Temples around the world fascinate with their extraordinary architecture. No wonder: the designers have put their hearts and souls to honor deities. Take a look at these beautiful sanctuaries and visit them once in the region.
10. Gawdawpalin Temple, Bagan, Myanmar
The pagoda was built between 12-13th centuries. The temple is used for meditation and other Buddhist rituals.
9. Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, Abu Dhabi, UAE
A contemporary temple’s exceptional beauty is supposed to unite religion, historical and modern values with architecture and art. The mosque also unites the world, thus the construction materials were used from all around the globe.
8. The Temple of Heaven, Beijing, China
The Taoist temple was built in the 13th century and was visited by the Chinese emperors. The complex and its yard is a favorite spot for meditation and even exercises.
7. St. Peter’s Basilica, Vatican City
The largest church in the world among others was designed by Renaissance genius Michelangelo. The church enchants with its greatness and beauty. According to the Catholic tradition, Basilica is the burial site of Saint Peter, one of Christ’s Apostles and also the first Pope.
6. St. Basil’s Cathedral, Moscow, Russia
The impressive Russian Orthodox church was built in the 16th century. The beautiful architecture is supplemented with colorful towers, that attract attention. The building, now a museum, was built from 1555–61 on orders from Ivan the Terrible.
5. Wat Rong Khun, Chiang Rai, Thailand
The magnificent contemporary Buddhist temple, perhaps better known to foreigners as the White Temple, will be fully finished in 2070 only. However, the brainchild of artist Chalermchai Kositpipat already looks stunning.
4. Shwedagon Pagoda, Yangon, Myanmar
The golden pagoda honors Buddha and rises to a 98 meters height. 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. These relics include the staff of Kakusandha, the water filter of Koṇāgamana, a piece of the robe of Kassapa, and eight strands of hair from the head of Gautama.
3. Sri Ranganathaswamy, Srirangam, India
The unusual Hindu shrine is the most important temple to Vishnu. Colorful building’s architecture is a fine example of the Dravidian style.
2. Prambanan, Central Java, Indonesia
The Hindu temple was built in the 9th century and dedicated to the Trimurti: Brahmā, Vishnu, and Shiva. The walls are all covered with impressive carvings, telling the religious stories. The temple compound, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is the largest Hindu temple site in Indonesia, and one of the biggest in Southeast Asia.
1. The Harmandir Sahib, Punjab, India
The Sikh temple, built in the 16th century, also known as the “Golden Temple”, is a place of great beauty and sublime peacefulness. Originally, a small lake in the middle of the forest has been a meditation retreat for wandering mendicants and sages since deep antiquity. The Buddha is known to have spent time at this place in contemplation. Two thousand years after Buddha’s time, another philosopher-saint came to live and meditate by the peaceful lake. This was Guru Nanak, the founder of the Sikh religion. After the passing away of Guru Nanak, his disciples continued to frequent the site; over the centuries it became the primary sacred shrine of the Sikhs.