Wednesday, August 11, 2021

9 temples located in the most dangerous locations in the world

These amazingly beautiful temples are not only distinguished by their unique architecture, but are also very famous because they were built in extremely difficult locations, which are difficult to access.

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Chinese Hanging Temple

Hanging Temple is located on a very craggy cliff face. Experts believe that the structures on Mount Heng in Shaanxi, China, may be more than 1,500 years old. The entire building is held to the cliff by oak supports that are placed into holes punched in the rock face below. The whole complex has more than 40 halls and buildings. Interestingly, the three main religions of China, Taoism, Buddhism, and Confucianism, appear in the temple at the same time.

Visitors follow steps and paths hewn from rock leading up to the temple. The trails can be slippery from the rain and there is also the risk of falling rocks. The main support for the temple is in the rock cavity, so the oak piers do not bear the entire weight of the temple. The design has proven effective over the centuries, withstanding many strong earthquakes.

Paro Taktsang (Tiger's Nest), Tibet

Paro Taktsang or Tiger's Nest is a Buddhist temple complex in Bhutan, located on a cliff in the Paro valley. The temple is built around a series of caves where Padmasambhava, an Indian monk who spread Buddhism in the region in the 8th century, meditated during his time in Bhutan. The temple dates back to the 17th century. It surrounds a total of 13 caves.

There are strict rules about scheduling in advance and no photography inside the monastery, but visitors are welcome to visit if they have a guide and can do the round trip walking tour. The trail has wooden walkways and stone stairs in some sections. All the buildings inside the monastery are also connected by stone steps. In the valley below the temple, locals hold a traditional Bhutanese festival, called Tsechu, in honor of Padmasambhava every spring.

Meteora, Greece

Meteora, which means "between the sky", is a collection of rock formations in Greece. The picturesque natural spiers along with the cliff-top monasteries are the main attraction. Eastern Orthodox monks built the first monastery here in the 11th century, and more monks came over the next 300 years. This hard-to-reach location makes it the perfect place to hide from Turkish looters and military groups operating in the area. Monks have built up to two dozen temples, most of which can only be reached by rope ladders, and people will simply pull the ropes up when they sense danger.

Taung Kalat Monastery, Myanmar

Mount Popa is an extinct volcano in Myanmar. The mountain is only 1,524m high, but it seems to stand out more because it is surrounded by flat plains. Taung Kalat is a rock system on the slopes of Mount Popa, topped by a large temple located on the plateau. To get to the temple, visitors have to climb 777 steps. The temple has several shrines and offers views of the surrounding plains and mountains. You can even see Bagan's famous temple complex in the distance.

Sümela Monastery, Turkey

Located in northern Turkey near the Black Sea in the Pontic Mountains, Sümela Monastery is built into a cliff at an altitude of about 1,219m above sea level. The monastery is extremely ancient, it was founded by Greek Orthodox monks in 386, then expanded and renovated over the centuries. The original purpose of the temple's construction was to house religious symbols such as the painting of the Virgin Mary.

Phugtal Monastery, India

India's Phugtal Monastery is located in the autonomous region of the Himalayas, Ladakh, and can only be reached by foot. Like other prominent temples in the Himalayas, this one is built around a cave where Buddhist monks once meditated. According to legend, the first inhabitants of the cave were monks who studied directly under the Buddha. It is home to about 70 monks with a library of rare texts and many well-protected sacred sites. The temple has a honeycomb-like layout with different halls and buildings.

Saint Michel d'Aiguilhe, France

This chapel is located on top of an 85m high volcano, near the Loire River in the town of Le Puy-en-Velay, France. Visitors can only reach Saint Michel by climbing through 268 steps carved into the rock. The site was first built in the 10th century by a missionary named Bishop Godescalc, who had just returned from a pilgrimage to Spain. Inspired by the great mosques and cathedrals there, he decided to create a chapel in the most prominent place in town.

Pura Luhur Uluwatuk, Indonesia

Uluwatu means "stone at the end of the earth." This Hindu temple in Bali is perched on a beautiful cliff. The temple dates back to the 11th century, when a guru from the neighboring island of Java built it more than 60m above sea level. Today, Uluwatu is a tourist attraction and often hosts traditional Kecak Dance performances daily. It is open for Hindus to pray 24 hours a day and visitors can also view Uluwatu from afar.

Katskhi Pillar, Georgia

This monolith in Georgia is about 40m high. A small building sits on top of the rock. Experts believe it was a hermitage that someone built in the 8th, 9th or 10th century.

No one is sure how the builders accomplished this arduous undertaking. Although it is the source of many legends and has religious significance by the inhabitants of the surrounding river valley, the building itself has been abandoned for centuries.

Climbers first approached it in the 1940s. In the early 2000s, the Georgian government launched a renovation project aimed at restoring part of the hermitage.

That project allowed a monk to take up residence on top of the rock.

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