25 Amazing Hindu Temples Outside India
Hinduism is the oldest religion of the world and probably only polytheistic religion which has millions of followers worldwide. Although Hinduism is mainly practiced in India, there are thousands of people outside India who follow Hinduism. Hinduism in South-East Asian nations was spread by the traders and travelers from India. As they travelled to new countries they helped in spreading Hinduism. There are many temples and religious sites which were once associated with Hinduism and now are Buddhist monastery. Today Hinduism is not a major religion in outside India and Nepal but still there are many Hindu temples outside India and dedicated to Hinduism. The Hindu Temples outside India are best example of zenith Indian Architecture and they sing the glory of ancient Hinduism. In this article we are presenting you some a list of amazing Hindu temples outside India which act as a center for worship for the people living in those countries.
List of Hindu Temples Outside India
- Arulmigu Balathandayuthapani Temple: The Arulmigu Balathandayuthapani Temple is also known as Waterfall Hill Temple or “Thaneer Malai” Temple. The main deity of this temple is Lord Murugan (also known as Lord Kartikeya). To reach the temple pilgrims have to climb more than 500 stairs. Main tower of the temple is seven stories tall it is also one of the largest temple dedicated to Lord Murugan outside India. Thaipusam is the main festival celebrated here.
- Batu Caves in Malaysia: Batu Caves are the most popular Hindu temples outside India. It is in form of a cave and the cave is dedicated to Lord Murugan. At the entrance there is a Statue of Lord Murugan which is the tallest statue of Lord Murugan in the World and Second tallest statue of any Hindu God in the world. The Batu Caves comprise of three main caves and few smaller one. Pilgrims have to climb 272 stairs to reach the main temple. There is a Ramayana Cave and it hosts 50ft tall statue of Lord Hanuman. The Ramayana Cave narrates the story of Ramayana in a chronological order with paintings on the walls.
- Sri Sunderaraja Perumal Temple: Sri Sunderaraja Perumal Temple is one of the oldest and the largest temple dedicate to Lord Vishnu in Malaysia. It is also known as “Thirupathi of South East Asia“. Interior of the temple has several complexes which are dedicated to different deities. Center of the temple hosts an idol of Lord Perumal with his consort Goddess Mahalakshmi. The temple has statue of all the Lord Vishnu’s avatars.
- Sri Thendayuthapani Temple: Sri Thendayuthapani Temple is one of the Hindu temples outside India in Singapore. The temple is also known as Chettiars’ Temple and it is one of the oldest Hindu temple in Singapore. Built in the year 1859, the Thendayuthapani Temple is listed as National Monument of Singapore and the festival of Thaipusam is celebrated with great pomp and Show. The main deity of Thendayuthapani Temple is Lord Murugan.
- Sri Sivan Temple: Sri Sivan Temple is a Hindu Temple situated in Singapore and it is dedicated to Lord Shiva of Hinduism. The Sivalingam was known to be worshiped at this site well before 1850 and once the Temple committee purchased land a new temple was built at a cost of $6 million on a 3,000 sq. meter plot at Geylang East. The Temple is built in Dravidian style of architecture and important festival celebrated here are Navratri, Maha Shivaratri, Guru Peryarchi and Skantha Shasti.
- Sri Mariamman Temple: Sri Mariamman Temple is the oldest Hindu Temple in Singapore. The temple was built in the year 1827 and it is listed as one of the National Monuments of Singapore. In early days there used to be a small temple made of wood and stones and new temple was constructed when local people donated their land to temple. The main prayer hall has idols of Goddess Durga, Lord Ganesh and Lord Shiva. The temple also hosts a shrine of Draupadi (important character from Mahabharata War and wife of Pandavas).
- Janaki Mandir: Janki Mandir is a Hindu Temple dedicated to Goddess Sita and it is situated in Nepal. It is one of the largest Hindu temples outside India in Nepal. The temple is also known as Nau Lakha Mandir (Nine Lacks) as the cost of construction of temple was Rupees Nine Lakhs. According to historians in the year 1657, a golden statue of the Goddess Sita was found at the very spot the temple stood and Goddess Sita is said to have lived there. The temple is 50 meters high and it is a three storied structure with 60 rooms. Every year thousands of pilgrims visit Janakpurdham where temple is situated and worship Lord Rama and Goddess Sita. Important festivals celebrated here are Ram Navami, Vivaha Panchami, Dashain and Tihar.
- Pashupatinath Temple: Pashupatinath Temple is one of the sacred and important Hindu temple situated outside India, in Nepal. The temple is dedicated to Lord Pashupatinath (an incarnation of the Hindu god Shiva). Pashupathinath is also known as “Lord of Animals”. The temple is situated on the banks of the Bagmati River. Lord Pashupati is considered as National Deity of Nepal and even the temple complex is one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites situated in Nepal.
- Kailashnath Mahadev Statue: Kailashnath Mahadev Statue is situated in Nepal and it is world’s tallest statue of a Hindu God. It is also tallest statue of Lord Shiva in the world measuring 144ft high. The construction of the statue began in 2004 and completed in 2011. The statue is situated in Sanga, 20km from Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal.
- Sri Siva Subramaniya Temple: The Siva Subramaniya Temple is largest Hindu temple in Fiji. It is also the largest temple dedicated to Hinduism in Southern Hemisphere. The present temple was inaugurated in the year 1994 although an old temple already existed there. The temple is built in ancient Dravidian style of architecture and the main deity of temple is Lord Murugan. The walls of the temple are carved with numerous statues of different deities and special craftsmen were brought from India for this purpose.
