Popular Buddhist Temples in Asia
Buddhism is a famous world religion and philosophy that is believed to be founded in northeastern India in the 5th century BC. This region is founded on the teachings of Siddhartha Gautam, worldwide known as “The Buddha”. Siddhartha Gautam is believed to be born Lumbini, which is today located in Nepal. This holy religion of Buddhism takes as its goal to escape from suffering and from the cycle of rebirth: ‘the attainment of nirvana’. Around the world, there are over 500 million Buddhists. The Buddhist temples or shrines behold a unique kind of beauty and charm in them. If you wish to explore the most popular and beautiful temples in Asia, then read on as we have listed some of them.
Situated on the Indonesian island of Java, 40 KM northwest of Yogyakarta, the Borobudur is the biggest and most popular Buddhist temple in the world. This temple was constructed over a period of around 75 years during the 8th and 9th centuries by the Kingdom of Sailendra. The temple is built out of an estimated 2 million blocks of stone.
Also spelt as Pagan, Bagan is situated on the banks of the Ayerwaddy River is home to the major area of Buddhist temples, pagodas, stupas and ruins in the world. This place was once the capital of various ancient kings of Burma, who built possibly as many as 4,400 temples during the height of their reign (between 1000 and 1200 AD). In the year 1287, the kingdom fell to the Mongols and Bagan swiftly declined as a political center, but continued to thrive as a major place for Buddhist scholarship.
The Shwedagon Pagoda (also referred to as Golden Pagoda) in Yangon is the holiest Buddhist shrine located in Burma. There are not certain origins of Shwedagon and lost in antiquity, but it is anticipated that the Pagoda was first constructed by the Mon during the Bagan period (between the 6th and 10th century AD). The temple complex is entirely glittering and has colorful stupas but the center of attention is the 99 meter high main stupa which is entirely covered in gold.
The Mahabodhi (Great Enlightenment) Temple is a Buddhist stupa situated in the Bodh Gaya in the state of Bihar, India. The main complex of the stupa has an inheritor of the original Bodhi Tree under which Gautama Buddha attained the enlightenment. It is the most sacred place of Buddhism. This temple was constructed by great Emperor Asoka after 250 years of the time when Buddha attained Enlightenment. The present temple dates from the 5th-6th century.
Also known as “Great Eastern Temple”, Todaiji temple is located in Nara Japan. It is one of the most historically important and popular Buddhist temples in the country. The temple was constructed during the 8th century by Emperor Shomu as the head of all provincial Buddhist temples in Japan. Today the small remains of the original buildings of Todaiji are located here. The Daibutsuden (“Great Buddha Hall”) dates for the most of the part from 1709, which houses one of the biggest Buddha statues in Japan.
Apart from these, Boudhanath, Jokhang, Pha That Luang, Wat Arun and Haeinsa Temple are some of the other famous Buddhist temples in Asia.