The Temple Of Leah: Cebu’s Answer To India’s Taj Mahal
Cebu is one of the provinces of the Philippines and it is in Central Visayas Region. The capital of this province is Cebu City and it is also the first and the oldest capital of the country and it is politically independent from the government of the province. This province is one of the most developed and the most modern provinces in the country and it is the main area of trade, industry, education and commerce in the Visayas region. It has now transformed into a national and global hub for tourism, shipping, business processing services, furniture making and heavy industry in just over a decade.
One of the new tourist attractions of the province is the Temple of Leah, located in Lahug, Cebu City. This temple is labeled as the Taj Mahal of Cebu, and it is a gesture of love of a local to his late wife who passed away because of cancer. The difference between the Taj Mahal and the Temple of Leah is that the temple is a mausoleum. It is a shrine that is made to hold the memory, the treasures and the life of Leah Adaran, the wife of Teodorico Adarna and they are the grandparents of the Filipino actress Ellen Adarna.
There are those who say that the construction of this temple was too much to do to honor a late wife, although it is now one of the most visited tourist attractions in Cebu. It is also a must-see tourist attraction because of the grandeur of the place, and they say it is worth 80 million pesos to construct. The Adarna clan is known to run the motel chain named Queensland in the province, they opened the temple to the public in 2016. The construction of the temple started in 2012 and they are still doing finishing touches. It is a 45-minute drive from Cebu City, and you will need to play an entrance fee of 50 pesos to go on a tour of the temple.
This temple is 7 stories high and it covers a total land area of 5,000 square meters and since the construction is still ongoing it could cover more. The gate of the temple opens to the temple driveway that then leads to the courtyard of the temple. The floors of the courtyard are made of granite and the fountain that is at the center of the courtyard is made of marble.
The overall structure of the temple is inspired by the ancient Roman temple and its architecture and it is completed with Doric inspired columns that are all made of granite. There are various Grecian statues around the temple that are placed at the corners and over the several parts of the temple. There are two golden lions that stand guard on the sides of the main stairs of the temple that leads to the portico, it then leads to the main shrine that features the statue of Leah and it stands 9 feet. The statue is made of brass and there is also a brass plaque that is placed on the podium signed by Teodorico himself. There are 24 separate chambers on the main structure of the temple and it holds the collection of Leah, from Chinese jars, antiques, paintings and numerous shelves of books.
You can visit the temple from 6am to 11pm and it is open every day. You can rent a taxi to take you to the temple, but it is advised to rent a car instead since it is cheaper and the price is fixed, plus the car services can take you to other tourist attractions that are close to the Temple of Leah, so you can go on a full on tour. There is an entrance fee of 50 pesos and a parking fee of 100 pesos, if you wish to book the place for photography purposes it will cost you 2,500 pesos.
Other must-visit tourist attractions near the Temple of Leah
1. ) Cebu Taoist Temple
The Taoist Temple was built by the Chinese community in Cebu in 1972. It is in Beverly Hills, Lahug and it is one of the main tourist attractions of Cebu. This temple is open to worshippers and the non-worshippers. You will see a massive dragon statue at the entrance of the temple as it is the replica of the Great Wall of China. The entrance is free, and it is open every day, from 6am to 5pm.
2. ) Cebu Taoist Temple
The Sirao Flower Garden of Cebu is its answer to the beautiful flower gardens of Amsterdam. This flower garden has rows of gorgeous and fascinating flowers that matches the overall ambiance of the place. The are different types of flowers in this garden, there are hyacinths, tulips and daffodils. This flower garden will make you feel like you are in Europe since not only does it offer a majestic view, it also matches the cool breeze of the mountains.
3. ) Sky Experience Adventure
If you are looking for an adrenaline rush in Cebu City, then you can try the famous Sky Experience Adventure. It is in the heart of the city and it is at the top of Crown Regency Hotel. This heart dropping activity is the ultimate city escapade experience as you can get the full view of the city while being moved around the area. If you are not afraid of heights and if you want to try something new, then this is a must for you.
4. ) Osmena Peak
If you love climbing and hiking, then you can visit Cebu’s Osmena Peak. This is the highest hill in the city of Cebu and it is in Dalaguete. Once you reach the top of the hill, you will be able to see the clear view of the seashore line of the city and the view of the nearby municipalities. There are local tour guides who can assist you during the trek.
5. ) Sirao Peak
This peak is another must climb mountain in Cebu. You can go night trekking, day trekking or you can camp overnight. You will be able to see the beautiful city of Cebu and you can also enjoy nature up close. This is one of the most accessible mountains in Cebu City that is why a lot of people keep on coming back.