The Maya civilization is one of the most ancient societies with certain customs and a cultured way of life. They followed a set of rules and various works were divided into various people. A large population of these people were spread in Central America in the modern day Mexico, Guatemala, Belize etc. Mainly in the Yucatan Peninsula.
Mayans are famous for a number of technologies they had, which were very modern compared to their time. They were the makers of the first hieroglyphic script, which is one of the earliest of writing scripts. Recently they were in news because of the end of their ancient calendar. This calendar started in prehistoric times and ended recently in 2012 AD. Many took it as a sign of the end of the world, as the Mayan Calendar made a lot of prophecies, which later, turned out to be true.
The Maya were a propelled society that thrived in Mesoamerica some time before the entry of the Spanish in the sixteenth century. They were talented draftsmen, building incredible urban areas of stone that stay even a thousand years after their human advancement fell into decrease. The Maya fabricated pyramids, sanctuaries, royal residences, dividers, habitations and that’s only the tip of the iceberg. They frequently enhanced their structures with complicated stone carvings, stucco statues, and paint. Today, Maya design is significant, as it is one of only a handful couple of parts of Maya life that is as yet accessible for study.
Like all the societies and civilization the Mayans also had their mythology they believed in and Gods and Goddesses they used to worship and that is the primary reason they have built so many ancient Mayan Temples. They made several stunning and beautiful temples to delight their gods.
Let’s dive deep into the ancient architecture of the Mysterious Mayan Civilization with 13 Most Beautiful Ancient Mayan Temples.
Ancient Mayan Temples
1. El Castillo, Chichen Itza
One of the best things to see in Chichen Itza lies a splendid piece of Mayan Architecture. El Castillo, “The Castle” in Spanish, is the temple of Kukulcan, the Feathered Serpent God, who was the Supreme God of the Mayan people. He was believed to be the lord of four elements and also the creator of all. It is also listed as one of the best places to visit in Mexico. This grand temple is formed as a step pyramid made of stone. The temple shows an ethereal phenomenon, When the sun goes down, the light and shadow play to show a snake-like feature, rise and fall along the steps of the Temple, this mysterious event occurs twice a year, at spring and fall equinoxes. It is one of the most beautiful Ancient Mayan Temples in the world. It is also listed as incredibly beautiful World Heritage Sites.
El Castillo is the moniker of a standout amongst the most marvelous Mayan sanctuaries that overwhelms the archeological site of Chichen Itza. The structure of the sanctuary has exceptional cosmic hugeness. Each face of the pyramid has a stairway with 91 stages, which together with the mutual advance at the top, indicate 365, the quantity of days in a year. Climbing El Castillo is never again permitted after a lady tumbled to her demise in 2006.
2. Temple of Night Sun, El Zlotz
Recently at the site of El Zlotz, near the great Pyramid of El Diablo, archaeologist found a temple of Mayan Sun God, KinichAhau. This 1600-year-old temple was lost in the primaeval forest of Guatemala and holds an abundance of ancient articrafts and masks of various Mayan Gods, especially the Sun God. The temple is coloured in blood red and consists of giants masks which shows the phases of the sun, as it completes its cycle. Also, read about facts about the Mayans.
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3. Rosalila Temple, Copan
Situated in western Honduras, Copan was a moderately little Mayan city surely understood for it’s exceptional arrangement of representation stelae. The stelae and formed enhancements of the structures of Copan are a portion of the best enduring specialty of old Mesoamerica. A portion of the stone structures at Copán go back to the ninth century BC. The city developed into a standout amongst the most significant Maya locales by the fifth century with in excess of 20,000 occupants yet was strangely relinquished a couple of hundreds of years after the fact. The most noteworthy point in Copán is the antiquated Mayan sanctuary presently known as Temple 16, rising 30 meters (100 ft) over the city’s Great Plaza.
Rosalila Temple is one of the most preserved buildings of the Mayans. It is located in the Ancient Mayan city of Copan, which is in present-day Honduras. It has a gorgeous stucco design at its entrance. In contrast to their other constructions, Mayans did not destroy Rosalila. Instead, it was carefully, buried under the loose soil. The stucco panels were coated using a white paint to change the appearance. At the same time, the other parts of the construction, including the mouldings and niches in rooms were sheathed with mud and stone. Even the original colour is still intact. This fact is strange indeed.
