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Temple of Leah: A Journey to the Taj Mahal of Cebu

Perched on the hills of Busay in Cebu City, the Temple of Leah stands as a majestic symbol of love and devotion. Often referred to as the “Taj Mahal of Cebu,” this grandiose structure was built as a tribute to Leah Albino-Adarna by her husband, Teodorico Adarna. The temple, with its neoclassical architecture and stunning views, has become a popular tourist destination, drawing visitors from all over the world.

The magnificent fountain graces the entrance of the mausoleum. The fountain in the Temple of Leah features three naked maiden statues and four seated horses.
The magnificent fountain graces the entrance of the mausoleum. The fountain in the Temple of Leah features three naked maiden statues and four seated horses.
The grand columns and statues of the Temple of Leah evoke the elegance of ancient Roman architecture, making it a magnificent landmark that celebrates timeless love and devotion.
The grand columns and statues of the Temple of Leah evoke the elegance of ancient Roman architecture, making it a magnificent landmark that celebrates timeless love and devotion.
The 9-foot golden statue of Leah shines brightly inside the Temple of Leah, symbolizing eternal love and devotion, surrounded by intricate stained glass art that enhances its majestic beauty.
The 9-foot golden statue of Leah shines brightly inside the Temple of Leah, symbolizing eternal love and devotion, surrounded by intricate stained glass art that enhances its majestic beauty.
A Roman-inspired guardian stands to protect the treasured memories inside.
A Roman-inspired guardian stands to protect the treasured memories inside.
Inside the temple, it now features the various ceramic collections of the late Adarna.
Inside the temple, it now features the various ceramic collections of the late Adarna.
The late Adarna is a bookworm, as evidenced by their large book collection.
The late Adarna is a bookworm, as evidenced by their large book collection.
And of course, their taste for expensive liquors.
And, of course, their taste for expensive liquors.
Teodorico's inside Temple of Leah is now open, serving some great Filipino dishes.
Teodorico’s inside Temple of Leah is now open, serving some great Filipino dishes.
Foggy day at the Temple of Leah. Also known as Cebu City's Taj Mahal.
Foggy day at the Temple of Leah. Also known as Cebu City’s Taj Mahal.
Illuminated against the night sky, the Temple of Leah exudes an enchanting glow, inviting visitors to explore its timeless beauty and grandeur.
Illuminated against the night sky, the Temple of Leah exudes an enchanting glow, inviting visitors to explore its timeless beauty and grandeur.
Under the night sky, the Temple of Leah glows with an ethereal beauty, highlighting its grand architecture and intricate details, making it a captivating sight to behold.
Under the night sky, the Temple of Leah glows with an ethereal beauty, highlighting its grand architecture and intricate details, making it a captivating sight to behold.

A Monument of Love

The Inspiration

The Temple of Leah was inspired by Teodorico Adarna’s deep love for his late wife, Leah. Construction of the temple began in 2012, with the intention of immortalizing Leah’s memory. Much like the Taj Mahal, which was built by Emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his beloved wife, Mumtaz Mahal, the Temple of Leah serves as a grand gesture of eternal love. It is also similar to The Ruins in Bacolod City.

They started to have a family at a young age when Leah was 16 and Teodorico was 19. Leah later died of lung cancer at 69 years old. The building reportedly costs around 80 million pesos, symbolizing his undying love for his wife. Teodorico promised that he would store all her things under one roof.

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Architectural Marvel

The temple’s architecture is reminiscent of ancient Roman and Greek structures. It features grand columns, detailed sculptures, and expansive terraces. The main building is adorned with intricate designs and statues that showcase the artistic craftsmanship involved in its construction.

Key Features

The Grand Staircase

Upon entering the temple, visitors are greeted by a grand staircase leading up to a large brass statue of Leah, which is the centerpiece of the temple. This statue symbolizes Leah’s lasting legacy and her esteemed place in her husband’s heart.

The Temple Grounds

The temple complex spans several hectares, with beautifully landscaped gardens and terraces that offer breathtaking views of Cebu City and the surrounding areas. The elevated location of the temple provides a panoramic view, making it a perfect spot for photography and sightseeing.

Inside the temple is a museum and gallery that houses Leah’s antiques, books, and memorabilia collection. These items provide a glimpse into Leah’s life and the things she cherished, further personalizing the experience for visitors.

According to her daughter Arlene Adarna Mangubat, her mother, Leah, is a known hoarder who never threw anything away, even plastic Jollibee spoons.

