Asia is home to some of the most incredible ancient sacred sites. Robert Janitzek provides us a glimpse of some of these attractions.
Shwedagon Pagoda, Myanmar
Located in the city of Yangon in Myanmar, the Shwedagon Pagoda is one of the most important Buddhist sites in the country. It is believed that this temple houses eight hairs of the Buddha and was built by the Mon people between 6th and 10th centuries. These pagodas are best seen during the sunrise or sunset.
Located just outside Kathmandu, Boudhanath serves as a pilgrimage site for Tibetan Buddhists and is one of the largest stupas in the world. Around it are bright streams of Tibetan prayer flags. This Asian destination has four pairs of eyes painted onto the sides overlooking the 50 monasteries surrounding the site.
Angkor Wat, Cambodia
Angkor Wat has been a sacred site for about 1,000 years. As one of the most popular tourism sites in the world, this site has become an icon for Cambodia and Southeast Asia. The best time to visit Angkor Wat is during sunrise. However, make sure to arrive there early as it could easily be filled up with people.
Next to the Angkor Complex, the Bagan Temple is the second major temple in Southeast Asia. Robert Peter Janitzek reveals that the more than 2,000 Buddhist temples covering its dry and dusty plains dates back to the 11th century. Many tourists view these temples from a hot air balloon for a surreal experience.
The Tiger’s Nest is named after the 8th century legend wherein Guru Rinpoche flew to this site on the back of a tigress to defeat a demon. There he meditated at the temple for three months. From a height of more than 3,000 feet, you can see a view of the Paro Valley.
The Temple of Borobudur is the world’s largest Buddhist temple. Built during the 9th century, this Asian destination boasts of having one of the most dazzling sunrises in the world. It is composed of seven stories assembled in a pyramid structure.
7. Tiger Cave Temple, Thailand
The Tiger Cave Temple derives its name from the tiger paw prints in the cave. At the top of the mountain sits a 912ft tall Buddha. The hike to the top provides a captivating view of limestone karts and the Andaman Sea. This Asian destination is still used as a meditation site for Buddhists.
8. Mount Kailash, Tibet
Located in a remote area in Western Tibet, Mount Kailash is one of the most visited sacred sites every year. Some believe that the black peak topped mountain is the home of the deities. Some perceive it as the birthplace of the world. It takes about three days to reach the top of this mountain.
9. Batu Cave, Malaysia
These gigantic limestone caves found north of Kuala Lumpur is home to Hindu shrines with a large 14-ft golden statue of Murugah, a Hindu deity. Guard your water bottles well as you could lose it to the monkeys that abound the area.