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World's most BIZARRE temples

Last updated on: September 03, 2014 15:27 IST
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Places of worship may be admired and respected but not all temples are traditional in appearance. Some believe in taking the unconventional route and making a bold statement. lists a few such temples that shun tradition and prefer the unusual look.

Here are some of the world’s most bizarre places of worship.

Upside-down church, Calgary


Originally, in Vancouver, the Device to Root Out Evil was relocated to Calgary after it was considered too controversial, and some people were offended by it.

Bullet Baba temple, Rajasthan

Om Banna is a shrine located in Pali district near Jodhpur, devoted to a deity in the form of a motorcycle.

The story behind why the bike is revered is that, in 1988 Om Singh Rathore, alias Om Banna, was killed after he lost control of his Royal Enfield and crashed into a tree. The police brought the bike to the police station, but the next day the bike was spotted at the accident site. The police brought it back to the police station and emptied the fuel tank, but again the next day, the bike surfaced at the accident spot.

The bike has continued to stand undisturbed at the site since then, with its mysterious prowess prompting locals to convert the place into a shrine. It is now called the Bullet Baba temple.

It is believed that Om Banna’s spirit helps distressed travellers. The temple includes a tree ornamented with offerings and the temple beside the Enfield motorbike has a picture of Singh.

David Beckham Temple, Bangkok


The Wat Pariwat has been nicknamed 'David Beckham Temple' for an unusual reason.

To the right of the Buddha image in the far corner of the altar is an image of former England football team captain David Beckham.  

Beckham apparently has replaced a Garuda, one of those mythic winged creatures, in this anonymous looking temple.

Crafted by a fan with the agreement of the abbot in 1998, the figurine is just 30 cm high.

Lego Church, Netherlands



Lego enthusiasts in Netherlands have built themselves a block church.

The Abondantus Gigantus church was constructed in 2012 in Enschede for the Grenswerk Festival out of concrete Legioblocks, which are used to build walls and industrial buildings.

See-through church, Brussels


Courtesy Gijs Van Vaerenbergh's Facebook profile

This see-through church is in Borgloon, 80 km east of Brussels.

Designed by Belgian architect Gijs Van Vaerenbergh, it was chosen by visitors of architecture website Archdaily as building of the year in 2012.

It is made with 100 layers of steel and weighs 30 tons.

Sachin Tendulkar temple

A village in Bihar has taken the god of cricket to another level.

In the small town of Atarwalia, a life-sized marble statue of Sachin Tendulkar wearing a blue jersey stands on a 10-feet high brick platform.

The statue weighs 850 kg and cost almost Rs 8.5 lakh. The villagers now plan to build a temple.

Disappearing temple in Vadodara


Stambheshwar Mahadev Temple is situated about 40 miles from Vadodara in the small town of Kavi Kamboi of Gujarat. Located within the Bay of Khambhat in the Arabian Sea, this temple of Lord Shiva can only be visited during the low tide hours.

In the hours of high tides it remains mostly submerged. People flock this temple in large numbers to witness the event of submerging or reemerging of the temple from the sea.

Cardboard church in New Zealand


The Transitional Cathedral church in New Zealand has once again opened its doors after it was rocked by an earthquake in February 2011. The quake killed 185 people.

Designed by Japanese architect Shigeru Ban and delivered by Christchurch architectural firm Warren and Mahoney, the cardboard cathedral cost $5.3m, accommodates 700 people and has an expected life of 50 years.

Karni Mata Temple (rat temple)

A devotee pours an offering of milk for rats at the Karni Mata temple in Deshnoke. Photographs: Kamal Kishore/Reuters

At Karni Mata temple in Rajasthan, rats aren't shooed away but are worshiped. Thousands of the rodents scurry across the temple's checkerboard floors, getting tangled in each other's tails and fighting for access to huge saucers of milk.

The rats are venerated as the holy descendants of Karni Mata, who was worshiped as an incarnation of the Hindu goddess Durga during the 15th century.

Tiger temple

A Buddhist monk walks near tigers at the Tiger Temple in Kanchanaburi province, west of Bangkok Photograph: Chaiwat Subprasom/Reuters

Tiger Temple, or Wat Pha Luang Ta Bua, is a Theravada Buddhist temple in western Thailand that was founded in 1994 as a forest temple and sanctuary for wild animals.

Among them are several tigers, the majority of which are Indochinese tigers. The tiger temple is located in the Saiyok district of Thailand’s Kanchanaburi province. 

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