7 Of The Most Unusual Temples In The World
Temples as places of worship have been built for centuries by a number of ancient civilizations across the globe. Depending on the deity being worshipped, the styles and structures and systems of these temples are all wonderfully unique.
The ones on this list though, boast a little extra characteristic that makes them even more special.
1. Wat Rong Khun, Thailand
This spectacular masterpiece by local artist Chaloemchai Kositpipat has an intricately carved facade. The temple’s white exterior symbolizes the purity of Buddha, and embedded mirror fragments reflect his wisdom.
To enter, visitors must cross a bridge over a sea of ghostly hands reaching out in eerie desperation.Inside, representations of the Buddha are juxtaposed with unexpected modern pop culture references.
2. Golden Temple, India
The Golden Temple is a mesmerising blend of Hindu and Islamic architectural styles. Its marble lower level is adorned with flower and animal motifs in pietra dura work. An elegant second level boasts intricately engraved gold panels topped by a dome gilded with 750kg of gold. The holy shrine has entrances from all four directions, signifying that people belonging to every walk of life are equally welcome.
The shrine is surrounded by the Amrit Sarovar (from which Amritsar takes its name) excavated by the fourth Sikh guru in 1577 and is said to have healing powers.
3. Arulmigu Sri Rajakaliamman Glass Temple, Malaysia
Inside the Arulmigu Sri Rajakaliamman Temple, light from crystal chandeliers bounces off every inch of the surface decorated with 300,000 tiny mosaic pieces of coloured glass. To say it is bright would be an understatement.
What’s interesting to know is that this disco of a place (of worship) started off as little more than an ordinary little hut.
As one of Malaysia’s oldest Hindu temples, the chairman decided one day that it was finally time for a makeover. And that’s how this glass temple – the only of its kind in the country, came to be.
4. Chion-in Temple, Japan
Chionin is the head temple of the Jodo sect of Japanese Buddhism, instantly recognizable by its massive Sanmon Gate. On the grounds is a massive 70-ton bell that was the largest in the world from the 17th to the 19th century. Every New Year’s Eve the bell is rung by a team of 17 monks.
5. Borobudur, Indonesia
The ancient ruin of Borobudur was found deep in the jungles of Java. The gigantic temple structure built with nearly 2 million cubic feet of stones and had nearly 2,700 relief panels and 504 Buddha statues. No one knows for sure when it was built, or why.
Some believe that Borobudur is actually a giant textbook of Buddhism. To “read,” it, pilgrims must make their way through nine platforms and walk a distance of over 2 miles.
6. Hanging Temple, China
Defying gravity, this temple boasts 40 rooms linked by a dizzying maze of passageways and clings to a crag of Hengshan mountain. It is said to have been built by a monk named Liao Ran during the late Northern Wei Dynasty.
Interestingly, Confucianism, Taoism and Buddhism are all practised within the temple.
7. Stambheshwar Mahadev, India
The Stambheshwar Mahadev temple where Lord Shiva is worshipped is located close to Vadodara in Gujarat.
What sets this temple apart from the thousands of others in India is that it can only be visited only during a low tide. At high tide, the temple is submerged by the sea and only reappears hours later when the water descends.
Would you venture here to seek divine blessings?
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