10 Ancient Buddhist Temples to Explore from Home

Cut into cliffs or reaching up into the heavens, these Buddhist temples make for a peaceful pilgrimage

By Google Arts & Culture

Sewu Temple, Yogyakarta

Sewu Temple is an eighth century Mahayana Buddhist temple in Indonesia and served as the royal temple of the Medang Mataram kingdom. The temples of the Sewu complex are arranged in a mandala layout, which is designed to represent the universe.

The Great Stupa, Sanchi

The curved mound of the Great Stupa at Sanchi is one of the oldest stone structures in Madhya Pradesh, India, dating to the Maurya Empire in the 3rd century BCE. The brick and stone mound was built to protect and revere relics of the Buddha.

Borobudur, Muntilan

Borobudur is a 9th-century Mahayana Buddhist temple found in Central Java, Indonesia, and also the world's largest Buddhist temple. The design of the temple shows a blending of indigenous beliefs, Buddhist concepts of Nirvana, and art of the Indian Gupta Empire.

Aurangabad Buddhist Caves, Aurangabad

Found in Maharashtra, India, these caves feature numerous carvings of notable Buddhist deities of the tantra tradition and several deities shared with Hinduism, such as Durga and Ganesha.

Guntupalli Buddhist Caves, Kamavarapukota

These ancient hand-cut caves offer a view over the picturesque Guntupalli Hills. There are a number of chambers for worship, and a chaitya, or prayer, hall. Take a walk up the hill to see more.

Guntupalli Monuments, Kamavarapukota

Above the caves, at the top of the hill, are the Guntupalli Monuments, comprising a large group of stupas. During excavations, three relic caskets were found that contained many precious elements like gold, silver, and crystal beads.

Amaravati Buddhist Stupas, Amaravati

The Stupa of Amaravati in Andhra Pradesh, India, has long been recognised as an important artistic site. Historians regard the art of Amaravati as one of the three major styles or schools of ancient Indian art, the other two being the Mathura style, and the Gandharan style.

Bagh Buddhist Caves, Bagh

Cut into the cliff face of the Vindhya mountains of Madhya Pradesh, India, these Buddhist dwellings have been a site of pilgrimage since the 5th Century. The five surviving caves are richly decorated with beautiful wall paintings.

Lalitagiri Buddhist Complex, Udaigiri

Lalitagiri Buddhist Complex in Odisha, India, is an important site of stupas, statues of the Buddha, and viharas (monasteries). Excavations of the ruined monasteries have revealed relics of the Buddha.

Nagarjuna Konda Buddhist Stupas, Nagarjunakonda

A historic town in the state of Andhra Pradesh, India. The site was once the location of many Buddhist universities and monasteries, attracting students from as far as China, Gandhara, Bengal, and Sri Lanka.

Junagargh Buddhist Caves, Junagargh

Found in Gujarat, India, these underground dwellings of Buddhist monks were carved by hand and include an assembly hall and cells for meditation. The columns in the lowest floor of the cave are thought to have been inspired by Ancient Greek designs.

Sewu temple, GUPALA statue and Merapi as a background. by PT.Taman Wisata Candi Borobudur, Prambanan & Ratu Boko [PERSERO]PT. Taman Wisata Candi Borobudur Prambanan dan Ratu Boko

You might also like to discover the Buddhist art of the Sikkim region of India or some of Pakistan's ancient shrines.

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