Monday, December 18

Mayan Temples: An Insight Into Ancient Sacred Places

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The ancient Mayan civilization was stretched to the present day Guatemala, Mexico, and Belize. Though the city was at its zenith between third and tenth centuries, it was abandoned later and remained hidden for centuries. One of the most spectacular sites of this civilization is the Mayan Temples that are considered masterpieces of architecture.

El Castillo, one of the Seven Wonders of the World, is one of the most splendid Mayan Temples that was built for astronomical purposes. Built in the shape of Pyramid, these massive structures are part of Chichen Itza. This temple is dedicated to serpent god named Kukulcan. There are four stairways, each having 91 steps that meet at a common central platform. The total number of steps signifies total number of days in a year. Another beautiful temple of Maya is Tikal, Guatemala. It was an important ceremonial center that excelled in city-planning. The art and architecture of Tikal was well developed. Tulum, a famous Mayan ruin located near Caribbean Sea, was a worshipping place of Descending God. Temples of Fresco at Tulum were used as observatories. Palenque is the site of stone temples that were built amidst lush green landscapes. The most important structures here are Temple of Inscriptions, tomb of the Pakal, and Temple of Sun.

Roman Temples that were built about 2000 years ago were the quadrangular shaped structures that were adorned with numerous pillars. They were built in stone and meant for performing religious ceremonies. These temples were built on a high podium. The room housed a statue of the deity that was offered incense, honey, and milk. Animal sacrifice was very common and the ritual was performed on an altar. The animal was decorated with garlands and was killed with an axe. Baalbek, a spectacular place of temples of Jupiter and Venus, had numerous pillars made in granite. Pantheon is one of the other Roman Templesthat served as church. The temple has vaulted roof and no windows. A single opening at the top of the temple was the source of light. The walls were made up of marbles.

There are three temples at Sbeilta each dedicated to three gods of Jupiter, Minerva and Juno. The edifice is built in rectangular shape and the walls are made up of stone slabs. The temple of Augustus is dedicated to the Roman ruler Augustus. At present, it acts as a church.

Now, let’s have a look at Temple of Luxor, an Egyptian temple that dedicated to three gods namely Amun, Chons, and Mut. The temple was the center of attraction as many festivals were celebrated here. Major portion of the temple was built by Amenhotep and Ramses. The festival that was celebrated for many days was marked by the distribution of snacks and drinks. The images of divine gods were carried out in a procession. On reaching the temple premises, the rituals of converting the king to divine power were carried out.Temple of Luxor is characterized by a numerous pylons that wee massive in height and decorated with statues. An Avenue of Sphinxes connected the temple premises to Karnack Temple. The pylons are decorated with war scenes of pharaohs including that of Ramses. The entrance leads to the courtyard. There is a massive corridor that has several capital columns.


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