Hinduism is not only restricted to India but is embraced by the world and has nearly billions of followers across the globe. With so many Indians settling down globally, there was bound to be a rise in the number of temples that were built to support the faith.
A follower or not , here are a few Hindu temples located outside India that will take your breath away , a must visit !
Here are some of the most beautiful Hindu temples outside India:
1. Prambanan Temple (Java, Indonesia)
The Prambanan temple is in Central Java of Indonesia and is the largest Hindu temple site in Indonesia. And is also one of the biggest in Southeast Asia.
‘Prambanan’ or ‘Candi Prambanan’ or ‘Candi Rara Jonggrang’ is a Hindu temple in Central Java, Indonesia containing idols of Lord Shiva, Lord Brahma and Lord Vishnu. It is the largest Hindu temple site in Indonesia and one of the biggest one in Southeast Asia.
Built in 850 CE, it’s composed of 8 main shrines called the ‘gopuras’ towering 47-metre-high (154 ft) inside a large complex of individual temples. They are further surrounded by 250 smaller gopuras. Prambanan attracts many visitors from across the world.
Nearly, all the walls of the temple are covered with hand carved art. All narrate the stories of the incarnations of Lord Vishnu’s Dasavataram, the Ramayana, adventures of Lord Hanuman and about other Hindu legends.
2. Angkor wat, Cambodia.
The name “Angkor Wat” translates to capital temple. It was built in the early 12th century in Cambodia by the King Suryavarman II of Khmer kingdom. It took 27 years to complete the construction and was first called “Varah Vishnu-lok”. The world famous temple was first a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu. Later it hosted both Hindu & Buddhist cultures starting in 14th century.
The western world paid a visit this marvel in 16th century during the British & Portuguese colonization era.
Tourists visiting Angkor Wat also pay a visit to the nearby ruins of Angkor Thom and Bayon. These 2 fantastic Hindu temples served as the ancient capital of Khmer empire.
3. Tanah Lot Temple, Bali, Indonesia.
Situated on a large rock on the sea at Indonesia the Tanah Lot is one of the most famous Hindu temples in Bali. This temple is one of the 7 sea temples, each within eyesight of the next, which form a chain along the south-western coast of Bali. It is a revered tourist destination drawing millions of tourists and is one of the most photogenic places of Bali. The Tanah Lot temple has been a part of Balinese mythology for centuries.
4. Shri Shiva Vishnu Temple, Victoria, Australia.
This temple is located in the suburb of Carrum Downs in the state of Victoria, Australia. Also the largest Hindu temple in the state. This is temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu.
It was established in 1982 and was built and designed in Dravidian architecture, a south Indian architectural style. The first prayer meeting was held at 6:00 PM on November’s last Saturday in the year 1982. It is considered to be one of the most popular temples in Australia.
5. Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, Atlanta, U.S.A.
This 32,000 square feet temple sits on 30 acres land which currently makes it the largest Hindu temple in the U.S.A. The tower of the temple stands at 75 feet making it the tallest building in the city. More than 1,300 craftsmen and 900 volunteers dedicated their time in putting this 34,450-piece stone building together. Most of the temple’s work was hand carved. Furthermore, 4,500 tons of Italian Carrara marble, 4,300 tons of Turkish limestone, and 3,500 tons of Indian pink sandstone was shipped to this location.
6. Akshardham temple, New jersey, U.S.A.
The Akshardham temple in Robbinsville of New Jersey is presently under construction. It started in 2014 and is expected to be finished and opened by 2016. Based on the two colossal Akshardhams of Delhi and Gujarat, it is dedicated to Vishnu temple.
When finished it will be larger than its parent structures spreading over 162 acres of land. Thus, making it the largest Hindu temple in the world in terms of area. Currently, the largest Hindu temple is the Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple, Srirangam, Tamil Nadu. And it will be surpassed by the new temple by 14 acres in area. This will surely be one of the best Hindu temples outside India.
