amritsar” means “Pool of the Nectar of Immortality”
The temple is decorated with marble sculptures, gilded in golds and precious stones.
Location:Central Java, Indonesia
Date of Completion: 825 AD
Type: Shrine to the Lord Buddha and Buddhist pilgrimage
Legends and Facts: Scholars and scientists failed to find the timeline and reason behind building the temples; they are baffled about the reason behind its abandonment too. Many believe that Borobudur is a giant epitome of Buddhism, cause its bas reliefs tell the life story of Buddha and his principles. To ‘read’ the texture of this site, one has to walk over 2 miles through the nine platforms.
It took nearly 2 million cubic feet of stones and the temple has almost 2,700 relief panels and 500 Buddha statues.
Heritage designation: 1982
5.Temple of Heaven
Type: Taoist Temple
Time period of Construction: 1406 to 1420
Heritage Designation: 1998
Facts: 1. The temple was built by the Emperor Yongle of the Ming Dynasty ,who also was the founder of forbidden city.
2.The temple is regarded as a piece of heaven. Everything in the temple are circular which represents heaven whereas square ground levels represents the earth.
4. Shwedagon Pagoda
Type: Buddhist Pilgrims and missionaries
Year of conpletion: 6th century
Facts and Legends:
1. The Shedagon Pagoda is nearly two and a half thousand years old, making this the oldest pagoda in the world, was built by Mon people. When it comes to the Shedagon Pagoda, the phrase ‘golden temple’ does not have the usual meaning of golden in coloured structure, rather it literally saying that this temple is covered in pure gold. In the 15th century, a Mon queen donated gold of her weight to the temple, and this tradition is still followed. Pilgrims bring gold leaf, and many of them need years of saving for doing so.
2. Beside the gold, the dome of the pagoda is covered with five thousand diamonds and two thousand rubies. At the very tip of the dome, there is a 76 carat diamond. Beside the wealth, the treasure that is kept here is eight strands of Buddha’s hair, one of the holiest relics for his follower.
3.In the temple there are thousands of statues of the Buddha. It is said that one of the statues is so powerful that it grants wishes immediately. This is the reason that the crown princes are not allowed to enter the chapel as they may wish to the speedy demise of the king.
Type: Hindu Temple
Year of Constrution: 850 AD
According to the legend, when , Prince Bondowoso proposed Princess Lara Jonggrang to marry her, she asked him to build thousand temples within just a single night to prove his worthiness to marry her. The task was impossible and she expected the prince to fail. But the prince asked spirits to help him and the spirit completed building all but one temple just before the dawn. Princess Lara baffled the spirit by faking the dawn using bonfire and cockerels and the spirit, thinking the dawn had arrived, left the earth without completing the job.
Princess had a mocking laugh at the prince at the morning, which infuriated so much rage into him that he turned her beloved princess into a statue of stone, which is apparently, still standing in the vicinity of the temple.
2. Wat Rong Khun
Date of Construction: in 1997 and assumed to take another 90 years to complete it.
Type: Buddhist Temple
Features: 1.All white,highly ornate, gilded in mosaic mirrors that seems to shine magically.
2.Unlike any Buddhist temple in the world.
3.Equivalent to Sagrada Familia Church in Barcelona as that was also underconstruction over many decades.
1.Tiger's Nest Monastery(Paro Taktsang)
Location: Paro Valley, Paro District, Bhutan
Date of Construction: 1692
Legend: Legend says that Padmasambhava(Guru Rinpoche) flew to this place on the back of a tigress and meditated in a cave which is now within the boundary of the temple. Guru Padmashambhava is said to have medicated in the cave for 3 years, three months,three weeks,3 days and 3 hours in the 8th century.
Facts: 1.the temple situates on the edge of a 3,000-feet-high cliff in paro valley.
2.Fire caught the temple in 1998.After that it was reconstructed.
3.The temple is only accessible by foot.
4.the temple is restricted to the ordinary tourists.