Amazingly beautiful and largest temple complexes always crowded with devotees for spiritual peace and religious prayers. These beautiful temple complexes are now a days more than home of deities, people come to visit these places from different countries around the world, as a tourist. This article includes list of such amazing, beautiful and large temple complexes dedicated to Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Egyptian religion and belongs to countries – India, Cambodia, England, Bhutan, Egypt, Indonesia, Thailand etc.
List Of 35 Most Beautiful, Amazing And Large Temple Complexes Popular Around The World
1. Angkor Wat, Cambodia
This complex structure is a unique combination of the temple and mountains which is located in Angkor, Cambodia. It is one of the one of the largest and beautiful religious monuments in the world. It occupied 162.6 hectares of land. The initial design and construction of the temple took place in the first half of the 12th century. Initially this temple is dedicated to God Vishnu for the Khmer Empire (Hindu-Buddhist empire in South Asia), Later in the end of 12th century it was transformed into a Buddhist temple.
2. Prambanan Temple, Indonesia
Built in the 9th century, Prambanan is not one temple, but a compound consisting of 240 temples. The temple compound, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is the largest Hindu temple site in Indonesia and the second-largest in Southeast Asia. Prambanan temple is dedicated to the three great Hindu deities, who represent the cosmic functions of creation, maintenance, and destruction: Brahma, the creator, Vishnu, the preserver, and Shiva, the destroyer.
3. Thiruvarangam Temple, India
Thiruvarangam is also known as Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple, dedicated to Ranganatha, a reclining form of the Hindu deity Maha Vishnu and located in Srirangam, Tiruchirapalli, Tamil Nadu, India. It is situated on an island between the Kollidam and Kaveri rivers. The temple occupies an area of 155 acres (63 ha) with 81 shrines, 21 towers, 39 pavilions, and many water tanks integrated into the complex making it the world’s largest functioning Hindu temple.
4. Gawdawpalin Temple, Myanmar
Gawdawpalin Temple is situated in Bagan, Burma (Myanmar). This Buddhist temple built in the 12th century, Gawdawpalin was badly damaged in a 1975 due to 6.5 magnitude earthquake. The nearby Bagan museum houses many of the images and treasures that were damaged. The Gawdawpalin Temple belongs to the style of the hollow gu-style temple.
5. Ranakpur Jain Temple, India
Built in 15th century, Ranakpur Jain temple or Chaturmukha Dharanavihara is a Jain temple at Ranakpur and this temple is dedicated to Tirthankara Rishabhanatha. The temple, with its distinctive domes, shikhara, turrets and cupolas rises majestically from the slope of a hill. 1444 marble pillars, carved in exquisite detail, support the temple. The pillars are all differently carved and no two pillars are the same.
6. Thatbyinnyu Temple, Myanmar
The neighbor of Gawdawpalin, and built around the same time, in 12th century, Thatbyinnyu is the tallest temple in Myanmar. The word “Thatbyinnyou” means omniscience, which describes the state of the Buddha after he entered, serenely and without breaking a sweat, enlightenment. A statue of Buddha sits on the throne in the upper terrace. No, not that kind of throne, a lotus throne.
7. Taktsang Palphug Monastery, Bhutan
More popularly known as Tiger’s Nest, the Paro Taktstang temple complex is lodged into the side of the cliffs in Butan’s upper Paro valley. If you haven’t caught on to the fact that the number 3 holds religious significance, this is the monastery that will help fix that. It’s built around the site of the cave where Guru Padmasambhava is said to have meditated for three years, three months, three weeks, three days, and three hours. Mr. Padmasambhava is credited with the not insignificant achievement of introducing Buddhism to Butan.
8. Temple Of Heaven, Beijing
The Temple of Heaven is a complex of religious buildings dating from the 15th century. Temple of Heaven is a Taoist temple in Beijing, the capital of China. The temple was constructed in 14th century by Emperor Yongle of the Ming Dynasty (who also built the Forbidden City) as his personal temple, where he would pray for good harvest and to atone for the sins of his people. The Temple’s architecture is quite interesting: everything in the temple, which represents Heaven, is circular whereas the ground levels, which represent the Earth, are square. The Hall of Prayer for Good Harvest at the Temple of Heaven, Beijing.
9. Medinet Habu, Egypt
Today though, this building may looks like it might have been built by a four-year-old on a sandy beach. Well! this is 3000 years old structure. Ancient Egyptians called this place Djanet, the name used today derives from an early Christian place name. The complex of buildings here dates from the early 18th Dynasty. In its heyday it was no doubt an impressively imposing structure, is close to the Valley of the Kings, and is the mortuary temple of Ramesses III, built in celebration of his reign. Medinet Habu is about 4 miles from the Valley of the Kings near the foot of the Theban Hills at the southern end of western Thebes. The mortuary temple is the best preserved temple at Thebes.
