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10 Famous Buddhist Temples

Famous Buddhist Temples

Exploring the realm of Buddhist temples unveils a rich tapestry of artistic marvels. These sacred sites house exquisite statues, often called Buddharupa, portraying the Awakened One.

Here, we delve into a brief showcase of ten remarkable and sizable Buddha statues, each a testament to the profound message of peace embedded in Buddhism.

Map of Buddha Statues

Check out this Buddhist Temples Map, featuring all the famous ones. 👇


We've put together this list aiming to cover everything you need to know about Buddhist Temples in the world. Here you will find all temple information to help your discover the Famous Buddhist Temples.

1. Borobudur

Famous Buddhist Temples
Early morning in Borobudur temple in Java. @StockByM

Nestled in the heart of Java, Indonesia, Borobudur is a magnificent Buddhist temple and a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Constructed in the 9th century, this ancient marvel boasts intricate stone carvings and stupas.

Rising in tiers, it offers a panoramic view of lush landscapes.

Much like the Amphitheater in Pozzuoli, Borobudur has stood the test of time, showcasing the rich cultural heritage of its region.

Explore its detailed reliefs and serene surroundings, making it a must-visit for history enthusiasts and nature lovers alike.

Address: Magelang Regency, Central Java, Indonesia

2. Bagan

Famous Buddhist Temples
Sunrise landscape view with silhouettes of old temples, Bagan, Myanmar (Burma). @MartinM303

Nestled in the heart of Myanmar, Bagan boasts one of the most impressive ancient archaeological sites in Southeast Asia.

With over 2,000 well-preserved temples and pagodas, this historic city is a treasure trove for history enthusiasts.

Initially constructed between the 11th and 13th centuries, Bagan's temples showcase stunning architecture and intricate designs.

Unlike some other ancient sites, Bagan's structures have weathered the test of time, providing a captivating glimpse into Myanmar's rich cultural past.

While the upper levels of some temples have eroded, the lower levels and interiors remain remarkably intact.

Explore Bagan's mystical charm as you wander through its ancient streets and discover the unique history hidden within its temples.

Address: Bagan, Myanmar (Burma)

3. Shwedagon Pagoda

Famous Buddhist Temples
Shwedagon Pagoda attraction in Yagon City with blue sky background, Shwedagon Pagoda ancient architecture is beautiful pagoda in Southeast Asia, Yangon, Myanmar, Asian, Asia. @AvigatorPhotographer

Standing majestically in Yangon, Myanmar, the Shwedagon Pagoda is a marvel of Buddhist architecture.

Revered as one of the most sacred pagodas in the world, it attracts pilgrims and visitors alike. Its origins date back to ancient times, with legends suggesting it to be around 2,600 years old.

The pagoda is adorned with gold leaf and crowned with a stupa that is said to contain relics of four Buddhas.

Over the centuries, it has been renovated and expanded, becoming a symbol of spiritual devotion and architectural grandeur in Myanmar.

A visit to the Shwedagon Pagoda offers a serene experience, with its golden glow casting a magical aura during sunrise and sunset.

Address: Yangon, Myanmar (Burma)

4. Mahabodhi Temple

Famous Buddhist Temples
Shwedagon Pagoda attraction in Yagon City with blue sky background, Shwedagon Pagoda ancient architecture is beautiful pagoda in Southeast Asia, Yangon, Myanmar, Asian, Asia. @AvigatorPhotographer

The Mahabodhi Temple in Bodh Gaya, India, stands as one of the most significant Buddhist pilgrimage sites globally.

It marks the spot where Siddhartha Gautama, the Buddha, attained enlightenment.

Constructed in the 3rd century BCE, the temple showcases intricate carvings and a sacred Bodhi tree descendant.

Though time has weathered its exterior, the spiritual aura and historical richness endure, attracting visitors seeking tranquility and insight.

Address: Bodh Gaya, Bihar 824231, India

5. Boudhanath

Famous Buddhist Temples
UNESCO World heritage Boudhanath Stupa aka Bouddha in Kathmandu, Nepal @Jasper Neupane

Boudhanath Stupa in Kathmandu, Nepal, stands as one of the largest stupas in the world, exuding a serene and spiritual ambiance.

Constructed with a massive mandala base, it's adorned with ancient carvings and a vibrant prayer flag display.

Unlike some other stupas, the upper structure here is intact, creating a mesmerizing sight against the Himalayan backdrop.

The stupa survived various calamities, symbolizing resilience and spiritual strength.

