5 of the World’s Most Inaccessible Monasteries

Here are some far out places of faith which house followers of many different creeds. Whether it is Orthodox Christianity, Buddhism or Islam, these monasteries were built to be protected from the powers that be – ones that may not agree with their words and lifestyle. They were built on mountains, rocks or cliff sides, overlooking beautiful vistas where one could chant into infinity and be “away from the world.”

Over the years humans have chosen paths of life they feel is right for them. Some have felt that participating in a monastic life is a higher calling; one which typically brings about honor to the monk’s family. Certain monasteries offered seclusion (and food and water!) to those that would commit their life to the religion, focusing solely on serving and living their faith in that particular culture.

Religions still continue to fight each other, sometimes over economics involved in their area and sometimes over people’s hearts and minds. Battles and fighting in the past would encourage the devout to build hard to reach monasteries. In the event that mass destruction or a conquering took place, the remote buildings would protect sacred scripts and the culture of the faith. Below are photos from Bhutan, Burma, Greece, Turkey and China.

Monasteries of Meteora, Greece

Taung Kalat Monastery, Burma

Taktsang Palphug Monastery, Bhutan



Sumela Monastery, Altmdere Valley, Turkey



Hanging Monastery or Hanging Temple, Shanxi, China

Shawn Saleme

Shawn Saleme is a contributing writer for Visual News. A 4th generation San Franciscan, Shawn has developed an adventurous spirit that has taken him to over 55 countries. His degree in cultural anthropology shapes his perspective and thirst to socially experiment in a rapidly shifting planet. His work has been featured in the Seattle Times, The Globalist and the Daily Mail. Currently he is writing a book about the shared economy. Connect with him @shawnsaleme.

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2 Comments

  1. Coleysays:

    How do they even get building materials up there? I couldn’t imagine living on the side of a cliff like that. It’s insane, but looks insanely peaceful too. Maybe I’m in.

  2. Kaedesays:

    I like this. Thanks for keeping the news visual, Shawn.

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