The Golden Temple – India
Sri Harmandir Sahib, also known as Sri Darbar Sahib or Golden Temple, is named after Hari (God) the temple of God. located in the city of Amritsar, Punjab in India. It’s a pilgrimage site of Sikhism.
Guru Arjan Sahib, the Fifth Nanak, conceived the idea of creating a central place of worship for the Sikhs and he himself designed the architecture of Sri Harmandir Sahib. It was executed by Guru Ramdas Sahib Guru under the supervision of Baba Budha ji.
The temple is built on a 67 feet square platform in the center of the Sarovar. The temple itself is 40.5 feet square. It has a door each on the East, West, North and South. The Darshani Deori (an arch) stands at the shore end of the causeway. The door frame of the arch is about 10 feet in height and 8 feet 6 inches in breath. The door panels are decorated with artistic style. It is 202 feet in length and 21 feet in width. The entire top of the temple is made of pure gold.
Its architecture represents a unique harmony between the Muslims and the Hindus way of construction work and this is considered the best architectural specimens of the world. It is often quoted that this architecture has created an independent Sikh school of architecture in the history of art in India.
The Temple of Confucius – China
The temple, cemetery and family mansion of Confucius, the great philosopher, politician and educator of the 6th–5th centuries B.C., are located at Qufu, in Shandong Province. Built to commemorate him in 478 B.C., the temple has been destroyed and reconstructed over the centuries; today it comprises more than 100 buildings. It is one of the three largest ancient architectural complexes in China.
Inside the large ceremonial hall of the temple is a large statue of Confucius, surrounded by statues of his disciples. The temple itself stands within a larger oblong walled enclosure that covers about 49 acres (20 hectares) and around which the town of Qufu expanded. Inside the enclosure is an extensive complex of Confucian temples, shrines, monuments, and pavilions.
After Great Sage Gate (Dasheng Men), the buildings are divided into three parts. The central part is for offering sacrifices to Confucius and other scholars and sages. The eastern part is for sacrifices to his ancestors, while the west is for his parents.
The Lotus Temple – India
This temple is built in the shape of a lotus flower and is the last of seven Major Bahai's temples built around the world. Completed in1986 it is set among the lush green landscaped gardens. Its located in Delhi, India.
This temple should be a space for people of all religions to gather, reflect, and worship. Anyone may enter the Lotus Temple irrespective of religious background, sex, or other distinctions, as is the case with all Bahá'í houses of worship
The structure is made up of pure white marble. The architect Furiburz Sabha chose the lotus as the symbol common to Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Islam. Adherents of any faith are free to visit the temple and pray or meditate.
Around the blooming petals there are nine pools of water, which light up, in natural light. It looks spectacular at dusk when it is flood lit.
Taktsang Palphug Monastery – Buthan
Taktsang Palphug Monastery more famous as Paro Taktsang is a Buddhist temple complex which clings to a cliff, 3120 meters above the sea level on the side of the upper Paro valley, Bhutan. It is one of the most famous touristic destinations of the country and the cultural icon of Bhutan.
The history of this sacred place goes back to the eighth century when Padmasambhava, an extraordinary saint who founded the Mahayana school of Buddhism, visited the site. He assumed the terrifying form of Guru Dorje Drolo and cleansed the place of evil spirits to preserve the integrity of Buddhist teachings. According to the legend he was transferred to the cave on the back of a tigress. This is why the monastery got its popular name - the Taktsang, which literally means Tiger’s Nest. Here Guru Padmasambahva, according to the legend, meditated for three years, three months, three weeks, three days and three hours.
In 1998, the Paro Taktsang was almost completely burned down - and was restored to its original form by 2005.
The Temple of the Emerald Buddha – Bangkok
The Wat Phra Kaew, also known as “the temple of the Emerald Buddha” located within the grounds of the Grand Palace in Bangkok is Thailand’s most sacred temple and an important pilgrimage site for Thai Buddhists.
The temple enshrines Thailand’s most highly revered Buddha image, the Emerald Buddha. The image is housed in the ubosot (ordination hall), a very ornate building constructed during the second half of the 18thcentury after King Rama I had established Bangkok as the new capital of Siam. The walls of the Rattanakosin style building are adorned with murals.
The Emerald Buddha image or “Phra Kaew Morakot” wearing an attire of gold and precious jewels is seated on a very ornate raised alter in the ubosot. The 66-centimeter-tall image in meditation mudra is carved from a single piece of dark green jade.
Temple of Golden Pavilion – Kyoto
Kinkakuji (金閣寺, Golden Pavilion) is a Zen Temple in northern Kyoto whose top two floors are completely covered in gold leaf. Formally known as Rokuonji, the temple was the retirement villa of the shogun Ashikaga Yoshimitsu, and according to his will it became a Zen temple of the Rinzai sect after his death in 1408.
The site of Kinkaku-ji was originally a villa called Kitayama-dai (北山第), belonging to a powerful statesman, Saionji Kintsune. Kinkaku-ji's history dates to 1397, when the villa was purchased from the Saionji family by shogun Ashikaga Yoshimits and transformed into the Kinkaku-ji complex. When Yoshimitsu died the building was converted into a Zen temple by his son, according to his wishes
Each floor represents a different style of architecture:
The first floor is built in the Shinden style used for palace buildings during the Heian Period, and with its natural wood pillars and white plaster walls contrasts yet complements the gilded upper stories of the pavilion. Statues of the Shaka Buddha (historical Buddha) and Yoshimitsu are stored in the first floor.
The second floor is built in the Bukke style used in samurai residences, and has its exterior completely covered in gold leaf. Inside is a seated Kannon Bodhisattva surrounded by statues of the Four Heavenly Kings; however, the statues are not shown to the public.
The third and uppermost floor is built in the style of a Chinese Zen Hall, is gilded inside and out, and is capped with a golden phoenix.
Angkor Wat Temple – Cambodia
Built between roughly A.D. 1113 and 1150, and encompassing an area of about 500 acres (200 hectares), Angkor Wat is one of the largest religious monuments ever constructed. Its name means "temple city." It was built by the Khmer King Suryavarman II in the early 12th century
Originally built as a Hindu temple dedicated to the god Vishnu, it was converted into a Buddhist temple in the 14th century, and statues of Buddha were added to its already rich artwork. According to legend, the construction of Angkor Wat was ordered by Indra to serve as a palace for his son Precha Ket Mealea.
According to the 13th century, some believed that the temple was constructed in a single night by a divine architect.