Explore the vibrant shops and cafes surrounding Boudhanath, immersing yourself in the rich cultural tapestry of the area.

Address: Kathmandu, Nepal

6. Todaiji Temple

Famous Buddhist Temples
Todaiji's main hall, known as the Daibutsuden in Nara, Japan. People walking the main footpath. Popular tourist destination and religious location. @Thomas Faull

Todaiji Temple in Nara, Japan, stands as one of the largest wooden structures in the world.

Constructed during the 8th century, it houses a colossal bronze Buddha statue.

Unlike some ancient sites, Todaiji has weathered the centuries well, preserving its grandeur.

Over time, it has undergone renovations, maintaining its cultural significance.

Don't miss the awe-inspiring experience of witnessing this historical masterpiece.

Address: 406-1 Zoshicho, Nara, 630-8587, Japan

7. Jokhang

Famous Buddhist Temples
Side view of the Jokhang temple. The Jokhang is considered as the most sacred temple in Tibet. @atosan

The Jokhang, situated in Lhasa, Tibet, stands as one of the most significant Tibetan Buddhist temples.

Its origins trace back to the 7th century during the reign of King Songtsen Gampo.

Unlike some other ancient structures, Jokhang has retained much of its original architecture and spiritual essence throughout the centuries.

Pilgrims flock to this revered site, and its central location in Lhasa makes it a bustling hub of cultural and religious activity.

The Jokhang, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, offers a glimpse into the rich tapestry of Tibetan Buddhism and is a must-visit for those seeking a profound cultural experience in the heart of Lhasa.

Address: M42M+3GX, Lhasa, Tibet, China, 850000

8. Pha That Luang

Famous Buddhist Temples
Surrounded by well kept green grass lawns,the Stupa established third century AD,the vibrant golden surface shining in the sunlight.An important national monument in Laos and a national symbol. @Neil Bussey

Pha That Luang, located in Vientiane, Laos, is a magnificent Buddhist stupa with a rich history.

It stands tall, showcasing Lao architecture and spirituality. Originally built in the 16th century, it has undergone several renovations.

The golden structure shimmers under the sun, symbolizing both religious and national identity.

Unlike its ancient counterparts, Pha That Luang has been lovingly restored, preserving its cultural significance for visitors to explore and appreciate.

Address: That Luang, Xaysettha 10009, Laos

9. Wat Arun

Famous Buddhist Temples
tourists visiting the Wat Arun or Wat Chaeng temple, is situated on the west bank of the Chao Phraya River. @Eloi_Omella

Wat Arun, also known as the Temple of Dawn, stands proudly on the banks of the Chao Phraya River in Bangkok, Thailand.

This iconic temple boasts a stunning blend of Khmer and Thai architectural styles, with its central prang symbolizing Mount Meru, the center of the universe in Hindu cosmology.

Constructed during the Ayutthaya period, Wat Arun underwent significant renovations by King Rama II in the 19th century.

The temple's intricate design is adorned with colorful ceramic tiles and porcelain, creating a mesmerizing mosaic that reflects the sun's rays.

Ascend the steep stairs to the central tower for a breathtaking panoramic view of the city and the river.

Wat Arun is particularly enchanting at sunset when its spires are illuminated, casting a radiant glow over the surroundings.

Explore the temple's rich history and cultural significance, immersing yourself in the vibrant spirit of Thai heritage.

Address: 158 Thanon Wang Doem, Wat Arun, Bangkok Yai, Bangkok 10600, Thailand

10. Haeinsa Temple

Famous Buddhist Temples
Haeinsa Buddhist Temple also known as Tripitaka Koreana, is a UNESCO World Heritage site with scriptures from ancient times conserved. It is located on the Sorigil, a beautiful forest path near Daegu in South Korea. This was taken during summer. @Bastien Altermatt

Nestled in the serene mountains of South Korea, Haeinsa Temple stands as a cultural gem.

Constructed during the Goryeo Dynasty, this temple is renowned for housing the Tripitaka Koreana, a complete set of Buddhist scriptures carved onto thousands of wooden printing blocks.

Unlike some ancient structures, Haeinsa Temple has weathered the years with grace, preserving its spiritual and historical significance.

The surrounding tranquil landscape adds to the charm, offering visitors a peaceful retreat from the hustle and bustle of modern life.

If you're seeking a place where history and tranquility harmonize, Haeinsa Temple is a must-visit destination.

Address: South Gyeongsang Province, South Korea

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