10. Meenakshi Amman Temple, India
Situated on the bank of the River Vaigai, “Meenakshi Amman Temple” is one of the ancient and largest temples of India. Around 2500 year old temple building is devoted to Meenakshi, an avatar of Goddess Parvati, and her husband Sundareswarar, Lord Shiva. If you think that’s it, so wrong, there are many features that attract pilgrims and tourists from all over the country and the world.
Its various minor quadrangular complexes, 14 gopurams or 170 feet (52 meters) high southern tower, outstanding vimanas, hall of 1000 pillars, musical pillars, golden lotus tank and parrot cage are some fascinating highlight of the temple.
11. Borobudur Temple, Indonesia
The largest Buddhist temple in the world, and ranks with Bagan in Myanmar and Angkor Wat in Cambodia as one of the great archeological sites of Southeast Asia. Borobudur is the most-visited tourist site in Indonesia, often included among the Seven Wonders of the World. It is from the 9th century, which relative to other religious structures is early. Locals called “Borobudur Temple” as Candi Borobudur. Borobudur is located in an elevated area between two twin volcanoes, Sundoro-Sumbing and Merbabu-Merapi, and two rivers, the Progo and the Elo, as this area is considered as sacred place.
12. The Colossi Of Memnon, Egypt
This structure is made of just two statues made of blocks of quartzite sandstone, built 3400 years ago. The Colossi were built to guard the mortuary temple of Amenhotep III. Since 1350 BC, they have stood in the Theban Necropolis, located west of the River Nile from the modern city of Luxor.
13. Golden Temple, India
The Golden Temple is also known as gurdwara, which literally means, gateway to the guru, a place of worship for Sikhs. The Golden Temple or “Darbar Sahib” at Amritsar (Panjab, India) is the most sacred place for the Sikhs. The Golden temple symbolizes the magnificence of the Sikhs all over the world. This is considered one of the holiest places in Sikhism, because the Adi Granth, the first draft of what is basically the Sikh equivalent of the bible, the Guru Granth Sahib, was installed here. More than 100,00 people visit at the Golden Temple every day. The Golden Temple has recently declared as most visited place in the world, confirmed by world book of record.
14. Abu Simbel, Egypt
The two temples of Abu Simbel are monuments to Ramesses II and his queen, Nefertari. They were carved out of the mountainside, built to commemorate his victory at the Battle of Kadesh, possibly the largest chariot battle ever fought, involving some five or six thousand chariots. During the 1960s the temples were cut up into massive blocks and moved, in order to avoid damage from the rising waters caused by the Aswan Dam, about 200 miles away.
15. Temple of Confucius, China
Built in 479 BC, this is the original, the largest, and the most famous of all the Confucius temples. It is located in Confucius’ hometown of Qufu. In 1994 it was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This is a temple for the veneration of Confucius and the sages and philosophers of Confucianism in Chinese folk religion and other East Asian religions. They were formerly the site of the administration of the imperial examination in China and Vietnam and often housed schools and other studying facilities.
16. Mahabodhi Temple, India
Mahabodhi Temple is devoted Siddhartha Gautama who sat down under a Peepul tree and attained enlightenment. Three days and three nights later, and without getting up, he reached enlightenment. He then changed his name to the Buddha, and the rest, as they say, is history. The Mahabodhi Temple marks the location of the event, and on its western side is the tree where Siddhartha meditated, now called a Bodhi tree. Mahabodhi Temple, Buddhist temple in Bodh Gaya, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
17. Akshardham Temple, India
This beautiful and large complex does not hold a temple alone. It has a water show, a theme garden, hall of values, IMAX film of Swaminarayan’s life, cultural boat ride and much more. This is one of the newest temple constructed in 2005, at Noida, Delhi, India. Located on the banks of River Yamuna, this temple is a beautiful place for sightseeing, exploring and pilgrimage. This temple holds 234 pillars, 2000 deity statues, nine domes and much more. Sitting on 59 acres of religious turf, Akshardham is said to be the largest Hindu temple in the world. In India it is the third largest temple. This temple is devoted to Lord Swaminarayan. This temple opening is schedule in new Jersey also worth of 150 million dollar.
18. Kashi Vishwanath Temple, India
This temple has many interesting facts and history. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva, and located in Varanasi, which is not only the spiritual capital of India, but the holiest of the seven sacred cities of Hinduism, and believed by Hindus to be the oldest town in history. According to records the temple was found in 1490. Standing on the Western bank of the holy river Ganga, it is one of the twelve Jyotirlingas. The temples were plundered time and again by the Mughals. The original temples were re-built, then destroyed and re-built. The Kashi Vishwanath temple was last rebuilt and restored to its glory by the Queen of Indore, Rani Ahilya Bai Holkar. It is believed that when the earth was created the first ray of light fell on Kashi. There are legends that believe that Lord Shiva had actually stayed here for some time.
