“Don’t worry about the world coming to an end today. It is already tomorrow in Australia.” With a beautiful tomorrow come beautiful dreams of natural wonders, beaches, and deserts. Do you think such a dreamland exists? Yes, it does. Every country holds their own culture, norms, climate and food but there are some which are truly distinctive. 

One such country is Australia which comprises the island of Tasmania and various other smaller islands and is the largest country in Oceania. Australia is known as the “Land Down Under” as it was unearthed while searching for land under Asia in the Southern Hemisphere. It is a place known for its bushes, outbacks, wide-open spaces, and architectural wonders that have been designed to enhance the city’s beauty. 

From being mesmerized by the vast Outback of Australia to being on an island hosting vast rainforests, this city gives a tangy flavour of all contours of nature.

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Religious places-outback of australia_©www.idp.com32
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Island of australia_©www.idp.com

“You might not remember all of their names, but they will never forget yours.” We tend to forget what is important we have to see rather, we find solace in the outer beauty of the buildings which you would not even remember the names of once you visit them. Temples are buildings that are reserved for religious rituals and function well only if the believers can sense the level of devotion and sacredness in the house of deities. 

Architecture in Australia started with the European style, where the indigenous people played a very important role in creating an image of the city. With passing time, many government buildings could be seen flavouring in Georgian architecture style (an architecture between 1714 -1830), and at the same time, Gothic Revival architecture (architecture influenced by neo-gothic styles) came into existence in the 19th century.  

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With all these events taking place, an important movement, known as the “Federation architecture style” took place where “style of your own” became the mentality of the Australians in the 20th century. All these changes from the European style till the 20th century affected the style of every building and worship place, creating diversity in the type of styles and architecture. 

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Shree Swaminarayan Temple Mandir_©Google

Coming to the 21st century many buildings have emerged to be truly unique and have been a reflection of Australia’s culture and values and worship places have evolved according to the cultural significance of the particular deity they worship. A diversity of temples such as churches, Hindu Temples, and a lot more can be seen in this country of Australia. With an amalgamation of religions such as Islam, Catholicism, Hinduism, and Christianity, the character of the country can be said to have unity in diversity.

Below is the list of 15 Temples every Architect must visit while in Australia.

1. Sri Vakrathunda Vinayagar Temple, Melbourne
| Religious places

This temple houses the deity of Lord Ganesha and hence the name. Initially, the temple was constructed out of bricks, mortar, and concrete to receive a similarity to the modern buildings. It was the longingness of the management committee that the oldest temple in Victoria was assembled from the traditional material that was carved out of the ancient Hindu temple, i.e., granite. 

This living stone is considered to capture the vibrations of music and the chanting and the prayers that are performed within the temple. This is the only stone where all the 5 elements of nature, i.e., earth, water, air, fire, and space could be found and was recommended by all the ancient Hindu temple architects and priests. 

Hence, we can conclude that all the traditional Hindu temples, if they cannot have the entire temple made out of granite, at least they will have the deities made out of granite. Due to its high durability, strength and scratch-proof property, this stone can last over 1000 years. 

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sri vakratunda vinayaka temple_©www.theindiansun.com
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DETAIL OF TEMPLE_©www.theindiansun.com

2. Durga Temple, Sydney

The Sydney Durga Temple is a Hindu temple which is situated at 21-23 Rose Crescent, Regents Park in Sydney. The temple is devoted to the Goddesses Durga, Lakshmi, and Sarasvati who are the 3 main deities. The temple complex entails 3 levels namely the basement level which comprises the wedding hall & educational hall, the ground level which involves the entrance and the main car park, and the final level which comprises the main temple sitting above the car park. 

The Sydney Durga Temple Wedding Hall is an auditorium with a seating capacity of 800 that masses cultural performances, weddings, functions, conferences, musical and dance performances, celebrations, and the temple’s annual fundraising dinner. Navratri is a Hindu festival celebrated in honour of the divine goddess Durga during the Hindu calendar month of Ashvin. 

The practiced architecture used to build this temple is the Dravidian Style Architecture. Despite being in a country where Christianity is the most practiced religion, the amount of devotion and architecture never makes you feel away from home. 

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Sydney Durga Temple Interior_©en.wikipedia.org

3. Sri Venkateswara Temple, New South Wales | Religious places

Sri Venkateswara Temple in Helensburgh NSW is Australia’s first Hindu Temple created in the traditional style of Hindu Temple architecture. It rests as a marvelous example of Hindu temple architecture. It serves as an impressive local landmark due to its location in a bushland setting. 

The formation of Sri Venkateswara Temple began in 1978 when a small group of people thought to construct a Hindu temple according to Vedic principles (Agama Sastras). They preferred this divine site in Helensburgh because “it is said the gods always play where groves are, near rivers, mountains and springs and in towns with pleasure-gardens”. 

According to the ancient principles of Hindu temple construction, the site had to be virgin landideally, an island with plenty of water sources, situated on a coastline. So, this temple helped in creating a better image of the country.

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4. Bala Murugan Temple, Western Australia

Bala Murugan Temple is located on Mandogalup Road, Mandogalup which is 38 km south of Perth in the state of Western Australia. The temple is positioned on a high sand dune (kunru) in a region of about five acres in a lush green environment. It bears resemblance to the temples of Tamil Nadu in every way. 

It is commendable that as the Lord of the hill area, Bala Murugan in the State of Western Australia also exists on a high sand dune. The shrine of Bala Murugan has a 10m high tower (gopuram) with separate shrines for each of the other deities in the temple. A 15m high raja gopuram which is the highest tower at the east gate has been built. 

