Spanning the globe from Central America to Europe and Asia, people, religions, and traditions have built magnificent structures. Here are the top ten biggest temples in the world, ranked.
A temple is deemed to be a building for religious practice or for the worship of a god or gods. Temples are some of the most ancient structures that currently exist, dating back centuries and beyond.
Many of the world’s leading religions have constructed magnificent temples. So, we have completed a definitive list of the largest of these sacred sites that stand in different corners of the globe.
Eastern European Christians use the word ‘temple’ often to describe their religious structures, as do the Hindu, Buddhist, Sikh, Islamic, and Judaist religions. Here are the top ten biggest temples in the world, ranked.
10. Baalbek, Lebanon – an ancient Roman site
Also known as Heliopolis, Baalbek can be found in northeastern Lebanon, and it is the first on our list of the biggest temples in the world. The last preserved temple in this Roman site is the Temple of Bacchus, built in 150 AD.
It is an ancient building at its finest, with a total of 42 columns keeping it afoot. This temple is 19 m (62 ft) high.
Address: 2643+CG9, Baalbek, Lebanon
9. Temple of Christ the Saviour, Russia – destroyed but rebuilt again
The Temple of Christ the Saviour in the Russian capital of Moscow stands at an imposing 105 m (344 ft).
Its turbulent history is perhaps best described by the fact it was destroyed in 1931 before the Russian Orthodox Church received permission to rebuild it in 1990.
Address: Ulitsa Volkhonka, 15, Moscow, Russia, 119019
8. Temple of Saint Sava, Serbia – the Orthodox heart of Belgrade
Next on our list of the biggest temples in the world is the Temple of Saint Sava, located in Belgrade. It spans 91 m (299 ft) long and 81 m (266 ft) wide.
It is known as the ‘Orthodox heart of Belgrade’ and is one of the largest Orthodox church buildings in Europe and the world today.
Address: Krušedolska 2a, Beograd 11000, Serbia
7. Tikal, Temple IV, Guatemala – standing tall in the ruins of an ancient city
This is a Mesoamerican pyramid that rises from the ruins of the ancient city of Tikal, now found in Guatemala, Central America.
This ancient city once held between 100 to 200,000 people within its walls. The largest among six pyramids, IV reaches a height of 72 m (230 ft) high.
Address: Templo IV, Tikal, Guatemala
6. Jetavanaramaya, Sri Lanka – an architectural marvel and one of the biggest temples in the world
Measured by volume, this is the largest stupa on earth and therefore ranks sixth on our list of the biggest temples in the world.
It has a huge height of 122 m (400 ft), with around 93 million bricks used in its construction. This Buddhist reliquary monument is one of the most famous temples in the world and is one of the most interesting things to do in Sri Lanka.
Address: Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka
5. Sri Ranganathaswamy, India – dedicated to a deity
This shrine found in India is 73 m (240 ft) high but has an area of 156 acres. It was completed in 1987 but dates originally back to the 17th century.
It is dedicated to Ranganatha, a Hindu deity. The temple has a total of 21 towers and rests on an islet caused by the rivers of Cauvery and Coleroon.
Address: Srirangam, Tiruchirappalli, Tamil Nadu 620006, India
4. Akshardham, India – a cultural campus for Hinduism
Fourth on our list of the biggest temples in the world is Akshardham, a Hindu temple that is found in New Delhi, India.
Akshardham means ‘the divine abode of God’ with the traditions and architecture of Hinduism woven into its wall and art. It is 43 m (141 ft) high, 96 m (316 ft) wide, and 110 m (370 ft) long.
Address: Noida Mor, Pandav Nagar, New Delhi, Delhi 110092, India
3. Borobudur, Indonesia – the largest Buddhist temple in the world
Borobudur is regarded as the largest Buddhist temple in the world and was built back in the eighth and ninth centuries. It comprises a total of two million blocks of stone.
The dome at the head of this complex structure is around 35 m (115 ft) above ground, with the total surface area covering a base of 2,500 sq m (26,910 sq ft).
Address: Jl. Badrawati, Kw. Candi Borobudur, Borobudur, Indonesia
2. Karnak Temple Complex, Egypt – the largest ancient temple complex in the world
Egypt is a temple itself to ancient architecture, engineering, and design. Thus, it is no surprise that it has its own admission on the list of the biggest temples in the world.
The complex was developed over an incredible time span of 1,000 years. Covering an area of more than 100 hectares, it is larger than some ancient cities.
Address: PM93+X65, Karnak, Luxor, Luxor Governorate, Egypt
1. Angkor Wat/City Temple, Cambodia – the largest temple in the world
Top of our list of the biggest temples in the world is the Cambodian Angkor Wat Temple. It was built between the ninth century and the 15th century.
The outer gallery is 187 by 215 m (614 by 705 ft), a vastly impressive central shrine that reaches 65 m (213 ft) at its highest point.
Angkor Wat is not only the largest temple in the world. It is also a recognised UNESCO World Heritage Site, making it one of the most popular temples and religious monuments in the world among tourists.
Address: Krong Siem Reap, Cambodia
Thyagaraja Temple: This temple, found in India, is dedicated to the Somaskanda aspect of Shiva. It covers a total area of 20 acres.
Meenakshi Temple: Meenakshi Temple is located in the 2,500-year-old city of Madurai in India. It covers 70,050 sq m.
Vadakkunnathan Temple: This is a vast 65-acre Hindi temple located in India.
Belur Math: One of the largest Hindu temples in the world, Belur Math is the international headquarters of the Ramakrishna Mission of Swami Vivekanandha.
FAQs about the biggest temples in the world
Which is the biggest temple in the world?
The largest temple in the world is Angkor Wat. This is located in Cambodia, south-eastern Asia.
How many Hindu temples are there in the USA?
There are over 1,450 Hindu temples in the US. The majority are found in the region of New York, where there are a total of 1,135 temples.
Which is the oldest temple in the world?
German archaeologist Klaus Schmidt states that the Gobekli Tepe is the oldest known temple in the world, built around 8,000 years ago. This is in Turkey and is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.