Watch our cinematic tour of the Temple of Love and Taj Mahal of Cebu City on our YouTube Channel.

Visiting Temple of Leah (2024)

Visiting Hours

Temple of Leah is open daily from 6:00 AM to 12:00 MN providing ample time for visitors to explore its grounds and enjoy the scenic views.

Entrance Fee and Other Miscellaneous Fees

  • Weekday Rate: PHP 120 per person.
  • Weekend Rate: PHP 150 per person.
  • Parking Fee: PHP 50 for cars and PHP 30 for motorcycles.
  • Event Pictorial: PHP 5000 per event.

How to Get to Temple of Leah

  • By Jeepney: You may catch a 04D, 04I, or 04H (Lahug-Busay) jeepney from downtown Cebu City. The fare is around PHP 10 per person. Ask the driver to drop you off at the street going to Temple of Leah. It’s a five-minute walk to the site.
  • By Motorcycle: You may take a habal-habal from JY Center in Lahug. The fare costs PHP 150 per person.
  • By Car: Navigate using Waze or Google / Apple Maps and key in Temple of Leah. There are plenty of parking spaces available.

Location Information

Temple of Leah is located on top of a hill in the town of Busay in Cebu. The travel time from downtown Cebu is around 30 minutes.

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Nearby Attractions

Pair your visit with nearby attractions like Sirao Flower Garden, Tops Lookout, and Skydeck360 for an unforgettable adventure in Cebu.

Chixboy Restaurant

For a casual dining experience with a local flair, Chixboy Restaurant is a great choice. It is just walking distance from Temple of Leah. Known for its delectable Filipino dishes and cozy atmosphere, Chixboy is a favorite spot for both locals and tourists. The restaurant offers a variety of grilled specialties, making it a perfect stop for a hearty meal after visiting the Temple of Leah.

Mountain View Nature Resort

Also located a short walk from the temple, Mountain View Nature Resort offers a rejuvenating escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. This hidden gem perfectly blends nature and adventure, providing visitors with breathtaking views, various activities, and a serene ambiance that refreshes the mind and soul. 

Sirao Flower Garden

Known as the “Little Amsterdam” of Cebu, Sirao Flower Garden is a vibrant display of colorful blooms set against the rolling hills of Busay. This flower farm features a variety of flowers, including celosia, sunflowers, and daisies, making it a favorite spot for photographers and nature lovers.

Tops Lookout

Offering panoramic views of Cebu City, Mactan Island, and the surrounding areas, Tops Lookout is a popular destination for those seeking a breathtaking vantage point. The best time to visit is during sunset, when the city is bathed in golden light, providing a perfect backdrop for photos.

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Skydeck360

Located in Cebu City, Skydeck360 offers an elevated dining experience with 360-degree views of the urban skyline, the rolling hills, and the shimmering sea. This luxurious restaurant combines exquisite cuisine, a sophisticated ambiance, and breathtaking views, making it a must-visit for both locals and tourists.

Cebu Taoist Temple

Located in the upscale Beverly Hills subdivision of Cebu City, the Cebu Taoist Temple is a place of worship for Taoism practitioners. The temple’s design is reminiscent of traditional Chinese architecture, complete with dragon sculptures, a pagoda, and a stunning view of the city. Visitors can climb the 81 steps representing the 81 chapters of the Taoist scripture and enjoy the serene ambiance and panoramic views.

Sachiko’s Little Kyoto

Situated in Busay, Sachiko’s Little Kyoto offers a slice of Japan with its traditional Japanese architecture, serene Zen gardens, and cultural activities. Visitors can participate in workshops on ikebana (Japanese flower arranging), origami, and calligraphy, providing a deeper understanding of Japanese culture and creating lasting memories.

Conclusion

A visit to the Temple of Leah in Cebu is more than just a sightseeing trip; it’s an immersion into a story of love, art, and architectural grandeur. Whether you’re admiring the Roman-inspired structures, exploring the art-filled halls, or enjoying the panoramic views, Temple of Leah offers a unique and memorable experience.

As you stand in awe of this testament to eternal love, ask yourself: What legacy of love and beauty will you leave behind? Share your thoughts and inspire others with your own stories of enduring devotion.


Plan your visit to the Temple of Leah in Busay and explore the beauty of Cebu from one of its highest peaks. Share your experiences and photos with us using the hashtags #suroyph and #discoveryph – we’d love to hear about your journey!

For more travel inspiration and tips, visit Suroy.ph and follow us on Facebook and Instagram for the latest updates and trending travel posts.

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