4.Tikal Temple, Tikal
This Temple of the Great Jaguar, as it is known as, is located in Tikal, the largest Mayan city. It is located in modern Guatemala. The tomb of the King Jasaw Chan K’awiilIis buried under it with loads of invaluable articrafts of classic periods.
Arranged in the marsh rainforest of northern Guatemala, Tikal is maybe the most amazing of all the Mayan locales. Reestablished structures are spread around the territory while a lot increasingly destroyed structures are as yet covered up by the wilderness. Between ca. 200 to 900 AD, Tikal was the biggest Mayan city with an expected populace somewhere in the range of 100,000 and 200,000 occupants. Tikal contains 6 extremely enormous sanctuary pyramids. The biggest, Temple-pyramid IV, is about 72 meters (230 feet) high and was done around 720 AD. Moving to the highest point of one of these old Mayan sanctuaries offers an incredible involvement with lovely all encompassing perspectives from over the tree tops.
5.Temple Of Inscriptions, Palenque
Palenque is an archeological site that was situated on the western edge of the Maya domain in the present-day territory of Chiapas, Mexico. Palenque is a lot littler than some of it Mayan neighbor urban areas, however it contains the absolute best engineering and models the Maya at any point delivered. Most structures in Palenque date from around 600 AD to 800 AD including the Temple of Inscriptions, the main Mesoamerican pyramid worked as a funerary landmark.
UNESCO World Heritage site of Palenque, in modern-day Mexico, contains a stupendous Temple of Inscriptions. It was made as a monument of Hanab-Pakal. It consists of one of the longest hieroglyphic texts of the Mayan world, which tells about the 200 years of Mayan history and also the city’s patron deities. The temple gets its name from the three tablets with written inscriptions in it. These are called the East, Central and West Tablet. Interestingly, It says that what happened in past, will repeat itself.
6.Temple of Murals, Bonampak
This one covers the least area, compared to other Mayan sites. Situated in Mexico, it’s still significant, because of its jaw-dropping ancient wall paintings, known as Murals. The Temple of Murals is a long narrow building with 3 rooms on a pyramid. The walls of all 3 rooms are covered with beautiful mural designs. These paintings tell the story of Mayan Kings and Queens, folk dances and songs and also about the bloody Mayan Wars.
Known as the Treasure of the Mayans, ElMirador is one of the largest sites of Mayan ruins. Found in the deep jungles of Guatemala, El Mirador has the highest pyramid temples of all Mayan Civilizations. The breathtaking view of three pyramids El Tiger, La Danta and Los Monos makes it the most prolific tourist attraction of all the Mayan ruins. With narrow lanes between the forests, to reach this place, to indigenous breeds of animals and insects. This place is Heaven for historians and archaeologists.
8. Coba Temple, Coba
The NohochMol temple of Coba is the toughest of all Mayan Pyramids to climb. The steep slope, lean gaps and niches, slippery rocks and the 42 metre of height make it almost impossible to climb. But whoever clubs it, perhaps is rewarded with a spectacular view of whole Coba ruins, and the jungles and lakes surrounding it. As the legend says, at the top of this temple, animals were brought to be sacrificed.
Coba in Mexico was a huge old Maya city that was home to around 50,000 occupants at its pinnacle. The vast majority of it’s landmarks were worked somewhere in the range of 500 and 900 AD. New sanctuaries were fabricated and old ones kept in fix until at any rate the fourteenth century nonetheless, maybe as late as the landing of the Spanish. Coba contains a few huge sanctuary pyramids, the tallest, the Nohoch Mul pyramid is around 42 meters (138 ft) high. Today just a little part of the site has been cleared from the wilderness and reestablished by archeologists.
9. Pyramid Of Magician, Uxmal
One of the most amazing Pyramids in Mexico, El Adivino or the Pyramid of Magician is the central structure of Uxmal, in Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico. Uxmal means “built three times”, which refers to the three layers of the site. The Pyramids elliptical base and round shape make it differ from other Mayan structures. According to the legend, the Magician god Itzamnaerected this single-handedly by his magic. Even many more ancient stories are connected to this Temple. This is one of the most recent sites of all the Mayan civilization, with modern architecture evidently influencing the temples of Uxmal. Even the other temples at this site have large stucco Masks on the facade.
