The temples, which were built as places of worship for different religions all over the world, impress with their colorful and ostentatious architecture. These temples, many of which still preserve all their splendor today, are astonishing when you consider the times they were built. Historical temples, one of the places that best reflect the culture and traditions of the countries you travel to, await those who want to trace the past with their mystical environments. We have compiled 12 largest temples from all over the world for you.
- 1 Angkor Wat, Cambodia
- 2 Wat Benchamabophit in Bangkok, Thailand
- 3 Taung Kalat Monastery, Myanmar
- 4 Todai-ji, Japan
- 5 Dhammayangyi, Myanmar
- 6 Taktsang Monastery, Bhutan
- 7 Wat Xieng Thong Temple, Laos
- 8 The Indian Mahabodhi Temple
- 9 Borobudur Temple, Indonesia
- 10 Bodnath Stupa, Nepal
- 11 Hatshepsut Temple, Egypt
- 12 Ggantija, Malta
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Angkor Wat, Cambodia
In northern Cambodia, a visit to the monumental complex of Angkor, whose some 400 square kilometers are classified as World Heritage by UNESCO, is a must. The highlight of the visit is undoubtedly Angkor Wat, the largest religious monument in the world, which is also one of the best preserved temples of the archaeological site of Angkor. Built in the 12th century at the request of the Khmer king Suryavarman II, it was built with sandstone of different colors and laterite.
Wat Benchamabophit in Bangkok, Thailand
It was on the site of an ancient sanctuary that this wat was built at the end of the 19th century, on the orders of King Rama V. This makes it the most recent temple in the Thai capital. Made entirely of Italian Carrara marble, it houses a life-size replica of the famous Pha Buddha Chinaraj, the original of which is revered in Phitsanulok. During your visit, be sure to stroll through the magnificent gardens and admire the collection of 53 impressive Buddha statues from Thailand in the cloister.
Taung Kalat Monastery, Myanmar
A Buddhist temple at the top of a volcano… and why not? You have to go to Myanmar and climb some 777 steps to admire the Taung Kalat Monastery, considered “the refuge of the 37 Great Nats” (the ancient spirits in Burma).
Also known as the “Great Temple of the East”, Tōdai-ji is the largest wooden construction in the world. Located in Nara (the ancient capital of Japan, between 710 and 784), this temple is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and houses, among other things, a monumental bronze seated Great Buddha.
The largest of the Buddhist temples of Bagan, in Myanmar, would have begun to be built in the middle of the 12th century, on the initiative of King Narathu… but was never completed. This does not detract from its charm, quite the contrary! This temple is also known to house, in particular, two twin Buddhas in a seated position, and with golden faces.
Taktsang Monastery, Bhutan
Few monasteries in the world can claim to offer such a superb panorama as Taktsang Monastery in Bhutan: clinging to a cliff at an altitude of more than 3,000 meters, this high place of Himalayan pilgrimage, built at the end of the 17th century, overlooks the Paro valley by several hundred meters. Rebuilt following a fire in 1998, it is once again open to visitors, who will nevertheless have to take a short walk to reach it.
Wat Xieng Thong Temple, Laos
Vat Xieng Thong temple – or “monastery of the golden city” – is one of the most beautiful Buddhist temples in Laos, adorned with red and gold decorations, bas-reliefs, paintings and other mosaics. Built in 1560 by King Sai Sethathirath, considered one of the greatest kings of Lan Xang (now Laos), it is notably covered with a colored glass mosaic, which represents the “tree of life” which traces the foundation of the temple.
The Indian Mahabodhi Temple
This fifty-meter-high temple has the particularities of being one of the oldest Buddhist temples still standing in India, and of being one of the rare temples from the end of the Gupta period to have been entirely built of bricks.
Borobudur Temple, Indonesia
Even if the price of tickets to access this mythical site located in the center of the island of Java, Indonesia, has just increased, a visit to the Borobudur temple is still worth the detour. The largest Buddhist temple in the world has 3,000 bas-relief sculptures, 72 openwork stupas and more than 500 Buddha statues!
Bodnath Stupa, Nepal
When visiting Kathmandu, you cannot miss this sacred place in Nepal, especially because this spherical stupa is one of the largest in the country! Its base is made up of three terraces that form a giant mandala, but Bodnath Stupa is best known for the Buddha’s eyes that point to the four cardinal points from the top of the structure.
Hatshepsut Temple, Egypt
Hatshepsut, which is among the oldest temples in the world, is a temple built next to the tomb for the great female pharaoh. The impressive building was built by Hatshepsut’s son and heir, Thutmose III. Polish archaeologists excavated the temple deeply in the 1960s. As a result of the excavations, they found beautiful reliefs and many paintings retained their original color. The large colonnades in the temple are Egyptian architecture closest to the Classical Greco-Roman style. Also, like many temples on this list, Hatshepsut honors the sun. At the winter solstice, light enters the temple and strikes the statue of the god Osiris.
Ggantija is a megalithic temple located in the Maltese archipelago. It is gigantic by name (Ggant means “giant” in Maltese) and by nature. Some of the stones in the temple have a weight of 50 tons and a height of 5 meters. Locals tell tales of the giants who lived here, but archaeologists believe the temple was used for animal sacrifice rituals due to the amount of animal bones found during the excavation.