Buddhism is the fourth-largest religion in the world with over 520 million followers. Siddhattha Gotama or the ‘Lord Buddha’ founded this religion and the religion only aims at spreading love, compassion, and peace and the main goal of this religion is to get away from the agony and suffering of the cycles of rebirth and the attainment of nirvana. And the Buddha temples are the places of worship where the Buddhist monks and normal Buddhist people gather to exercise their religious beliefs. Not only a place of religious practices, but Buddha temples are also a place of meditation that promotes inner and outer peace. These temples are also marvels of architecture and they are designed to symbolize five elements: fire, air, earth, water, and wisdom. Want to visit the most magnificent Buddhist worship temples that are examples of the finest peaceful pilgrimages? From the cliffside temples of Tiger’s Nest to the very beautiful Donglin Temple in Shanghai, these are the best among all that are worth a visit.
If you are attracted to Buddhist culture and love the tranquility and peacefulness of the Buddha temples – you have to visit these best temples that are true marvels and evoke a feeling of ultimate serenity.
Most Beautiful Buddha Temples In The World To Visit:
This 9th-century Mahayana Buddhist temple in Central Java, Indonesia is the largest Buddhist temple in the world. The temple possesses unique architecture. It has a pyramidal base with five concentric square terraces. It has two more tiers: the trunk of a cone with three circular platforms and a monumental stupa at the top. Around the circular platforms, there are 72 openwork stupas each having a statue of Buddha.
Built during the reign of the Sailendra Dynasty, the temple is a classic example of Javanese Buddhist architecture and it carries massive art influence of the Gupta dynasty of India. Borobudur is not only the largest Buddhist temple in the world but also is one of the major archaeological sites in Southeast Asia that seeks your visit.
Bagan is also known as Pagan and houses the largest area of Buddhist temples, stupas, and pagodas in the world. Sitting on the banks of the Ayeyarwady River, this area once housed more than 10,000 Buddhist temples and monasteries of which remains of only 2,000 temples survive today. If you want to visit an ancient fairytale land that houses the remains of fantastic Buddha temples mostly from the 11th and 13th centuries A.D., you have to come to Bagan.
Mahabodhi Temple, India:
Mahabodhi means ‘Great Enlightenment’ and the Mahabodhi Temple or the Mahabodhi Mahavihar means “Great Awakening Temple” and it is a temple complex in the district of Bihar in India which is one of the ancient Buddha temples in the whole world. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is of much importance for being the location where Lord Buddha is said to have attained enlightenment. A major pilgrimage destination for Buddhists and Hindus as well, the temple showcases some of the earliest examples of sculptural relics in stone. The first temple was built here in the 3rd century B.C by Emperor Ashoka which was destroyed. The second temple that was built here also got destroyed. The present Mahabodhi Temple that you get to see here today is built in the 5th and 6th centuries during the Gupta Dynasty.
Also known as Qoikang Monastery, Jokhang is a very famous Buddhist temple in Lhasa, Tibet. It is the holiest temple in Tibet because of its intense role-playing in the development of Buddhism in Tibet. The most revered and sacred thing to see in this temple is the life-size image of 12-year-old Jowa Sakyamuni who is the most sacred idol worshipped in the whole Tibetan region. Being more than 1,300 years old and built by King Songtsan Gampo, this temple is also a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site as an extension to the Patola Palace. The image of the 12-year-old Buddha that you get to see in this temple was originally housed in the Bodh Gaya Temple in India and was named ‘Vajrasana’. That is the reason many Buddhist followers still call the Jokhang Temple the “Vajrasana of Tibet”.
Angkor Wat is one of the world’s oldest temple complexes and is often considered the largest religious structure ever built in the world. The total temple complex covers an area of about 162.6 hectares and is located in Siem Reap, Cambodia. This religious destination is so famous that it even appears on the nation’s flag. One of the most important archaeological sites in South-East Asia, the site today contains the famous Temple of Angkor Wat and many more other temples that showcase prolific sculptural decorations. Built by King Suryavarman II in the 12th century, this temple was originally dedicated to the Hindu god, Vishnu. But later by the end of the 12th century, this temple became a Buddhist temple.
Todaiji or the Great Eastern Temple is one of the most historically significant Buddha temples in Japan. It is the most famous one in entire Japan for being the head temple of all the provincial Buddhist temples in Japan constructed in 752. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, this temple houses over 9,000 artifacts and historically important treasures of Japan that pay tribute to over 1,000 years of Japanese history.
Until recently, the Big Buddha Hall which is the main hall of Todaiji held the record of being the world’s largest wooden building. Today the largest wooden building in the world is the Metropol Parasol in Seville, Spain. The Big Buddha Hall also houses one of the largest bronze statues of Buddha in Japan.
Taung Kalat Monastery, Myanmar:
climb up the 777 steps if you want to reach this beautiful monastery that is set dramatically on top of Mount Popa in the Mandalay Region. It is a place to visit the many Nat Temples and numerous relics. The summit of the mountain is crowned with a picturesque complex of monasteries, stupas and wandering through the vast complex unfolds an indescribable beauty in front of the visitors.
Also from the top of this volcanic plug and from one of the best Buddha temples, one can get an outstanding view of the city of Bagan that is surreal.