Temples are places of worship and devotion for many people around the world. They are also symbols of cultural heritage, architectural beauty and historical significance. Some temples are so rich that they have amassed enormous wealth over the centuries, making them among the most valuable religious sites in the world. Here is a list of the top 10 richest temples in the world, based on their estimated net worth.
10. Shree Siddhivinayak Temple, India
This temple is dedicated to Lord Ganesha, the elephant-headed god of wisdom and success. It is located in Mumbai, India, and attracts millions of devotees every year. The temple was built in 1801 by a wealthy merchant named Laxman Vithu Patil, who donated it to the public. The temple has a gold-plated dome, a silver idol of Ganesha and several precious jewels and ornaments. The temple also receives huge donations from celebrities, politicians and businessmen, making it one of the richest temples in India. Its estimated net worth is $100 million.
9. Shrine of Lourdes, France
This shrine is one of the most popular pilgrimage sites for Catholics, as it is believed to be the place where the Virgin Mary appeared to a young girl named Bernadette Soubirous in 1858. The shrine consists of a grotto, a basilica, a rosary square and several other buildings and facilities. The shrine attracts about six million pilgrims every year, who come to pray, light candles and bathe in the holy water that flows from the grotto. The shrine also receives generous donations from visitors and organizations, making it one of the richest shrines in the world. Its estimated net worth is $200 million.
8. Temple of the Tooth, Sri Lanka
This temple is located in Kandy, Sri Lanka, and houses a relic of the tooth of Buddha, which is considered to be one of the most sacred objects in Buddhism. The temple was built in the 16th century by the king of Kandy, who wanted to protect the tooth from invaders. The temple is part of a complex that includes a royal palace, a museum and a library. The temple is decorated with gold, silver and ivory, and has a golden canopy over the tooth chamber. The temple also receives donations from devotees and tourists, making it one of the richest temples in Sri Lanka. Its estimated net worth is $300 million.
7. Santuari del Santuari de Meritxell, Andorra
This sanctuary is dedicated to Our Lady of Meritxell, the patron saint of Andorra. It is located in Meritxell, Andorra, and was built in the 12th century as a Romanesque chapel. The sanctuary was destroyed by a fire in 1972, but was rebuilt by the architect Ricardo Bofill in a modern style that blends with the natural surroundings. The sanctuary has a circular shape, a glass dome and a statue of Mary holding Jesus. The sanctuary attracts thousands of pilgrims every year, especially on September 8th, which is the feast day of Meritxell. The sanctuary also receives donations from visitors and the government of Andorra, making it one of the richest sanctuaries in Europe. Its estimated net worth is $400 million.
6. Sai Baba of Shirdi Temple, India
This temple is dedicated to Sai Baba of Shirdi, a revered spiritual leader and saint who lived in Shirdi, India, in the 19th and early 20th centuries. He taught universal love and tolerance among all religions and performed many miracles for his followers. The temple was built in 1922 on the spot where Sai Baba was buried after his death in 1918. The temple has a marble idol of Sai Baba sitting on a throne, surrounded by silver pillars and lamps. The temple also has a museum that displays his personal belongings and photographs. The temple attracts millions of devotees every year, who come to pay their respects and seek his blessings. The temple also receives huge donations from devotees and celebrities, making it one of the richest temples in India. Its estimated net worth is $500 million.
5. Harmandir Sahib (Golden Temple), India
This temple is the holiest shrine of Sikhism, a monotheistic religion that originated in India. It is located in Amritsar, a city in Punjab state in India. The temple was built in the 16th century and has a distinctive golden dome that shines brightly in the sun. The temple is surrounded by a pool of water called the Amrit Sarovar, which means the pool of nectar. The temple serves free meals to thousands of visitors every day.
4. Tirumala Tirupati Venkateswara Temple, India
This temple is dedicated to Lord Venkateswara, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu. It is located in Tirumala, a hill town in Andhra Pradesh state in India. The temple is one of the most visited pilgrimage sites in the world, with over 50 million devotees every year. The temple receives huge donations from pilgrims and patrons in the form of cash, gold, silver, and other offerings. The temple also owns vast lands and properties across India.
3. Temple of Heaven, China (estimated net worth: $11 billion)
This temple is a complex of religious buildings that were used by the emperors of China for ceremonial purposes. It is located in Beijing, the capital city of China. The temple was built in the 15th century and covers an area of 2.7 square kilometers. The temple is designed to reflect the harmony between heaven and earth. It features a circular altar, a hall of prayer, and a vault of heaven.
2. Wat Phra Kaew, Thailand (estimated net worth: $15 billion)
This temple is also known as the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, because it houses a revered statue of Buddha made of green jade. It is located in Bangkok, the capital city of Thailand. The temple is part of the Grand Palace complex, which was the official residence of the Thai kings for centuries. The temple is adorned with gold, gems, and colorful mosaics. It is considered the most sacred temple in Thailand.
1. Shree Padmanabhaswamy Temple, India (estimated net worth: $22 billion)
This temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu, one of the main deities in Hinduism. It is located in Thiruvananthapuram, the capital city of Kerala state in India. The temple is famous for its hidden treasure chambers, which were discovered in 2011. The chambers contain gold, silver, jewels, statues, and other valuables worth billions of dollars. The temple is also known for its intricate architecture and sculptures.