Temples are the religious places and are symbol of peace and togetherness. According to Webster's Dictionary, a temple connotes the existence or the devotion towards the divine power, or encompasses a unique place for some people that believe in the existence of super natural powers.
Here is the list of 10 oldest temples in the world, which are now a major tourist attractions:
1. Palace of Knossos, Greece
Built gradually between 1700 and 1400 BC, the palace comprised living spaces, reception rooms, workshops, shrines and store rooms all built around a central square. It could have been used primarily as an administrative center, a religious center or both, in a theocratic manner. Knossos is also often associated with the legend of the Athenian hero Theseus killing the Minotaur.
2. Gobekli Tepe, Turkey
Built on a hilltop in southeastern Turkey. It was referred to be one of the oldest temples existing in the world. It is also said that the site of the temple was most likely to be crafted by the animal hunters before the age of wheels, animal husbandry and agriculture came into existence, about some 10th million BC. Gobekli Tepe not only predate pottery, and the invention of writing or the wheel but it was also built before the beginning of agriculture and animal husbandry.
3. Temple of Amada, Egypt
Oldest temple in Nubia and was first constructed by Egyptian pharaoh Thutmose III in the 15th century BC. The temple was dedicated to Amun and Re-Horakhty. Alterations and decoration were carried out by later pharaohs. Although the temple is quite small and has crumbling exterior, its interior features are some of the most finely cut reliefs with bright and vibrant colors.
4. Ggantija Temples, Malta
Located on a on a hill on the island of Gozo, the second-largest island in Malta. Ggantija temples are the earliest of a series of megalithic temples in Malta. Round in shape and containing statues of full-figured goddesses, the Ggantija temples were dedicated to the Great Earth Mother and probably included an oracle. There are two temples, built side by side and enclosed within a boundary wall.
5. Hagar Qim and Mnajdra, Malta
Located atop a cliff on the southern edge of the island of Malta. The Mnajdra temples are about 600 meters further down the cliff. It consists of a main temple and three additional megalithic structures beside it. The largest megalith is about 7 meters (23 ft) high and weights around 20 tons. Mnajdra consists of three conjoined but not connected temples. The Hagar Qim and Mnajdra temple were built during 3600 - 3200 BC and were excavated for the first time in 1839.
6. Temple of Seti I, Egypt
Located at Abydos on the bank of River Nile. Mortuary temple of Pharaoh Seti I. Built in 1279 BC, it was constructed towards the end of the reign of Seti. The temple was not only dedicated to Seti I but also to a number of deities. The raised reliefs in this old temple are some of the finest and most detailed in all of Egypt. The temple also contains the Abydos King List.
7. Hypogeum, Malta
Only underground temple in the world. The temple consists of halls, chambers and passages carved out of rock. Thought to be originally a sanctuary, it became a necropolis in prehistoric times. The complex is grouped in three levels - the upper level (3600-3300 BC), the middle level (3300-3000 BC), and the lower level (3150 -2500 BC). The deepest room in the lower level is 10.6 meters (35 ft) underground.
8. Temple of Hatshepsut, Egypt
Located on the western bank of the Nile. One of the most beautiful of the royal mortuary temples. Built by Queen Hatshepsut. This temple was built to commemorate the Queens achievements and to serve as a funerary Temple for her, as well as a sanctuary of the God, Amon Ra. Construction of the temple of Hatshepsut took fifteen years, between the 7th and the 22nd years of her reign.
9. Luxor Temple, Luxor, Egypt
Located near the river Nile in Thebes, which is one of the ancient cities of the world. Built during 1400 BC, it was dedicated to Mut, Chons and Amun, the three Egyptian gods and was the focus of one of the most important religious festivals in ancient Egypt - the annual Opet Festival. The temple is about 850 feet long and about 213 feet across the front. It is no longer a religious site, but is surely a place of tourist attractions.
10. Stonehenge, England
Believed to be built anywhere between 3000 BC to 2000 BC. The biggest of Stonehenge's stones, known as sarsens, are up to 30 feet (9 meters) tall and weigh 25 tons (22.6 metric tons) on average. It is widely believed that they were brought from Marlborough Downs, a distance of 20 miles (32 kilometers) to the north. Smaller stones, referred to as "bluestones", weigh up to 4 tons and come from several different sites in western Wales, having been transported as far as 140 miles (225 km).