7. Sri Subramaniar Swamy Devasthanam, Batu Caves, Malaysia.
Batu Caves are a series of limestone caves situated at a distance of 13 km north of Kuala Lumpur. Outside India it is one of the most popular and tallest Statues of Lord Murugan, standing 42.7 meters in height. It was constructed in 1890 by Tamil trader K. Thamboosamy Pillai. It eventually became a tourist destination ever since.
The famous yearly Hindu festival of Thaipusm in Malaysia is celebrated in this temple complex. It attracts a large number of pilgrims from Malaysia as well as from India, Australia and Singapore.
8. Shri Venkateswara (Balaji) Temple, Birmingham, U.K.
Designed to replicate the Tirupati Thirumala Temple in Tirupati, India, Sri Venkateswara Balaji Temple was opened in August 23, 2006. It is the first temple of Lord Venkateswara in Europe. The main shrine houses 12 feet statue of Lord Venkateswara, the incarnation of Lord Vishnu.
9. Pashupatinath temple, Nepal.
Pashupathinath Temple is one the most important temples of Lord Shiva in the world. It is the oldest Hindu temple in Kathmandu and was constructed in 753AD by King Jayadeva. But, it was reconstructed in 12th century and 17th century after that.
It is the oldest Hindu temple of Kathmandu though it is still not clear when it was founded. There are many legends related to the foundation of the temple however, till date nothing has been a confirmation regarding its erection or how long it has been in existence.
The temple is famous for the fact that wishes get fulfilled here. One can also see a sprawling collection of other temples, ashrams, images and inscriptions around Pashupatinath.
It has a Nepalese Pagoda style of architecture, different from the traditional Hindu temples of India. Only followers of Hinduism can enter the main temple and the other buildings are available for foreigners to visit. You will often find sadhus in Pahsupathinath temple, if you ever visit. This temple is also on the list of UNESCO World Heritage Centre. One of the astonishing Hindu temples outside India.
10. Arulmigu Sri Rajakaliamman Glass Temple, Tebrau, Malaysia.
Sri Rajakaliamman Glass Temple is one of the oldest temples and probably the only Hindu glass temple in Malaysia and also in the world.
The temple is an important tourist attraction in Johor and has been drawing hordes of local and foreign visitors since its construction. The temple had its humble beginnings as a hut-like structure dating back to 1922. At least 90% of the temple is embellished by a mosaic of 300,000 pieces of glass of different colours.
It contains the Athma Lingam sanctuary of Lord Shiva as a lotus. Devotees can pour rose water on it and perform their prayers. The Siva lingam is the first of its type in Malaysia which is designed with ‘Mukni’rudraksha beads. It happens to have an unusual embossed texture. Each ‘Rudraksha’bead is embedded in the walls with a chanted prayer. The temple also has 10 gold-finished sculptures. Surely, one of the must visit Hindu temples outside India.
11. New Vrindaban Temple, West Virginia, U.S.A.
New Vrindaban temple is part of the ISKCON International Community of West Virginia. New Vrindaban is named after the Indian city of Vrindavan which is also called Brindavanam. The temple is also called as The Palace of Gold opened in 1979, great acclaim from people. The Washington Post called the place ‘Almost Heaven’ and have been adored by Hindus and non-Hindus equally ever since.
12. The Sri Venkateswara Temple, Pittsburgh, U.S.A.
The Venkateswara temple of Pittsburgh is located in Penn Hills of Pittsburgh, USA. It is one of the earliest traditional Hindu Temples built in the United States. Sri Venkateswara Temple organization was established on Aug 7, 1975.
13. Dhakeshwari National Temple, Dhaka, Bangladesh.
The Dhakeshwari National Temple is a Hindu temple in Dhaka, Bangladesh. It is state-owned, hence the distinction of being Bangladesh’s ‘National Temple’. The name ‘Dhakeshwari’ means ‘Goddess of Dhaka’. Since the destruction of Ramna Kali Mandir in 1971 by the Pakistan Army in the Bangladesh Liberation War, the Dhakeshwari Temple has assumed status as the most important Hindu place of worship in Bangladesh.
14. Shri Kali Temple, Burma
Shri Kali Temple is a Hindu temple located in Little India of Yangon downtown in Burma. So if you are planning to take the new highway to Thailand, you might want to stop by here and check this heritage site. It was built by Tamil migrants in 1871 while the Burma Province was part of British India.
