A temple is characterised as a structure preserved for spiritual or religious activities. The sizes of temples are in great dispute these days as many temples claim to be the largest.
In the following article, we identify the top 10 largest temples from around the world.
Found in the tenth spot is Baalbek, or otherwise known as Heliopolis. An archaeological site located in Lebanon, Baalbek consists of 3 the temples Venus, Jupiter and Bacchus, which were constructed by the Romans in around two centuries.
Intended to be the largest temple in the empire, the Jupiter temple was pillared by 54 colossal granite columns, six of which continue to remain standing these days. Among the three temples, the best conserved is Bacchus, which was supported with 42 Corinthian columns, 19 of which remains strong today.
9. Temple of Christ the Saviour
Holding the ninth place is the Temple of Christ the Saviour, a known structure that suffered a troubled history. Dubbed as one of the contentious yet daunting structures in Moscow, Russia, the Temple of Christ the Saviour was formerly erected following the defeat of Napoleon.
Construction started around 1839, but by 1931, Stalin ordered the destruction of the temple in lieu of the planned Palace of the Soviets, which was never implemented. By 1990, the temple was rebuilt based on its original design and officially instituted in 2000.
Standing at 344 feet, it is now considered as one of the tallest Orthodox temple churches around the globe.
8. Temple of Saint Sava
Capturing the eighth place is the Temple of Saint Sava, a temple dedicated to the founder of the Serbian Orthodox Church. Also dubbed as one of the tallest Orthodox churches in the world, the Temple of Saint Sava took roughly about 19 years to be built and up until now, the interior design is still not completed!
It is standing at 70 metres tall and 81 metres wide.
7. Tikal (or Temple IV)
In the seventh spot is the Tikal Temple IV. Consisting of 6 enormous step pyramids, Tikal‘s largest is temple pyramid is Temple IV, standing at 230 feet high. It currently stands as the tallest pre-Columbian construction in the Americas.
In the Mayan civilization, Tikal was the considered as having the largest population, with an estimated 100,000 to 200,000 inhabitants.
Located in Anuradhapura City, Sri Lanka, is the sixth largest temple on the list – Jetavanaramaya. Considered the largest temple by volume, Jetavanaramaya needed 15 long years to be built!
Made of roughly 93.3 million pieces of baked bricks, the temple proudly stands at 122 metres tall and was once considered the third tallest structure on the globe, behind the Pyramids of Giza.
5. Sri Ranganathaswamy
Revered by millions of pilgrims and visitors every year, the Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple located in Srirangam holds the fifth place on this list. Offered in honour of the Lord Ranganatha, a form of Lord Vishnu, the temple is known as the largest operating Hindu temple in the world.
Composed of a whopping 21 towers in total, the gigantic temple of Rajagopuram stands at 71 metres tall.
4. Akshardham Temple
Currently standing for eight strong years with a height of 43 metres, a length of 109 meters and 96 metres wide, the Akshardham Temple tightly grasps the fourth place.
Did you know that as massive as it is, the Akshardham Temple has no traces of support from concrete or steel? Yes, it is primarily made of Italian Carrara marble and Rajasthani pink sandstone, and is coated with carved designs of deities, flora, musicians, fauna and dancers.
Third on our list is the largest Buddhist Temple in the world – Borobudur. Located on Java, northwest of Yogyakarta, Indonesia, the Borobudur Temple is composed roughly about 2 million stone blocks and was built over a span of 75 years!
The temple is divided into 3 parts, namely the top, body and base. The top is an epic temple inclusive of a 35 metre high dome. The body consists of 5 square platforms, all with decreasing heights. Lastly, the base measures 4 metres high and is 123 x 123 square metres in size.
2. Karnak (Great Hypostyle Hall)
The second on our list is a temple located in one of the most historic places on Earth, Egypt. Holding the title as the largest “ancient” temple in the world, Karnak is just one of the many remarkable sites in Egypt.
Karnak is a collection of temples, one of which earning the second place and is considered as one of the most famed structures – the Great Hypostyle Hall; a hall holding a total area of 5,000 square meters, pillared by 134 gigantic columns arranged in 16 rows.
1. Angkor Wat Temple
Coming in first is none other than the Angkor Wat Temple, also known as the City Temple. Located in Cambodia where the glorious remains of various capitals of the Khmer Empire are also located, the Angkor Wat Temple is the largest temple in the world.
It is composed of three rectangular colonnades rising, with increasing height, to a tower at the centre. The outer colonnade measures 187 x 184 square metres, the second level measures 100 x 115 square metres, and the third and inner colonnade measures 60 x 60 square metres. The central tower stands with a majestic height of 65 metres!