Sri Harimandir Sahib, commonly known as the Golden Temple of Amritsar, is the world’s holiest building for Sikhs. Located in the heart of the city of Amritsar in northwest India, the gold-covered temple presides over a sacred, square basin measuring almost 500 feet on each side. Constructed of marble, inlaid with mother-of-pearl and semi-precious stones, and covered with gold plates and leaves, the temple, built in 1601 under the order of Gurû Arjan, has been a UNESCO World Heritage site since 2004. Destroyed during the Afghan invasion of 1758 and rebuilt eight years later, the temple, whose upper floors are covered with more than 1,650 pounds of pure gold, is a unique jewel among India’s historic buildings.
Stupa of Enlightenment, Spain
Also known as the Stupa of Enlightenment, this Buddhist monument to peace, prosperity, and harmony is a landmark in the town of Benalmádena, just outside Málaga, on Spain’s southern Mediterranean coast. Inaugurated in 2003, the white temple is 108 feet tall and contains murals depicting the life of Buddha. The stupa is the largest in Europe and a legacy of Lopon Tsechu, a Tibetan Buddhist monk and teacher who was responsible for the construction of many other stupas in both Asia and Europe.
Abu Simbel, Egypt