Uxmal, signifying “manufactured multiple times” in the Mayan language, is a standout amongst the best saved Mayan locales in Mexico. The most conspicuous and tallest structure at 115 feet is the Pyramid of the Magician. The layers of the sanctuary pyramid are oval not at all like the rectangular or square layers of other Mayan pyramids. The pyramid seems to have been worked in five stages, beginning from the 6th century proceeding intermittently through the tenth century.
10.Grand Temple of Calakmul, Calakmul
Calakmul is a Mayan site covered up inside the wildernesses of the Mexican territory of Campeche. It is one of the biggest Mayan urban areas at any point revealed with more than 6,500 antiquated structures recognized. Calakmul’s 55 meter (180 foot) high pyramid is by a wide margin the biggest structure at the site. In the same way as other old Mayan sanctuaries the size of the pyramid at Calakmul was expanded by structure upon a more established existing sanctuary to achieve its present size.
Calakmul, located in Mexico, is a major Mayan Centre. It’s a UNESCO World Heritage site. The beautiful Grand Temple of Calakmul, carries gory past with itself, as there are four tombs, hidden in the Pyramid. It’s believed that once, Kaan Dynasty used to rule the land of Calakmul. It was a massive and a powerful centre of Kaan Dynasty. But as the Tikal Kingdom attacked Calakmul, after a bloody battle and the death of Mighty King of Calakmul, Jaguar Paw, Calakmul started losing its powers. But still today in these ruins of Calakmul, the Grand Temple of Calakmul standing strong, with spectacular masks of Mayan Gods on the facade.
11. Temple of the Frescoes, TULUM
Tulum is arranged on the east shore of the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico. It once filled in as the significant port of the Mayan city of Coba. Tulum was worked around 1200 AD when the Mayan human advancement was in decay and in this manner does not have the class of some different acclaimed locales. The tropical shoreline background anyway makes this a one of a kind Maya site which ought not be missed.
Temple of the Frescoes was used as an observatory for tracking the movemnet and positioning of the Sun. The temple is decorated by the Maya “diving god” or Venus deity. There is still a stucco figure of the “diving god” palced at the entrance in the western wall. The eastern wall has a mural that was believed to be originate from the highland Mexico and known as the Mixteca-Puebla style, however, no visitors are allowed to enter here.
Also Read: Top 10 Ancient Greek Gods
12. Temple of the Wooden Lintel, CARACOL
Siting high on the Vaca Plateau, 500 meters (1650 ft) above ocean level, Caracol is the biggest Maya site in Belize. It was once one of the biggest old Maya urban areas, covering nearly 168 square kilometers (65 mi²). At it’s crest around 650 AD it had an expected populace of around 150,000, more than twice the same number of individuals as Belize City has today. The biggest pyramid in Caracol is Canaa (Sky Place), at 43 meters (143 ft) it is as yet the tallest man-made structure in all of Belize. Temple of the Wooden Lintel is one of the ancient mayan temples situated in Belize.
13. Jaguar Temple, LAMANI
Situated in northern Belize, Lamanai was at one time an impressively estimated Maya city. The antiquated vestiges are not totally revealed at this point. Archeological work has focused on the examination and rebuilding of the bigger structures, for example, the High Temple, a 33 meter tall sanctuary. Since it was as yet involved by the Maya when the Spanish arrived, Lamanai, which in Maya signifies “submerged crocodile”, is one of only a handful couple of Mayan destinations to hold its customary name. Lamani site has many temples such as the Mask Temple, Jaguar Temple, and High Temple. The place was not excavated until the mid-1970s.
These Ancient Mayan temples and ruins were left out after the Columbian ships found out the route to America and outsiders came and indulged in the governance of the Indigenous people. The sad truth is that today, the descendants of this great civilization, the Mayan people are discriminated and harmed by the people of their own countries that is Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, and Honduras. But the ruins of their massive ancient Mayan temples and sophisticated civilization are still standing strong with many secrets still hidden in them waiting to be discovered.