19. Karnak, Egypt
Karnak is the largest ancient religious site in the world, a complex made up of three main temples. One of its most famous features is the Hypostyle Hall, which has 134 massive columns that rise up to 60 feet in height, and ten feet across. Karnak was not a quick build. It took fifteen hundred years or so to complete. The area around Karnak was the ancient Egyptian Ipet-isut (“The Most Selected of Places”) and the main place of worship of the eighteenth dynasty Theban Triad with the God Amun as its head.
20. Khajuraho Monuments, India
The Khajuraho Group of Monuments is a group of Hindu temples and Jain temples in Madhya Pradesh, India. This site has earned designation of UNESCO World Heritage Site.Purpose of including group of Khajurao monuments is, this group have many beautiful and amazing temples like Vishwanath temple, which is devoted to Lord Shiva and most visted temple Kandariya Mahadeva Temple which is also devoted to Lord Shiva. This group also included Chitragupta Temple in honor of the presiding deity, Surya—the Sun God. Most of the Khajuraho temples were built between 950 and 1050 by the Chandela dynasty. Historical records note that the Khajuraho temple site had 85 temples by the 12th century, spread over 20 square kilometers Of these, only about 25 temples have survived, spread over six square kilometers.The Jain temples are located on east-southeast region of Khajuraho monuments.
21. Temple of Hephaestus, Greece
Perhaps the most amazing feature of this temple is the condition it’s in, which is close to when originally built, around 2,500 years ago. It was named after Hephaestus, the patron God of metal working, craftsmanship and fire. The temple is built of both Pentelic and Parian marble. The dimensions of the temple are 13.708 m north to south and 31.776 m east to west, with six columns on the short east and west sides and thirteen columns along the longer north and south sides (with the four corner columns being counted twice). This temple was converted into a Christian church, dedicated to Saint George, around AD 700.
22. Lotus Temple, India
Built in 1986 and designed to look like a lotus blossom, the Lotus Temple is a Bahai house of worship. When it comes to other religions Bahai has a kind of open door policy, and doesn’t particularly care about your particular religious preference. It’s still perfectly okay for you to worship God. Hence, anyone and everyone is welcome to the Lotus Temple. Bahai is second most widespread faith behind Christianity, and one of the fastest growing.
23. Stonehenge, England
We’ve included Stonehenge because one of the theories for its existence, and there are many, is that it is some kind of ceremonial complex and temple to the dead. That was all we needed. This theory came after hundreds of human bones were found at the site, covering a span of more than a thousand years, and showing signs of cremation before burial.
24. Ness Of Brodgar, Scotland
The Ness of Brodgar is an archaeological site. Perhaps it doesn’t look like temple but facts is that the site has provided evidence of decorated stone slabs, a stone wall 6 metres (20 ft) thick with foundations, and a large building described as a Neolithic temple. Excavation of a 5000-year-old temple in Orkney is changing what we thought we knew about our Neolithic ancestors. The site is thought to be part of an extended community that includes other ancient sites in Orkney, all of which suggests that people of the time were more sophisticated and handier with a hammer than was previously thought. The structures at the Ness of Brodgar are made of flagstone, a sedimentary rock found abundantly throughout Orkney. The temple at Brodgar is believed to be about 500 years older than Stonehenge.
25. Virupaksha Temple, India
Virupaksha is the main temple of the Pattadakal temple complex. The site hosts both Hindu and Jain temples built as far back as the seventh century, and it earned a UNESCO designation for its mix of northern and southern Indian architectural and design elements. Virupaksha is the largest of the monuments, as well as the most detailed, decorated head to toe with friezes, inscriptions, and even reliefs commemorating Hindu figures. Like most of the temples in the complex, it faces east, the most auspicious direction.
26. Philae Temples, Egypt
The oldest remains of the temples at Philae are around 400 BC, and were dedicated to the Goddess, Isis. She is generally considered to be the primary goddess of these sacred islands of Lake Nasser. Philae in Greek or Pilak in ancient Egyptian, meaning ‘the end,’ defined the southern most limit of Egypt. It was begun by Ptolemy II and completed by the Roman Emperors. Goddess Isis, is associated with funeral rites but as the enchantress who resurrected Osiris and gave birth to Horus she is also the giver of life, a healer and protector of kings. She was known as ‘Mother of God’ and was represented with a throne on her head.
