Essential Travel Experience #48 – Visit a Wat or a Temple

This post is primarily focused on Buddhism, and the sacred buildings associated with that religion. However, as I thought about the topic, I realized that there are other buildings known as “temples” which are not Buddhist shrines. Some of these will also be included, as you will see below.

     Buddhism is a fascinating religion and lifestyle. Proponents are typically wise, relatively unflappable, and content. The practice of Yoga, a long-time Buddhist tradition, has become mainstream and very popular with people of all religions because of its health and well-being benefits.

    When Lee and I went to Thailand, we visited many Buddhist temples, known there as Wats. They were all places of meditation and peace, places where solitude and self-analysis are encouraged. Here are a few pictures of the grounds and of their representations of Buddha, the revered teacher.

     Wat Pho contains a huge reclining Buddha.

Reclining Buddha of Wat Pho

 The grounds of this temple are spectacular.

Grounds of Wat Pho

 The Golden Mount is a hilltop temple which has a grand view of the city.

Golden Mount

 Wat Traimit houses the Golden Buddha, a piece found by accident.

Golden Buddha

 The exterior of Wat Arun is assembled from small pieces of colored tile.

Wat Arun

 Other temples, outside of Thailand, include several in China: the Lama Temple in Beijing,

Lama Temple

 the Temple of Heaven, also in Beijing

Temple of Heaven

 The Man-Mo Temple in Hong Kong

Man Mo Temple

 whose interior is thick with the smoke of incense.

 In Xi’an, we visited the Small Wild Goose Pagoda,

Small Wild Goose Pagoda

 In Hawaii, we enjoyed some quiet time at the Byodo-In Temple, just outside of Honolulu.

Byodo-In Temple

 In Greece, the temples were erected to honor their multitude of Gods, such as Zeus

Temple of Olympian Zeus

 and Apollo

Temple of Apollo at Delphi

 Madrid was given an Egyptian temple, the Temple of Debod in 1968, to both save it from the construction of the Aswan Dam and to thank Spain for its support.

Temple of Debod, Madrid


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