The continent of Asia consists of 48 countries including India, Srilanka, Nepal, Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, Japan, and other countries. Asia is the birthplace of all the major religions of the world. Asian civilizations gave rise to some of the world’s most revolutionary ideas and technology advancements. From ancient surgery to finding zero as a symbol in arithmetic operations, to the field of modern science, Asia is the largest contributor of all time.
Southeast Asia is known to be the birth place of some of the prominent religion of the continent, namely Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism, and various Guru-ism. None of the continents in the world includes so many Temples and Spiritual Places as in Asia. Some of the most popular temples in Asia are the Angkor Wat in Cambodia, Prambanan Temple in Indonesia, and The Batu Caves Hindu Shrine in Malaysia.
Jainism is a religion that specifies pacifism and a non-violent path towards all living beings. Two of the most visited Jain temples throughout the year are the Ranakpur Jain Temple in India and the Kathmandu Jain temple in Nepal.
There is a large population of Buddhist followers in countries like China, Myanmar, Nepal, Bhutan and Sri Lanka. The Potala Palace in Tibet, the Wat Phra Kaew (also known as the Temple of the Emerald Buddha) in Thailand, and the Borobudur Temple in Indonesia are some of the world’s largest and most famous Buddhist temples. Thailand’s Wat Rong Khun is recognized as the White Temple and Sri Lanka’s Dambulla Cave Temple are some of the buddhist temples that attract millions of travelers every year.
Several Gurudwaras in Asia serve as an important pilgrimage site for Sikhs worldwide. Some of the most visited ones are the Golden Temple in India, Central Sikh Temple in Singapore, Gurudwara Nanaklama Sahib in Bhutan, and Sikh Temple Tanjung Priok in Indonesia. There are over 100 Malaysian Sikh Temples in Malaysia.
Explore Temples, Shrines and Spiritual Places in Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka is well known for its beautiful beaches, ancient history, diverse culture, monuments, and religious amalgamation. The spiritual places here reflect the true ambiance of Sri Lanka, and their fascinating architects, royal designs, and sacred significance portrays the rich heritage of this country, prevalent since the age of Ramayana.
Koneswaram Mandir of Trincomalee is an ancient Shiva Temple regarded as the greatest building of its age for its architecture. The temple is built on a high rocky promontory and surrounded by the sea. As per some ancient stories, King Ravana and his mother used to worship Shiva at this shrine. Another ancient Shiva Temple in Sri Lanka is the Keerimalai Naguleswaram Mandir, historically known also as the Thirutambaleswaram Kovil of Keerimalai. The Pancha Ishwaramas are five ancient kovils (temples), located on the coastal lines, along the circumference of Sri Lanka and dedicated to the Lord Shiva hold great significance in the hearts of Hindus. It is considered the most significant Hindu pilgrim that is located along the perimeter of Sri Lanka. The five devotees of Ishwara made these in five different places and it became popular as Pancha Ishwaramas.
To experience the holy vibes of Devi Sita and Lord Hanuman one should visit the Seetha Amman Mandir. People believed that Ravana kept Devi Sita over there.
In the year 1874, the famous Hindu temple Sri Muthu Mariamman was built. This name has its significance as Muthu means pearl, Mari stands for rain and Amman stands for mother. About five kms away from Jaffna, there is a temple named Ariyalai Siddhivinayak Temple. This is a sacred temple which was visited by Mahatma Gandhi and many other eminent people from across the world. There is a myth that princess mathurapur veeravalli got cured of her illness by taking a bath in keerimalai. Based on the myth, the Maviddapuram Kandaswamy Temple was built over that place. The Sri Kailawasanathan Swami devasthanam in Colombo, Sri Meenakshi Sundareswarar Mandir in Galle are equally famous for their holistic vibe of Hinduism.
One of the most sacred Buddhist temples is the ‘Temple of the Tooth’. This temple holds the tooth of Buddha in a golden chamber. It is situated at Kandy, which is defined as a heritage city by UNESCO. One can see an awesome reflection of Buddhist culture and worship in the Gangaramaya Temple. It portrays the architectural beauty of Sri Lanka and Thailand. Mahamevnawa Monastery is a series of monasteries that were created first at Polgahawela in Sri Lanka but later found in different other countries as well. It showcases the spiritual concepts of Gautam Buddha well. Near this place, you can find the famous Bodhi tree complex.
The Buddhist temples have a great contribution to teaching the youth of Sri Lanka the principles of Buddha. One such popular temple is the Vajiraramaya Temple that was built in the year of 1901. In Abhayagiri Vihara you can see the footprints of Buddha. The unique architectural beauty of this place will amaze you. To get the true essence of Buddhism one should visit the Sri Maha bodhi, and the Kelaniya raja maha vihara. The Isipathanaramaya Mandir is popular for its significant and magnifying backstory. The Big Buddha-Bahiravokanda Vihara Buddha statue is a giant statue, where you can see the Dhyan mudra posture of Lord Buddha.
On the other hand, the Dambulla cave temple will give you a certain mix of flavors of both Hinduism and Buddhism. Some of the famous Gurdwaras here are Udashi math and Pehli Patshahi, which has its series in multiple cities of Sri Lanka. The third Rameswaram temple and Jaffna reflects the vibe of Lord Rama. Once you visit the golden beaches, the shimmering sea, the sacred sites of Sri Lanka, and the welcoming nature of the people, will make you fall in love with this place.