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With its impressive make up, historical background and chock full of cultural information, Buddhist temples are among best examples to learn more about Asia, religion and local culture. Consider donating to the temple, which is run on a thin budget, especially when you enjoyed your visit. Don’t point your feet at any Buddhist (not just monks and nuns) while sitting as this gesture is also considered rude.
Buddhists sweeping the temple stairs do their job to prevent someone stepping on insects more than just removing dirt and impurities. Symbolically representing a whole, enter the Buddhist temple with your left foot first and exit by leading with your right foot. It is best to visit a Buddhist temple early in the morning when the monks are just returning from their alms procession and temperature is relatively cooler than later in the day. Use the form below to delete this Nepal A Heritage Of Nature & Religion Livemans image from our index.
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Use the form below to delete this Ballard Kadampa Buddhist Temple Interior 04jpg Wikimedia image from our index. Buddhism is a major world religion and philosophy founded in northeastern India in the 5th century AD.
Haeinsa (Temple of Reflection on a Smooth Sea) is one of the most important Buddhist temples in South Korea.

Situated on the Thonburi side of the Chao Phraya River , Wat Arun (“Temple of Dawn”) is one of the oldest and best known landmarks in Bangkok, Thailand. Located in Vientiane, Pha That Luang (“Great Stupa in Lao”) is one of the most important monument in Laos. The Jokhang Temple in Lhasa is the most important sacred site in Tibetan Buddhism attracting thousands of pilgrims each year. Todaiji (“Great Eastern Temple”) in Nara is one of the most historically significant and famous Buddhist temples in Japan.
The Mahabodhi (Great Enlightenment) Temple is a Buddhist stupa located in Bodh Gaya, India. The Shwedagon Pagoda (or Golden Pagoda) in Yangon, is the holiest Buddhist shrine in Burma.
Bagan, also spelled Pagan, on the banks of the Ayerwaddy River, is home to the largest area of Buddhist temples, pagodas, stupas and ruins in the world. Located on the Indonesian island of Java, 40 km (25 miles) northwest of Yogyakarta, the Borobudur is the largest and most famous Buddhist temple in the world. All materials, unless otherwise noted, were taken from the Internet and are assumed to be in the public domain. Visitors are expected to see several of them especially on trips to Southeast Asian countries particularly Thailand, Myanmar and Cambodia. Since foreigners are often welcome in Buddhist temples, we set these guides as simple reminders of manners and etiquette to ensure nobody offends anyone. Without asking where to put them, a pile of shoes outside the edifice indicates where you can leave yours off. Imagine places like libraries, which must maintain silence, Buddhist also needs to keep noise off to remain conducive for prayers. Just like turning mobile phones off and dressing properly, respect is also conveyed by removing your headphones, spitting out chewing gum, refrain from smoking and talking softly inside the Buddhist temple.
While perfectly normal in the West, this gesture is considered rude around Buddhist temples. While this is certainly not expected from tourists, doing so means you researched more about Buddhist custom and went the extra mile. It is based on the teachings of Siddhartha Gautama, commonly known as “The Buddha”, who was born in what is today Nepal.
The temple was first built in 802 and rebuilt in the 19th century after Haiensa was burned down in a fire in 1817. The temple is an architectural representation of Mount Meru, the center of the universe in Buddhist cosmology. The stupa has several terraces with each level representing a different stage of Buddhist enlightenment. The temple was built in the 8th century by Emperor Shomu as the head temple of all provincial Buddhist temples of Japan. It is the center of Tibetan Buddhism in Nepal and many refugees from Tibet have settled here in the last few decades. The main complex contains a descendant of the original Bodhi Tree under which Gautama Buddha gained enlightenment and is the most sacred place in Buddhism.

The origins of Shwedagon are lost in antiquity but it is estimated that the Pagoda was first built by the Mon during the Bagan period, sometime between the 6th and 10th century AD. It was the capital of several ancient kings of Burma who built perhaps as many as 4,400 temples during the height of the kingdom (between 1000 and 1200 AD). The Borobudur was built over a period of some 75 years in the 8th and 9th centuries by the kingdom of Sailendra, out of an estimated 2 million blocks of stone.
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Tourists understandably wear light clothing in Southeast Asia where climate is humid and shorts can offer more comfort. Should a woman extend food or donations to a monk, it must be passed to a man first then to a monk. Buddhism takes as its goal the escape from suffering and from the cycle of rebirth: the attainment of nirvana.
The temple’s greatest treasure however, a complete copy of the Buddhist scriptures (he Tripitaka Koreana) written on 81,258 woodblocks, survived the fire. Despite it’s name, the best views of Wat Arun are in the evening with the sun setting behind it.
The lowest level represents the material world; the highest level represents the world of nothingness.
It is probably best known for the Buddha eyes that are featured on all four sides of the tower. About 250 years after the Buddha attained Enlightenment, Emperor Asoka built a temple at the spot.
The temple complex is full of glittering, colorful stupas but the center of attention is the 99 meter high (326 feet) high main stupa that is completely covered in gold. In 1287, the kingdom fell to the Mongols, after refusing to pay tribute to Kublai Khan and Bagan quickly declined as a political center, but continued to flourish as a place of Buddhist scholarship. It was abandoned in the 14th century for reasons that still remain a mystery and for centuries lay hidden in the jungle under layers of volcanic ash.
But respect should be on display, and some temples offer shawls or indoor slippers for visitors to use inside the temple. The present stupa is said to date from the 14th century, after the previous one was destroyed by Mughal invaders. The temple was destroyed by a Siamese invasion in 1828, then later reconstructed by the French in 1931.
It houses one of the largest Budha statues in Japan and is the worlds largest wooden building, even though it is only two-thirds the size of the original structure.

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