Hinduism is not just part of India, It spread into many neighboring countries over the period of time. Here we profile five of the most famous Hindu temples in South East Asia outside India.
ANGKOR WAT, CAMBODIA.
The meaning of “Angkor Wat” is the capital temple. It was built in the early 12th century in Cambodia by the King Suryavarman II of Khmer kingdom and it took 27 years to complete the construction. It was earlier called “Varah Vishnu-lok”. This Hindu temple was initially dedicated to Lord Vishnu. Starting in the 14th century, it started hosting Buddhist cultures too. Angkor Wat contains two plans of Khmer temple architecture: the temple mountain and the later galleried temple. It is built in such a way to represent Mount Meru, home of ‘devas’ in the Hindu mythology.
Read more about it here: http://www.newsgram.com/angkor-wat-history-behind-cambodian-hindu-temple/
PARAMBAN TEMPLES, JAVA, INDONESIA
The Prambanan temple, situated in Central Java, Indonesia is the largest Hindu temple site in Indonesia and was built in 850 CE. It is also one of the biggest hindu temples in Southeast Asia.
The temple is composed of 8 main shrines called ‘gopuras’ towering 47-metre-high (154 ft). They are further surrounded by 250 smaller gopuras. The walls of the temple are covered with beautiful hand carved art and all the carvings narrate stories of incarnations of Lord Vishnu, the Ramayana, adventures of Lord Hanuman and other Hindu legends. This temple attracts many visitors from across the world.
PASHUPATINATH TEMPLE, NEPAL
Pashupathinath Temple is a hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. Constructed in 753AD by King Jayadeva it is the oldest hindu temple in Kathmandu. But since then it has been reconstructed several times. The area of Pashupatinath is around 264 hectare of land and consists of 518 temples and monuments. Only hindus can enter the main temple whereas the other buildings are available for foreigners to visit. It is somewhat different from the traditional Hindu temples of India since it has a Nepalese pagoda style of architecture. We can often find sadhus in this temple. This temple is also a UNESCO World Heritage Centre.
Murugan temple, BATU CAVES, MALAYSIA
Murugan temple has one of the most popular and tallest Statues of Lord Murugan outside India, which is around 42.7 meters in height. The statue took almost 3 years of construction to complete in 2006. Batu Caves are a series of limestone caves situated at a distance of 13 km from Kuala Lumpur. It was constructed by a Tamil trader K. Thamboosamy Pillai back in 1980. Today it has become a famous tourist destination. The famous Hindu festival of Thaipusm in Malaysia is also celebrated in this temple complex.
MOTHER TEMPLE OF BESAKIH, BALI, INDONESIA
This is an ancient temple complex located in Bali, Indonesia. It is situated on the southern slopes of the volcanic Mount Agung. Besakih Temple, also known as Bali’s ‘Mother Temple’ is over 1,000 metres high. Pura Besakih is a complex made up of twenty-three temples on parallel ridges. It has stepped terraces and stairs which ascend to a number of courtyards gateways which lead up to the Meru structure, which is called Pura Penataran Agung. Mount Agung’s high location gives it a very mystical quality.