No other continent on the planet contains so many temples as Asia. I think that’s one fact that’s pretty obvious to anyone, since Asia was the birthplace of most of the world’s mainstream religions. I’m not the one to judge which one of those is true or real, but I can say which are, in my opinion, the most awesome Asian temples. Here we go!
10. Lotus Temple
Known as the Lotus Temple due to obvious reasons, the Bahá’í House of Worship is the most famous temple of the Bahá’í Faith. The unique design was possible by adding 27 free-standing marble clad petals arranged in clusters of three to form nine sides. It opened in 1986 and has since become one of Delhi’s most visited buildings. Lovely!
9. Ranakpur Temple
The Jain Temple in Ranakpur was built in honor of Adinatha. It is supported by over 1444 marble pillars, carved in exquisite detail and no two pillars are the same. The dating of this temple is is vague, but it may have been built between the late 14th and mid-15th centuries.
8. Taktsang Dzong
On the edge of a 900 meter (3,000 feet) cliff, the Taktsang Monastery or Tiger’s is an impressive sight, as well as being the unofficial symbol of Bhutan. The monastery was constructed in the 17th century, but most of its buildings were destroyed in a tragic fire in 1998. It has been restored, however.
7. Temple of the Emerald Buddha
The Wat Phra Kaew or Temple of the Emerald Buddha is a famous temple in Bangkok, located within the grounds of the Grand Palace. The main building houses The Emerald Buddha, a jade statue adorned in gold clothing and one of the oldest and Buddha statues in the world.
6. Temple of Heaven
The Temple of Heaven in Beijing is regarded as a Taoist Temple and was constructed from 1406 to 1420, during the reign of the Yongle Emperor. The temple is surrounded by a vast public park, popular with local residents practicing tai chi; it’s simply beautiful.
5. Golden Pavilion
Kinkaku-ji, or the Temple of the Golden Pavilion, is the most popular tourist attraction in Kyoto. Originally built as a retirement villa for Shogun Ashikaga Yoshimitsu, in the late 14th century, it was converted into a Zen temple by his son. Unfortunately, the pavilion burnt down in 1950 but five years later it was rebuilt. Judging by this picture, you could see why this temple is on our list.
4. Harmandir Sahib
The Harmandir Sahib, or the Golden Temple, is the main attraction in Amritsar. Construction began in the 16th century, by Guru Ramdas ji, and completed by his successor Guru Arjan. During the 19th century, Maharaja Ranjit Singh covered the upper floors of the temple with gold, and that should explain why it’s always full of of pilgrims from all over India. Just kidding!
Baalbek is located in northeastern Lebanon. From the 1st century BC and over a period of two centuries, the Romans built three temples here: Jupiter, Bacchus and Venus. Origibnally meant to be the largest temple in the Roman empire, the temple of Jupiter was lined by 54 massive granite columns each of which were 21 meters (70 feet) tall. However, only 6 of these colossal columns remain standing. Still impressive, though.
Located on the Indonesian island of Java, the Borobudur is the largest and most famous Buddhist temple in Indonesia. The Borobudur was built over a period of some 75 years, during the 8th and 9th centuries by the kingdom of Sailendra; about 2 million blocks of stone were used. It’s still a mystery why it was abandoned in the 14th century.
1. Angkor Wat
Angkor Wat is a vast temple complex at Angkor, built for king Suryavarman II in the early 12th century. Angkor Wat stands on a raised terrace above the rest of the city, constructed from three rectangular galleries rising to a central tower, each level higher than the last. This s the only remaining temple to serve as a religious center since its construction.