15. Sri Siva Subramaniya temple, Nadi, Fiji.
The Sri Siva Subramaniya temple is a Hindu temple in Nadi, Fiji. Yes in Fiji! It is at the southern end of Nadi is the largest Hindu temple in the Southern hemisphere. It was first constructed in 1926 and the temple was again totally rebuilt in 1986. The temple was built in the best traditions of ancient Dravidian Indian temple architecture.
16. Sagar Shiv Mandir, Mauritius.
Sagar Shiv Mandir is a Hindu temple sitting on the island of Goyave de Chine, Mauritius. It is a place of worship for Hindus settled in Mauritius and it is also visited by tourists. The temple was constructed in 2007 and it hosts a 108 feet height bronze coloured statue of Shiva. The location is an epitome of beauty.
17. Shri Krishna Temple, Darsait, Oman.
Shri Krishna Temple is situated near Church in Darsait and is about 28-30kms from Seeb Airport. This temple was constructed by Merchant Community from Gujarat settled in Muscat, in the year 1987. Subsequently, it was extensively renovated in the year 2013 having all the facilities for devotees to worship. A Multi Purpose Hall having a capacity of 500-700 worshipers to take part in the function is organised by the Management.
18. Sri Thendayuthapani Temple, Singapore.
The Sri Thendayuthapani Temple, better known as the Chettiars’ Temple is one of the Singapore Hindu community’s most important monuments. It was gazetted as a national monument on 21 October 2014. It was built in 1859 by the Tamil Chettiar community. This Shaiva temple, dedicated to the six-faced Lord Subramaniam (Muruga) is most active during the festival of Thaipusam.
19. Varun Dev Temple, Manora, Karachi.
This 1000 year old Varun Dev Temple in Pakistan which was once a very celebrated entity is now lying in a dilapidated state due to the negligence of government. The structure still appears grand from afar, while the leftover tile work and craftsmanship gives a sense of its glorious past. Sad part is that the cold hatred on Hinduism in Pakistan resulted its walls and rooms serving as toilets for the locals of Manora’s sandy beach.
20. Nallur Kandaswamy temple, Jaffna District, Sri Lanka.
Nallur Kandaswamy Kovil also called as Nallur Murugan Kovil is one of the most notable Hindu temples in the Jaffna District, Sri Lanka. Located in the town of Nallur. The presiding deity is Lord Murugan in the form of the holy Vel. The idol of the Nallur Devi or goddess was given to the temple in the 10th century CE by the Chola queen Sembiyan Mahadevi, in the style of Sembian bronzes.
21. Erawan Shrine, Bangkok, Thailand.
The Erawan Shrine is a Hindu shrine in Bangkok, Thailand, that houses a statue of Phra Phrom, the Thai representation of the Hindu creation god Brahma. A popular tourist attraction, it often features performances by resident Thai dance troupes, who are hired by worshippers in return for seeing their prayers at the shrine answered. On 21 March 2006, a man vandalised the shrine and was killed by bystanders. However, two months after the incident a new Brahma statue was completed and placed in the shrine on 21 May 2006.
22. Murugan Temple, Sydney, Australia
Murugan Temple situated on the Mays Hills of New South Wales of Sydney, Australia is one famous temple of Hindus. Lord Murugan is the Lord of Tamils. He is also known as the Lord of the hill region and his abode is usually located on hills. In Sydney, the deity is also known as the ‘Sydney Murugan’.
The temple of Sydney Murugan was built by Tamils residing in Australia. It is taken care of by a Hindu society called ‘Saiva Manram’.
The ‘Saiva Manrams’ have made great efforts to establish this temple. The temple also provides great opportunities for the Hindus in Australia.
23. BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, London (Neasden Temple), United States
The BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Neasden, London is dedicated to Lord Swaminarayan. He is the central figure of a modern sect of Hinduism known as Swaminarayan Hinduism. This sect is a form of Vaishnavism.