The Bala Murugan temple’s raised landscape with the raja gopuram has made the temple a landmark building in the southern city of Perth in the state of Western Australia. 

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Religious places-Bala Murugan temple_©Google

5. Perth Hindu Temple | Religious places

The vision of this temple is to improve the religious experience for all the diverse communities. The temple strives to organize religious, spiritual, educational, social, and cultural activities for the assistance of the Hindu community and the wider interested audience. The production of the building started in March 1989 around Shivratri. It was finished in 1990 and the icons, involving that of Lord Ganesha, were mounted in their present place over a 3-day ceremony. 

The aura of such great souls and their blessings have given this temple the holiness, the energy of goodwill, and the love that it constantly radiates. Our scriptures express that it is the Sankalpa of a Mahatma who does the inauguration (prana pratishta) of the Murti which causes the ever-present to shine out in the image.

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Perth Hindu temple_©hindu.org.au
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Religious places-Interior of temple_©hindu.org.au

6. Shree Swaminarayan Temple, Sydney

One of the most projecting features of the tradition of Swaminarayan is temple architecture. The images in the temples constructed by Swaminarayan are mostly of Krishna. All of the temples made during his life display some form of Krishna, and all temples since are having such murtis to worship. 

Swaminarayan temples, like other Hindu temples, have walkways around the middle shrine to allow worshipers to gather around the shrine. They are frequently ornamented with designs and inlaid marble. The main shrine area is separated by railings. One side of the railing is kept for women, as Swaminarayan spread that men and women should be parted in temples to allow full concentration on god. 

Men do a quantified number of worships (as decided by themselves). In front of the men’s section, there is a small section kept for ascetics and special guests. There is great diversity in form and nature of the central images, in front of which are gold or silver plated doors that open during darshan.

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7. Cathedral Of St. Stephen, Brisbane

The cathedral is situated on a site confined by Elizabeth, Charlotte, Creek, and Edward Streets, in the Australian city of Brisbane, Queensland. St Stephen’s is a gothic revival cathedral with a cruciform shape in plan. Since this is a plain cathedral it has a range of remarkable features such as the spire-topped sandstone towers, imported stained glass windows from Munich, the organ, the altar, and the newer Blessed Sacrament Chapel at the back of the building. 

The most important striking feature is the stained glass window by Harry Clarke, acknowledged as the “Mayne” window, which is placed above the sanctuary on the east wall. The cathedral is constructed mainly of Brisbane tuff and freestone. 

The Blessed Sacrament Chapel is built from reinforced concrete and the refurbished spires from glass-reinforced concrete. Inside the cathedral, the stained glass windows are intensely well-lit by the sun and cast colored patterns on the floor and walls. The interior has a cool and energizing characteristic.

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Saint Stephen’s Cathedral_©en.wikipedia.org
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Interior of cathedral_©en.wikipedia.org

8. St. Mary Of The Angels Basilica, Geelong | Religious places

St. Mary of the Angels Basilica, earlier St Mary’s Church, is a basilica located in Yarra Street, Geelong, Victoria, Australia. St. Mary of the Angels has the highest bluestone spire in Australia, at 150 feet (46 m), and has the 4th highest non-cathedral spire in Australia. It is the highest edifice in Geelong, with a total altitude of 210 feet (64 m) from the pavement, and is a major landmark in the city. 

The first St. Mary’s church was a small wooden chapel in Yarra Street, inaugurated on 27 November 1842. The audience quickly expanded the chapel and a stone replacement was constructed in 1846. This basilica consists of the front tower crowns, the transepts, the crossing and spire, and apsidal chapels. It was a Gothic Revival architecture style that was used to make this Basilica.

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OLD St Mary’s Church, Geelong_©en.wikipedia.org
Basilica St Mary of the Angels_©en.wikipedia.org

9. Sacred Heart Cathedral, Bendigo

Sacred Heart Cathedral, Bendigo is the cathedral church of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Sandhurst. The cathedral is situated in the local city of Bendigo, Victoria, Australia. It was constructed in the Gothic style in 1895 by an architect of the firm Reed, Barnes, and Tappin. 

Sacred Heart Cathedral is one of Australia’s leading churches and the third-highest after St Patrick’s Cathedral and St Paul’s Cathedral in Melbourne. A large pipe organ was mounted in this cathedral. It is 75 m long and has a ceiling altitude of 24 m. The main spire is 87 m high. The spire has a lighter construction than what was originally designed, being steel framed and covered with a masonry veneer. 

Sacred Heart Cathedral_©en.wikipedia.org
Sacred heart Bendigo interior_©en.wikipedia.org

10. St. Brigid’s Church, Perth | Religious places

St Brigid’s Church is a heritage Roman Catholic church in Northbridge, Western Australia. The church encompasses the church building itself, a convent, a presbytery, and a school. The church is constructed in Federation Gothic style with walls of red brick. It is about 60 feet wide and 115 feet long and the altitude to the ceiling is 40 feet. There are 3 aisles which give access to seating for 700-800 people. 

A large rose window can be seen over the main entrance on Fitzgerald Street with another entrance on Aberdeen Street. On the corner nearest Fitzgerald and Aberdeen Streets, the stairs to the choir are stretched up to a tower containing a belfry. The windows on the side are being prepared of freestone. The roof is created of Green Welsh slate. 

The furniture in the church was customized from solid polished jarrah timber. The convent consists of oratory and presents a hammer-beamed trussed roof. The windows are tinted dado and leadlight panel bay windows are painted gold. The school is a 2-storey structure in the Federation Arts and Craft style.

Religious places-Brigids Church Perth_©en.wikipedia.org
Religious places_St Brigid’s Church with St Brigid’s School_©en.wikipedia.org


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