The world is a mysterious and breathtaking place. At any given point, anything can surprise you. Religion and spirituality are still as confusing as ever, and so are the places of worship. Each year, new facts emerge about the Vatican, or the Pyramids. New information means a better clarity of the past, however, there are still some places that are a complete mystery to humankind. Now whether we all succumb to mystery and read too much into it, or maybe there’s really something we don’t know, that’s an undecided factor. Fact of the facts is that temples, churches, mosques and other holy places still surprise us to this day, but not as much as these unusual temples. These are mysterious, and they look and feel different. Here are seven utterly bizarre temples in the world!
Golden Temple, Amritsar
Starting with the slightly familiar, Golden temple is well…..golden. Made completely from gold, it is a holy worshipping place for the Sikhs. Golden temple is a Gurudwara, which translates to gateway of guru, a place revered and worshipped by most of Amritsar. Golden temple also houses Adi Granth, the first draft of Guru Granth Sahib, the Sikh holy book. Almost 100,000 people come to worship at the Golden Temple. The place has a serene and calm vibe, a fact renowned among the entire world.
Temple of Confucius, China
The temple of Confucius is the largest and most revered temple of Confucius in East Asia. Located in Quafu, in China, the temple houses some of the most beautiful sculptures in the entire continent. It was declared a UNESCO Heritage in the early 1990s, and has so far survived a fire and an earthquake. The temple is arguably the most popular Confucius temple, and is a brilliant start to understanding Confucius’ dynasty.
Mahabodhi Temple, India
Buddhism is a prominent religion in most of the Asian countries. The Mahabodhi temple in India marks the spot where Siddhartha meditated for three days straight and reached enlightenment. The tree (Peepal) under which Siddhartha meditated and later on changed his name to Buddha marks the spot of enlightenment. Naturally, the Mahabodhi temple is of significant importance to the Buddhist people, and every year, they begin the long pilgrimage from other countries like China to reach the Mahabodhi temple in India.
The largest religious site in the world, Karnak, is a crown jewel of Egypt. Often overlooked because of the Pyramids and Sphinx, Karnak is a massive religious site which experiences a heavy flow of tourists each year. Naturally, the largest religious site also took the longest time to construct, and it’s rumoured that it took around fifteen hundred years to complete the construction. The Hypostyle Hall is the largest place within Karnak, consisting of almost 140 columns that rise up to 60 feet in height.
Lotus Temple, India
As you might have understood, this beautiful temple is shaped like an elegant Lotus. The Lotus Temple is home to the Bahai worshippers; the Bahai religion is a relatively new yet rapidly growing religion that emphasises on harmony and peace. Despite the young religion, the Lotus temple still experiences thousands of visitors each day, making it one of the most prominent sites in India.
Nauvoo Temple, Illinois (USA)
Perhaps the youngest significant temple in the world, the Nauvoo Temple in Illinois was constructed in 2012. The Nauvoo temple is the second most significant religious place for the Mormons, or better known as the second temple of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. The Mormon religion is a prominent and rapidly growing religion in America, and the first temple was destroyed because of fire and additionally hit by a hurricane.
Temple of Heaven, Beijing
A complex of religious buildings, the Temple of Heaven dates back to the 15th century. The Temple of Heaven is a Taoist temple, and yet it was used as a place of worship by several different dynasties. Worshippers used to pray to heaven in this temple for a good yearly harvest and favourable weather conditions. The Temple of Heaven is also a place where sacrificial rituals were very active right till the 18th century.
Curated by Yashodhaan Burange
Image Credits – Pexels, Shutterstock