The first documented references to temples date back to 300 and 400 CE, with the earliest surviving temple constructions dating back to 500 and 600 CE. The oldest known fully excavated temple site is at Hariharasagar in northern India.
How did they build Hindu temples? First, there were a lot of poor people in ancient India so they couldn't just go buy anything they needed, such as gold or marble. Second, religion was a big part of everyday life in those days; people didn't work on Sundays or holidays, so there wasn't much need for building projects. But they did what they could when they could, using whatever they had around them. Sometimes that meant stone, sometimes it meant wood, but usually it was mounds of dirt.
The most important thing for a temple builder was understanding the needs of the community he lived in. Some builders were more interested in making money than in putting together a good project; they would cut corners wherever they could get away with it. Others were well-to-do members of their community who wanted to show off their status by constructing a nice temple. Still others were Indian government officials who wanted to honor their gods with beautiful buildings.
Hindu temples are different from Christian churches in many ways.
Around 5,000 years old The temple is said to be 5,000 years old, and it is even referenced in ancient Hindu literature. It was during the reign of the Pandava king Yudhisthir that the original temple was built. The exact date of construction is not known but based on historical records it could have been as early as 1042 B.C. or as late as 1042-1028 B.C.
The original temple was destroyed by the army of Alexander the Great in 326 B.C., and it wasn't rebuilt until about 100 A.D. By this time, many parts of India had become dominated by various kingdoms and empires, and so different architects/craftsmen were used for the new temple. In fact, there are several stories as to how the current temple came to be. One story is that a Brahmin priest named Amar Nath gained access to the site and performed certain rituals here ever since then. Another story is that a Shiva devotee named Somnath brought the site's idol from Nepal and set it up as a shrine here. Yet another story is that a merchant named Mahamaya bought the land for the purpose of building a temple for Shiva.
All these stories are probably true in some sense because many ancient temples were never completed in full.
The first Egyptian temples were erected in the shape of reed houses about the middle of the fourth millennium BC. The final Egyptian temple to be built was at Philae, which was abandoned in the sixth century AD.
Reed houses are simple structures made from strips of wood that are tied together with grass or rope to make a strong, lightweight building material. They were often used as storage for grain and for keeping animals, such as cows, pigs, and sheep.
The earliest evidence of organized religion in Egypt comes from statues dating back to 3500 BC. These early religions included Osiris, Isis, Anubis, and Nephthys. As time passed, other gods emerged including Seth, who was said to be the father of Osiris. Eventually, these various gods were incorporated into one big system called "polytheism." There were many gods, but they all belonged to a single family. If you harmed one member of the family you would be punished by another member of the family.
Over time, some priests began to devote themselves completely to serving only one god. This is probably how we get the word "mister" today. Before this time, people were simply called by their names. We can assume that these new ministers took on special titles to identify them as belonging to different families of gods.
The Temple of Isthmia, constructed between 690 and 650 BCE, was possibly the earliest authentic Archaic temple. Its scale, colonnade, and roof set it apart from other structures at the time. The Isthmian Colonnaded Court is approximately 80 feet long by 40 feet wide. It was probably used for athletic competitions or religious rites.
The word "colonnade" comes from the Latin word for "column". This structure consists of parallel rows of columns supporting a roof. The columns are typically about three meters (10 feet) in diameter at their base and they rise about 30 centimeters (1 foot) above the roofline. They are often made of wood but also of stone if there is enough space for them to be placed side by side. The Isthmian Colonnade was most likely built as a shelter for athletes before the beginning of games or rituals because it has been found that the stones were already placed here when the court was built. However, it may have been also used during these events.
The Temple of Hephaestus at Pompeii was the first Greek temple built outside of Athens. It was completed in 708 BCE. Like many other temples in ancient Greece, this one had an internal courtyard.
Gobekli Tepe was built around 11,500 years ago. It is reputed to be the world's oldest known temple.
The first structures at Gobekli Tepe are large monoliths that were used as pillars for buildings to be erected over them. Some of these pillars still stand nearly 10 meters high. Inside the walls, more than 30 smaller stones have been found that are thought to be parts of altars.
The oldest known temple structure in Turkey is from the Late Neolithic period. Göbekli Tepe is estimated to be about 9,500 years old.
Prehistoric people built many other temples throughout Europe and Asia Minor. Some of these are mentioned in ancient writings by travelers such as Herodotus and Strabo, but most were never recorded by anyone who saw them with their own eyes.
People began building larger and larger temples as time went on, until finally you get to early Indian history when people started building enormous monuments in honor of their gods. The earliest confirmed temple structure in India is the Rangjung Temple, which was built during the reign of King Jiraprapa Car in approximately AD 600. It is a remarkable monument because it is constructed entirely out of stone!