Hinduism is one the oldest religions in the world. Researchers call it a fusion of several Indian cultures. Although, it dominantly exists in India and Nepal, its traces are found everywhere in the world. From architecture to philosophies, Hinduism is widely spread. Don’t believe us? Take a look at 11 temples from different parts of the world that prove Hinduism is not restricted to India.
1. Angkor Wat Temple, Cambodia
The Angkor Wat Temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and Vishnu, and is one of the largest religious monuments in the world. It is known for its heritage value and unique architecture. In fact, this temple is also a UNESCO world heritage site.
2. Nathulaung Kyaung Temple, Myanmar
Nathulaung is another temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu. The temple is one of the oldest in Bagan district, Myanmar, and was built in the 11th century.
3. Swaminarayan Temple, Toronto, Canada
This temple was built in 2007. It took 18 months to make it, and 24000 pieces of hand-carved Italian marble was used in the making of it. Throughout the year, the temple administration organises cultural activities for Indians staying in Canada.
4. Prambanan Temple, Indonesia
The Prambanan complex is a 1200-year-old Hindu complex. It has three temples attributed to the three main deities in Hinduism – Shiva, Vishnu and Brahma. Rest of the temples are dedicated to the animals serving them.
5. Katasraj Temple, Chakwal, Pakistan
Another temple dedicated to Lord Shiva, this is located near Lahore (old day Punjab). Interestingly, people believe that this temple is as old as the Mahabharata,and that the Pandavas even took refuge here during their exile in the forests.
6. Benzaiten Temple, Tokyo
Benzaiten is a Buddhist goddess who originated from Saraswati mata. Like Goddess Saraswati, Benzaiten is considered to be everything that flows from water and time, to knowledge.
7. Arya Dewaker, Suriname
Arya Dewakar, the largest Hindu temple in Suriname, is built by the Hindu association residing in the country. Arya Dewakar is the most vital section in Arya Samaj, the movement inspired by Swami Dayananda Sarasvati.
8. Pashupatinath Temple, Nepal
Pashupatinath is the oldest Hindu Temple in Kathmandu. It is also the oldest Lord Shiva temple in the world. This temple has a distinct architecture, unlike most Hindu temples. Sadly, some part of the complex of this temple was destroyed during the 2015 Nepal earthquake.
9. Munneswaram Temple, Sri Lanka
Munneswaram temple complex is an eminent Hindu religious site in Sri Lanka. This temple is associated with various myths related to the Ramayana. The complex has five temples dedicated to Shiva, Ganesha, Ayyanayake, Kali and a Buddhist one. Festivals of Navratri and Shivratri are celebrated with a lot of enthusiasm here.
10. Shri Venkateswara Balaji Temple, England
It is the largest Venkateswara temple in Europe. The architecture and construction of this temple is similar to that of Tirupati Venkateswara Temple in Tirupati, India.
11. Batu Caves, Malaysia
Located in Gombak district, near Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, this temple is one of the most popular Hindu religious places outside India. The complex has both caves and temples. One of them is attributed to Lord Rama. However, the main temple is dedicated to Lord Murugun.