Temples are some of the most underrated travel destinations on Earth. Regardless of the deity that it honors, a temple represents the pinnacle of a society’s architectural achievement. We here at Harden strongly believe that the world’s great temples are all worth a visit, and as such we have compiled a list of our planet’s most beautiful places of worship.

  • The Harmandir Sahib
    1. Location: Punjab, India
    2. This 16th century Sikh temple is known as the Golden Temple because of unfathomable amount of gold that went into its construction. Located by the lake where Buddha and Guru Nanak–the founder of Sikhism–used to meditate, the Harmandir Sahib is a marvel to behold.
      • Sri Ranganathaswamy
          1. Location: Srirangam, India
          2. A perfect example of Dravidian style, this color temple is the Hindu God Vishnu’s most important earthly venue.
      • Prambanan
          1. Location: Central Java, Indonesia
          2. Built in the 9th century, this Hindu temple is dedicated to Hinduism’s version of the Holy Trinity–the Trimurti, a concept that honors Brahmā, Vishnu and Shiva.
      • St. Basil’s Cathedral
          1. Location: Moscow, Russia
          2. Constructed in the 16th century, this Russian Orthodox church was built with incredibly colorful towers that can be seen from miles away.
      • Shwedagon Pagoda
          1. Location: Yangon, Myanmar
          2. Standing at 98 meters high, the Golden Pagoda is a tribute to the Buddha–the temple even has a hair from his head!
      • St. Peter’s Basilica
          1. Location: Vatican City
          2. Designed by Renaissance genius Michelangelo, St. Peter’s Basilica is the largest church on the planet. According to Catholic tradition, St. Peter himself is buried here.
      • The Temple of Heaven
          1. Location: Beijing, China
          2. While this Taoist temple–a favorite destination of Chinese emperors–was built in the 13th century, today it is a favorite spot for meditation.
      • Wat Rong Khun
          1. Location: Chiang Rai, Thailand
          2. This truly breathtaking contemporary Buddhist temple won’t be finished until 2070, but it is already one of the world’s most stunning places of worship.
      • Gawdawpalin Temple
          1. Location: Bagan, Myanmar
          2. Built between the 12th and 13th centuries, the Gawdawpalin Temple is used for meditations and Buddhist rituals.
      • Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque
      1. Location: Abu Dhabi, UAE
      2. This modern mosque embodies the traditional meets contemporary ethos of the UAE. As a sign of global unity, building materials from around the world were used in the mosque’s construction.