Human devotion for the unseen entity God finds myriad manifestation in terms of prayer, songs, pilgrimage and sacrifice. People who believe in the aforesaid activities opine that God resides inside every living being and subsequently we can offer our respect and homage to the almighty by being pure in ourselves.
But, nonetheless, the role of temples or religious centers carry their own unique significance no matter how much one claims to be self sufficient. These monuments of devotion and prayers are equally note worthy for their style of architecture and treatment.
Asia is a magical continent with some diverse countries and even more complexed religious faiths. As a result the whole region is like a colourful canvas with multi- dimensional approaches and execution. And surprisingly, in place of chaos, a traveller finds a rainbow cultural milieu.
Best of Asian temples are today's point of discussion. So lets get into it:
The Prambanan Temple, Indonesia: Located in a village situated about 20 minutes drive from Yogyakarta city, this temple is a famous Hindu shrine dedicated to Lord Shiva. Otherwise known as Loro Jongrang temple, this monument is said to be built in the middle of the ninth century by King Balitung Maha Sambu. A UNESCO World Heritage Site and a must visit in Indonesia.
The Lotus Temple, India: Located in the capital of India- New Delhi, Lotus Temple or the Bahá'í House of Worship gives a tough competition to some of the most renowned structures of the world in terms of visitors. Essentially a prayer hall open for all religions, the Lotus Temple is constructed in the shape of a white lotus with a soothing interiors. It was opened for public in the year 1986 and till date its popularity has grown immensely.
The Wat Rong Khun, Thailand: Culturally and traditionally rich Thai city of Chiang Rai is the home to this wonderful shrine which is also called The White Temple. Brain child of one of Thailand's iconic artistes- Chalermchai Kositpipat, Wat Rong Khun is constructed on white colour with sparking reflections from glass mosaics embedded in the white plaster. The dominance of white signifies the purity of Lord Buddha and the calmness that prevails in Buddhism.
Taktsang Monastery, Bhutan: The sheer location of this Buddhist shrine is enough to fill you up with awe and wonder. Seated over a towering hill and on the edge of a steep vertical cliff (3000 meter in height!) near Paro, this monastery holds the myth that, master Rinpoche, a great Buddhist sage flew to this very site riding a celestial flying tigress. And accordingly, it is called the Tiger's Nest. Climb up to this shrine and feel the cocktail of devotion and adventure!
The Akshardham Temple, India: A pure treat to the human eyes, the Akshardham Temple in the suburb of New Delhi, is a mixture of style and magnanimity. Built solely in sandstone and marble without any steel support, this beautiful devotion center is a major tourist attraction in the Indian capital. Relatively new with opening in late 2005, Akshardham temple is an amalgamation of various architectural styles.
Pura Ulun Danu Bratan, Indonesia: Bali is the home to this amazing temple located in between a scenic lake called the Danau Bratan (Lake Bratan) in the Bedugul Highlands at a level of 1239 meter. The whole scene looks like coming out of a fairytale.
The Harmandir Sahib Temple, India: More popularly known as the Golden Temple, this Gurdwara (Sikh religious center) is located in the historically and geographically significant city of Amritsar in Punjab. A majority of the temple's architecture is in gold and the construction of the shrine took almost 30 years (1574- 1604). The fourth Sikh guru- Ram Das Ji is the founder of Harmandir Sahib which is still a leading tourist attraction in the country both for the national and international visitors.
The Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple, India: Covering a landmass measuring 156 acres, the Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple in Srirangam is one of the largest temples in the world and undoubtedly the most huge in India. Dedicated to Lord Ranganatha, this Hindu shrine flaunts some tremendous specimen of artistic genius and engineering skills.
The modern aspects that has seen light in recent times has given birth to several diversified notions about the concept of religion and devotion. But, no matter how different views might be on these two areas, we can not undermine the angel of beauty and charisma of these temples and