When traveling, some countries just prove to be a treat, when you consider all the historical and cultural variations that affected them. South Africa is no exception –this country has a rich and diverse cultural heritage, which is best reflected in the monumental temples that leave visitors amazed and breathless.
Madhya Kailash Temple in Midrand
This Hindu temple with vibrant colors is dedicated to the god Shiva, the destroyer, who is supposed to annihilate all the evils of the world. The temple is based around a Hindu sect that believes Shiva to be timeless and spaceless.
Hare Krishna Temple, Chatsworth
This is another Hindu temple, located within a predominantly Indian part of Chatsworth. Its unusual outside architecture with white towers attracts tourists and leaves long-lasting impressions. This temple is dedicated to the colorful Hindu god Krishna.
Durban Hindu Temple
This is yet another Hindu temple, although this one is believed to be the oldest one in the country, which is why it has been protected as a national treasure for almost 40 years. It was founded by some of the first Indian immigrants to the country in the late 19th century. This temple complex has three parts, each of them dedicated to a different Hindu god: Shiva, Draupadi, and Mariamman.
The Melrose Temple
This Hindu temple also has a long history that dates back to its construction, more than 130 years ago. This temple is believed to be the oldest temple in the Johannesburg area, and it is dedicated to the Hindi deities of Lord Vinayaka and Lord Parameswara.
Shree Ayyappa Kshetram Centurion
It is very difficult to miss this temple for several reasons –the first and the most obvious one being its size, and the second, but certainly not any less obvious, its intricately decorated exterior. Hundreds of figures and thousands of colorful ornaments decorate this temple dedicated to the Southern Indian god Ayyappan, the son of Shiva, who is believed to be the bringer of good luck and prosperity. Even if you are not a religious person, you will be enchanted by the vibrant and colorful appearance of this temple.
ISKCON Cultural Center in Pietermaritzburg
This is one of the most recently opened temples by the Iskcon, but it is by no means less important because of it. Dedicated to the god Krishna, this temple, opened in 2017, was followed by the opening ceremony where followers from around the world came to join in the celebration and joy of opening a new temple.
Clairwood Shree Siva Soobramoniar Temple
This temple with a bright golden exterior dates back to the end of the 19th century. Indians, who live in South Africa, visit this temple to worship the deity Muruga. Aside from that, this temple is well known for its Thaipusam Kavadi festivities that take place each year.
Mariamman Temple Pretoria
This is another temple that visitors cannot help but marvel over, due to its exterior decorated with incredibly lifelike statues of people. It is also one of the oldest Hindu temples in South Africa, established in 1905 and dedicated to the goddess Mariamman.
Lam Rim Buddhist Center in Johannesburg
The first temple on this list that is not a Hindu temple is the Lam Rim center. This Buddhist temple has equipment for reaching devotees all around the world via the Internet and is known for often screening Buddhism-themed movies.
The Kagyu Samye Dzong Buddhist center in Cape Town
This is one of the main Buddhist centers in South Africa and is very significant as it attracts a great number of devotees from all around the country, who seek peace, mindfulness, and happiness.