The Neasden Swaminarayan Mandir is known to be Britain’s first authentic Hindu temple built in a traditional manner with stone unlike other converted secular buildings. The BAPS as initials in the name of the temple is the name of the ‘Sanstha’ with which it is associated – Bochasanwasi Shri Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha.
The temple was inaugurated in 1995 and consists of a ‘mandir’ and a ‘haveli’. The temple is highly appreciated for its stone architecture.
24. Mother Temple of Besakih, Bali, Indonesia
Mother Temple of Besakih or ‘Pura Besakih’ is the most important, largest and holiest Hindu temple in Bali. It is an extensive complex of 23 distinct temples. Out of these, the largest one is the Pura Penataran Agung, the main sanctuary of the complex, which is built on six levels, terraced up the slope.
There is no confirmed information about the origin of the temple however, it is said to be from prehistoric times.
This temple was nominated as a World Heritage Site. Each year around 70 festivals are celebrated in the complex of this temple.
25. Radha Madhav Dham (Texas, USA)
Radha Madhav Dham’or ‘Barsana Dham’ is the temple of Lord Krishna. It is the oldest Hindu temple in Texas and the largest in North America. It is also one of the largest Hindu temple complexes in the Western Hemisphere.
The temple was built as a representation of the holy land of Braj in India where Radha and Krishna are believed to have lived 5000 years ago.
Areas around the temple are built as places for meditation. All the major Hindu festivals are celebrated in the temple. Janmashtami celebrations of Radha Dham are the biggest one in entire North America.
26. Arulmigu Sri Rajakaliamman Glass Temple (Tebrau, Malaysia)
The Arulmigu Sri Rajakaliamman Glass Temple is one of the oldest temples in Bahru, Malaysia. The temple is the first and only glass temple in Malaysia. The temple was started in 1922 as a simple shelter on land presented by the Sultan of Johor.
The temple is one of the main tourist attractions of the country and is well-known for its glass work. At least 90% of the temple is embellished by a mosaic of 300,000 pieces of glass of different colours.
The Sanctum Sanctorum contains the Athma Lingam sanctuary of Lord Shiva as a lotus. Devotees can pour rose water on it and perform their prayers. It is first of its type in Malaysia which is designed with ‘Mukni’rudraksha beads which appear to have an unusual embossed texture. Each ‘Rudraksha’bead is embedded in the walls with a chanted prayer. The temple also has 10 gold-finished sculptures.
27. Katasraj Temple
The Katas Raj Temples near Chakwal in the now Pakistan are attributed to the eras of the Hindu kings dating from about 615-950 CE. These temples are dedicated to Lord Shiva and are being considered for the world heritage site list. It is also said that during their exile period, this temple is where the Pandavas dealt with Yakshas questions.
28. Shri Venkateshwara Temple
This temple was specifically designed to replicate the Tirupati Tirumala Temple at Tirupati, India. Sri Venkateswara Balaji Temple was opened on August 23, 2006. It is the first temple of Lord Venkateswara in Europe. The main shrine houses a 12 feet statue of Lord Venkateswara, the incarnation of Lord Vishnu.
29. Shri Krishna Temple, Oman
One of the most popular temples in Oman (middle east) is the Shri Krishna temple. It was constructed by the merchant community from Gujarat who settled in Muscat. It was extensively renovated in the year 2013 having all the facilities for devotees to worship. A multi-purpose hall having a capacity of 500-700 worshippers is the hot spot for all the Gharbha nights.
30. Munneswaram Temple, Sri Lanka
With a complex linking five temples, this temple can remind the time of Ramayana, where it is recognized that here Lord Rama requested to Lord Shiva and prevailed the fight against the Ravana
31. Sri Sri Radah Krishna Temple (Utah, United States)
The Sri Sri Radha Krishna Temple has situated in US. Actually it was built to assemble the two communities like the Hindu society in Utah province. Behind this, the Sri Sri Radha Krishna temple has brought the awareness of their (akin of ISCON culture) religion along with the Indian culture to wider world.
Variety of Hindu festivals has celebrated in this temple like holi, janamstami etc.
So, if you ever happen to go for a trip then do visit those Hindu Temples outside India.