- Shri Swaminarayan Mandir Nairobi: The Swaminarayan Mandir in Kenya was constructed by BAPS Sanstha (a Swaminarayan branch of Hinduism). The temple is constructed in the ancient architectural style (Shilpa Shastras) and it is made from 350 tonnes of yellow sandstone brought from Jaisalmer in India. The temple was opened for public on 29th August 1999.
- Arya Dewaker in Suriname: Arya Dewaker is a Hindu Association (branch of Arya Samaj of Hinduism) and they have built the biggest temple of Suriname. It is an Aryan temple with no images on it as image and idol worship is forbidden in Arya Samaj. The temple is built in octagonal shape and has three towers that symbolizes the absolute God, human being and nature. The temple has four floors referring to four Vedas.
- Tividale Tirupathy Balaji Temple: Tividale Tirupathy Balaji Temple is also known as Shri Venkateswara Temple of England, situated in Tividale, West Midlands. The temple is dedicated to Lord Venkateswara an incarnation of Lord Vishnu. The temple features two more deity, Padmavati an incarnation of Goddess Lakshmi and Lord Hanuman. Temple site has a community center where classes on Vedic tradition and Sanskrit language are held.
- Shri Swaminarayan Mandir London: The Shri Swaminarayan temple in London is also known as Neasden Temple. It was Europe’s first traditional Hindu Temple and also holds the record of biggest Hindu Temple outside India (at the time of its Construction). The temple has seven shrines and each shrine host idol of one of the incarnation of God. Beneath the temple there is an exhibition center where information about Hinduism is provided under “Understanding Hinduism”.
- Candi Prambanan: Candi Prambanan is the largest Hindu Temple in Indonesia and the temple is listed in UNESCO World Heritage Sites. It is best example of Hindu temples outside India and their architectural masterpiece. The temple was constructed in 9th Century and it is dedicated to Trimurti of Hinduism i.e. The Creator (Brahma), the Preserver (Vishnu) and the Destroyer (Shiva). Originally there were a total of 240 temples standing in Prambanan but over a period of time many were destroyed.
- Pura Ulun Danu Bratan: Pura Ulun Danu Bratan temple is also known as Water Temple and it is situated on Bali Island in Indonesia. The temple was built in 1663 and it is dedicated to Lord Shiva and his wife Goddess Parvati. There is also a statue of Lord Buddha inside the temple.
- Tanah Lot: Tanah Lot is a rock formation temple situated on Bali Island in Indonesia. The temple was built as a part of Balinese mythology and it was significantly influenced by Hinduism. The main deity of the temple is Dewa Baruna or Bhatara Segara, who is the sea god. At the base of the rocky island, venomous sea snakes are believed to guard the temple from evil spirits and intruders.
- Tenavaram temple: It is one of the most important and significant Hindu temple situated in Sri Lanka. The temple is dedicated to Lord Murugan and here he is known as “Sithira Velayuthar” (“One with elegant spear“). Temple is believed to be constructed around (993-1070 CE).
- Ganga Talao: Ganga Talao is the most sacred Hindu pilgrimage site in Mauritius. A crater lake was formed by volcanic action and in 1897 the main priest saw a dream that the water of the lake was part of River Ganges of India. Subsequently pilgrims started trekking to this lake to collect water from here and offer it to Lord Shiva on the auspicious day of Maha Shivaratri. At the entrance of Ganga Talao there is a statue of Lord Shiva (108ft tall) and he is known by Mangal Mahadev. There are other temples in Ganga Talao dedicated to Lord Hanuman and Goddess Lakshmi.
- Shri Swaminarayan Mandir Chino Hills: The Swaminarayan Mandir of Chino Hills is constructed by BAPS (Swaminarayan branch of Hinduism). The temple is first earthquake-proof Temple of the world. Another notable feature of this temple is, it uses solar power for all its electricity requirement. The temple has five pinnacles, two large domes, four balconies, 122 pillars and 129 archways.
- Shri Swaminarayan Mandir Atlanta: It is another Hindu temple built by Swaminarayan branch of Hinduism in Atlanta, U.S.A. The temple is constructed in an area of about 30 acres and 19$ million was spent on its construction. The temple also holds the record of highest building in Georgia and also holds the top position in the list of biggest Hindu temples outside India.
- Vraj Hindu Temple: The Viraj Hindu Temple is situated in Eastern Pennsylvania, USA. The architectural style of temple is Temple cum Haveli and it covers an area of 300 acres. The main deity of temple is God ShriNathji (a manifestation of Lord Krishna). The temple is open for all the faith and its main purpose is to spread Hinduism in USA.
- Sri Sri Radha Krishna Temple: The Sri Sri Radha Krishna Temple is situated in Spanish Fork, Utah and it was primarily built for the Hindu Community living in Utah. The temple is managed by the ISKCON. The temple holds the record of biggest celebration of Festival of Holi in Western Hemisphere.
- Shri Shiva Vishnu Temple: The Shiva Vishnu Temple is situated in Victoria, Australia. As the name indicates the Temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu. The construction of temple began in 1982 and it took four years to complete it. The temple is built in Dravidian style of architecture. Temple has two sanctum dedicated each for Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu.
- Pura Besakih: Pura Besakih is one of the largest temple dedicated to Hinduism in Bali. The temple complex comprises 23 other temples and the largest among all is Pura Penataran Agung. Prayers in the temple are performed since 1200 A.D and the temple is built on the south slopes of Mount Agung, an active Volcano of Indonesia. In 1963 the volcano erupted and killed 1700 people but the lava from eruption never harmed the temple. It was seen as a miracle by the local people and it strengthened the faith of Balinese people.
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