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What is inside a buddhist temple?

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Traditional Buddhist temples comprise a set of buildings, each of which has a particular function. You're probably asking about the main Buddha Hall - which is usually the most central and largest building on the grounds. A Buddha Hall typically has an altar centered on the wall opposite the door (usually this is the north wall). A statue of the Buddha sits in the center of the altar, on the top level. On lower levels, there are representations of the Four Elements - candles (fire), incense burner (air), offering of rice (earth), and a water jar (water). Flowers are usually on the altar, as well. In a Mahayana temple, there may also be statues of various bodhisattvas on the altar. Buddha Halls may also have a lectern or raised dias from which the head monk/nun will give talks. There may be meditation cushions. There is likely to be an offering box to collect donations. The walls may be painted with various scenes from the Buddha's life. There is usually a large bell that is played ... more
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