10 Extraordinary Temples Outside of India

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1. Wat Rong Khun, Thailand

Wat Rong Khun, better known as “the White Temple” is one of the most identifiable temples in Thailand. The temple outside the town of Chiang Rai attracts a large number of company, both Thai and foreign, making it one of Chiang Rai’s most visited attractions.

Wat Rong Khun is a unique temple that stands out through the white color and the use of pieces of glass in the plaster, dazzling in the sun. The white color signifies the purity of the Buddha, while the glass symbolizes the Buddha’s perception and the Dhamma, the Buddhist teachings.

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2.Arulmigu Sri Rajakaliamman Glass Temple, Malaysia

One of Malaysia’s oldest and now a major Hindu temple, this firecracker started off as an commonplace little hut. That is, till the chairman of the temple determined it was time the inconspicuous place of worship got a makeover fit for a disco. So now Malaysia has its first and only glass temple in Tebrau. Light from crystal chandeliers bounces off every surface, from doors and walls to pillars and ceilings which are decorated with 300,000 tiny mosaic pieces of coloured glass. It is quite a bright conflagration in there!

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3. Haeinsa , South Korea

One of South Korea’s most important Buddhist temples, Haiensa in South Gyeongsang region was originally built in 802. It was rebuilt in 1818 after a fire gutted it the year before. The most astounding bit about this temple is the fact that it is home to a absolute copy of Buddhist Scriptures which have been written on 81,350 printing blocks made of wood – all of which survived the overwhelming fire!

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4. Borobudur Temple,  Indonesia

Borobudur in Java is the major and one of the most famous Buddhist temples around the world. Built in the 9th century, it was deserted in the 14th for not so clear reasons. Made of over 2 million blocks of stone, this huge monument lay hidden for centuries under volcanic ash and jungle enlargement only to be rediscovered in the 19th century. Since then more than a few restorations have given it back some of its past glory.

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5. Po Lin Monastery , Hong Kong

This Buddhist monastery on Lantau Island was started in 1906, but incessant accompaniments and extensions have been made to it over the years. A very notable extension – and the one that resulted in putting this monastery on our list – was the edifice of the Tian Tan Buddha, in 1993. This statue, made of 202 bronze pieces, is 112 feet tall. On a clear day, the statue is visible across the bay from as far as Macau. It also holds the record of being the world’s tallest, outdoor, seated Buddha.

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6.Borobudur Temple,  Indonesia

Borobudur, or Barabudur, is a 9th-century Mahayana Buddhist Temple in Magelang, Central Java, Indonesia. The monument consists of six square platforms topped by three circular platforms and is bedecked with 2,672 relief panels and 504 Buddha statues. A main arena, located at the center of the top platform, is surrounded by 72 Buddha statues each of which is seated inside a perforated stupa. It is the world’s largest Buddhist temple, as well as one of the greatest Buddhist monuments in the world.

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7. Ta Prohm, Cambodia

Ta Prohm’s state of ruin is a state of beauty, which is investigated with delight and left with regret.Ta Prohm is locating southwest of the East Mebon and east of Angkor Thom. Its outer enclosure is near the corner of Banteay Kdei. It can be accessed by enter the monument from the west and leave from the east way in.

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8. Chion-in Temple, Japan

Kyoto’s Chion-in temple is the headquarters of the Jodo sect, the most popular form of Buddhism in Japan. A 17th century structure, it has a huge two storey tall gate which is the largest existing arrangement of its type in Japan. Another wholly weird feature is the floor – the wooden boards have these metal ends that are attached to metal joints – giving off a piercing high-pitched sound when someone walks over them. The reason of this musical floor was to keep a track on intruders. Chion-in also has a giant bell in the main hall – it weighs some 70 tonnes and needs 17 burly monks to ring it!

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9. Hanging Temple, China

Hanging insecurely on a cliff side in the mountains near Datong, is the Hanging Temple. Built about 1,500 years ago, this monastery is the only existing place of worship which is a combination of three traditional Chinese religions – Confucianism, Buddhism and Taoism. Another claim to fame is that it has made the list of the world’s top ten most odd unsafe buildings!

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10. The Golden Rock, Myanmar

The Golden Rock on Mt Kyaiktiyo in Mon State is probably the most dramatic monument on our list. A popular destination for Buddhist pilgrimage, it is a visual delight – imagine a small pagoda built on top of a granite boulder which defies all known laws of gravity and is strangely balanced on a mountain side. If that is not cool enough, add to it gold leaves pasted on the stone by the faithful. A beautiful sight, particularly in the evening; when the rays of the setting sun appear to set the gold leaf on fire.

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