27. Shri Digambar Jain Lal Mandir, India
The oldest temple of the Jain religion, built in 1656. This is the oldest and best-known Jain temple in Delhi, India. Before entering you must remove your shoes and all leather goods. So if you’re planning a visit, probably best not to wear the leather pants. This temple has veterinary hospital, popular as Jain Birds Hospital. This temple is dedicated to Tirthankara (saviour and spiritual teacher of the dharma). According to Jains, a tirthankara is a rare individual who has conquered the saṃsāra, the cycle of death and rebirth, on their own, and made a path for others to follow. A tīrthaṅkara is represented either seated in lotus position (Padmasana) or standing in the meditation in Khadgasana (Kayotsarga) posture.
28. Belur Math, India
This beautiful complex, Beluṛ Maṭh is located in Hooghly River, Belur, West Bengal, India. This temple is the heart of the Ramakrishna Movement. The temple is notable for its architecture that fuses Christian, Islamic, Hindu and Buddhist art motifs as a symbol of unity of all religions. This is also one of the newest temple constructed in 20th century, inograted in 2003. This is the 4th largest temple areawise in India after Akshardham Temple.
29. Nauvoo Illinois Temple, Illinois
More often known as the Mormons, the Nauvoo Illinois Temple is the 113th dedicated temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church). It is the third such temple that has been built in Illinois (the original Nauvoo Temple and Chicago Illinois Temple being the others). The original was destroyed by fire in 1848, and then if that wasn’t enough, hit by tornado in 1850. The present building was completed on June 27, 2002, the 158th anniversary of the deaths of Joseph and Hyrum Smith, the founders of the Mormon church.
30. Gandikota Canyon Temples, India
Perched above the Gandikota gorge in Andhra Pradesh, India, is an ancient fort housing two temples devoted to Madhava, an incarnation of Vishnu, and Ranganatha, a south Indian Hindu deity. Of the two, the Madhava Temple is the more architecturally striking, particularly inside. That said, the entire fort is a sight to behold with granary, temple, watchtower, and even mosque ruins on display, making Gandikota one of the coolest little-known attractions in all of India.
31. Hōryū-ji, Japan
This is surprising to know that this is the oldest wooden building complex existing in the world, one of the most famous Buddhist temple in Nara Prefecture, Japan. An UNESCO World Heritage site, first temple is believed to have been completed by 607. The temple was repaired and reassembled in the early twelfth century, in 1374, and 1603 and excavations done in 1939. This temple able to be built because of the support of a man called Prince Shotoku, who was considered to be a great statesman and a founder of Buddhism in Japan.
32. Shwedagon Pagoda, Myanmar
Popularly known as Golden temple, Great Dagon Pagoda and the Golden Pagoda. Interesting thing is that no one knows exactly when the Shwedagon Paya in Myanmar was built – legend has it that it is 2,500 years old though archaeologists estimate that it was built between the 6th and 10th century. In the 15th century, a queen of the Mon people donated her weight in gold to the temple. This tradition continues until today, where pilgrims often save for years to buy small packets of gold leafs to stick to the temple walls. Shwedagon Pagoda is the most sacred Buddhist pagoda in Myanmar, as it is believed to contain relics of the four previous Buddhas of the present kalpa.
33. Wat Rong Khun, Thailand
Popularly known as White temple, for foreigners, is a contemporary, unconventional, privately-owned art exhibit in the style of a Buddhist temple in Chiang Rai Province, Thailand. This temple is one of the newly constructed temple, with modern architecture. Chalermchai has spent THB1,080 million of his own money on the project since 1997. This temple is still under construction, but not sure if it could get completed by 2070. The white temple compound will have nine buildings, including the existing ubosot, a hall of relics, a meditation hall, an art gallery, and living quarters for monks.
34. Shri Radha Krishna ISKCON Temple, India
This is the most famous ISKCON temple, based in Bangalore, India, purposely constructed to spread the consciousness of Krishna. Krishna is described as the source of all the avatars of God. The most famous Radha-Krishna temple, has gold-plated adornments which are dhvaja-sthamba (56 ft.) and Kalas shikhara (28 ft.). The International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKON), known colloquially as the Hare Krishna movement or Hare Krishnas, is a Gaudiya Vaishnava Hindu religious organisation. First ever was founded in 1966 in New York City. This temple is dedicated to Hindu scriptures, particularly the Bhagavad Gita and the Srimad Bhagavatam, and the Gaudiya Vaishnava tradition, which has had adherents in India since the late 15th century and American and European devotees since the early 1900s in North America.
35. Palitana Jain Temple, India
Overlooking Palitana in India’s northwestern Gujarat state is a huddle of marble-carved temples built atop Shatrunjaya hill. In fact, the roughly 860 Jain temples found in the hills around Palitana have earned the city its very apt nickname: “City of Temples.” It’s a bit of a trek to reach the main temple, but that doesn’t stop dedicated Jain pilgrims from ascending the 3,500 steps to get there. The oldest structure erected at the site is believed to date back to the 11th century while those that remain standing trace back to the 16th century — with new temples being added to the site even today.
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