The Temple is a sanctuary in the Island's Dark Territory, where many of the Others used to live. A massive, crumbling wall half a mile away surrounds it, and an extensive network of ancient tunnels and chambers exists beneath it. One particular chamber has a connection with the Monster. The Man in Black attacked the temple in his smoke monster form shortly before his death, killing all inside who did not join him . ("Sundown") The Temple has subsequently been abandoned.
The origin and history of the Temple is unknown, although given its age, the hieroglyphics and the inscriptions found within the chamber beneath the Temple it seems quite likely the Temple is of similar age to the Statue of Taweret and other ruins found on the Island. ("Dead Is Dead")
The DHARMA Initiative
Although located in "Hostile territory", it appears that the DHARMA Initiative was aware of the existence of the Temple. In 1977, the Initiative appeared to be conducting remote video surveillance of the Temple ruins from The Flame. Additionally the appearance of a distinct DHARMA logo designating the Temple's location on Ben's map suggests some sort of DHARMA presence at the site. ("Namaste") ("Through the Looking Glass, Part 1")
An initial draft of The Truce makes a mention of both sides protecting "shrines and sanctuaries" on the Island which is likely a reference to the Temple.
Richard takes Ben into the Temple. ("Whatever Happened, Happened")
The Temple appears to be a place of special significance to the Others. It is described as a place of sanctuary. Richard Alpert brought a young, dying Ben here to be healed at the spring in 1977. Richard describes the process as having side-effects: that young Ben would lose his memory and his innocence. "He will always be one of us." It is implied both Eloise Hawking and Charles Widmore are aware of the Temple. ("Whatever Happened, Happened") ("Dead Is Dead")
The Bésixdouze team
Not long after arriving on the Island in 1988, the French science team from the Bésixdouze expedition was attacked by the Monster. One of their members, Montand, was dragged a long distance through the jungle -- and down into a dark hole in the ground beneath the outer wall of the Temple, losing an arm in the process. Hearing his cries for help, the other members of the team, with the exception of Danielle Rousseau, descended into the darkness attempting to rescue him. It is not clear what happened to them beneath the Temple, although Danielle later attributes this encounter to the start of their "change" or contraction of the Sickness.
Several months later, a changed Robert claimed the Monster was a security system charged with guarding the Temple just before he was shot by Danielle. ("This Place Is Death")
In meeting the survivors some sixteen years later, Danielle describes the area where Montand lost his arm as "Dark Territory". She also describes the Monster as a security system for the Island. ("Exodus, Part 1")
In "Left Behind" the Others abandoned The Barracks, traveling across the Island on foot to The Temple. In "The Brig" Ben tells Locke that they are "going to a new place. Well an old place actually". This is the first mention of the temple. At the conclusion of Season 3, Ben asked Richard to continue to take the rest of the group to the Temple while he and Alex attempted to intercept the survivors before their arrival at the radio tower. ("Through the Looking Glass, Part 1")
The Temple on Ben's map. ("Meet Kevin Johnson")
With the imminent arrival of the mercenary team and fearing for Alex's safety, Ben directed Danielle Rousseau to take Karl and Alex to The Temple, describing it as possibly "the last safe place on this island." Ben gave Alex a map indicating the Temple's location marked with a unique DHARMA logo. When Karl asked if the other survivors could join them, Ben refused, stating that Temple was only for the Others. The significance of this statement or why he would permit Rousseau to accompany the two of them to the Temple is unknown, but was probably just a sign of good faith, like when he gave Alex to her. ("Meet Kevin Johnson")
In 2007, The Man in Black, appearing as John Locke, brought Ben and Sun to Temple. Arriving at the outer wall, Ben told them the wall was originally built to hide the Temple from outsiders, and that the Temple itself was located half a mile inland from the barricade. "Locke" told Ben they were not going to the Temple itself, but were instead going underneath it—indicating the dark opening beneath the wall: the same opening the science team entered many years before.
Sun waited outside while the two of them descended into an ancient series of tunnels and chambers leading beneath The Temple. Becoming separated from "Locke" within the tunnels, Ben found himself in a chamber with a large central engraving depicting what appeared to be the Egyptian god Anubis confronting the Monster at that spot. Moments later, the Monster crept out of a vent beneath the engraving and surrounded Ben, displaying events from his past relevant to his relationship with his daughter, Alex. Moments later, the smoke retreated back into the vent, and the Monster appeared as Alex in the room with Ben. Tranquil at first, she slammed Ben into a pillar and told him she knew Ben was intending to attempt the murder of Locke again. She then cautioned him against this, threatening to destroy Ben. "Alex" made Ben promise to follow "Locke's" every word before releasing him and vanishing mysteriously. Ben was unaware that Locke, Alex, and the Monster were all the same person. ("Dead Is Dead")
2007 (season 6)
The survivors arrive at the Temple for the very first time. ("LA X, Part 2")
Acting on Jacob's orders, Hurley, Jack, Kate and Jin took an unconscious Sayid to the Temple to heal him. Attempting entry via the tunnel system, they were captured by the Others and taken before their leader, Dogen. The Others were on the verge of executing the four of them, when Hurley saved the day by announcing that they were sent by Jacob. Reconsidering after finding Jacob's message, the Others brought Sayid into springs within the Temple. Dogen was surprised to find that the waters in the springs were not clear. Despite this, Sayid was carried down into the pool and forcibly submerged by several of the Others. At the same time, Dogen produced and hourglass and flipped it over to begin running. Reviving in the pool below and thrashing violently, Sayid was held beneath the surface water until the grains of the hourglass run out. Motionless on being removed from the water when the time in the hourglass expires, he was pronounced dead by Dogen. Jack briefly attempted to administer cardio-pulmonary resuscitation to him unsuccessfully -- believing his friend was gone.
A short time later Sawyer and Miles were brought into the Temple, having been caught out in the jungle by the Others. In talking to Hurley, Dogen was horrified to hear the news that Jacob was dead and immediately sounded an alarm. The Others leapt into action, appearing to be securing the Temple against imminent attack. Dogen ordered guards to their positions along the walls. A line of ash was drawn across the entrance of the Temple and the door barricaded, campfires were extinguished and a flare-rocket launched into the sky - while the survivors from 1977 watched with bemusement, not understanding what is happening. Lennon explains to Hurley that they were not being locked in, the Others were attempting to keep "him" out.
Later, Lennon appeared requesting to speak with Jack in private. Jack resisted and began fighting with several of the Others, but the conflict was cut off short when Sayid sat up, apparently very much alive. Sayid paused, seeming confused, and asked "What happened?" ("LA X, Part 2")
The Man in Black invades the Temple. ("Sundown")
Jack was later asked by Dogen to kill Sayid with a poisoned pill, which he refused to do. Meanwhile, Kate and Jin left to track down Sawyer, who had also left. ("What Kate Does") Sometime later, Hurley, who had been playing Tic-Tac-Toe with Miles in the Courtyard, went into the the Temple in search of food. He saw a man kneeling by the Temple Pool, pouring something into from small vial and quickly realized that it was Jacob. Jacob gave Hurley instructions on how to leave the Temple and find the Lighthouse. On his own, as he did not even try to convince Jack to come with him, Hurley was discovered by Dogen as he searched for the secret passageway. When Hurley was told by Dogen to "go back to the Courtyard," Jacob appears to Hurley and told him to tell Dogen that he was a "candidate" and also that Hurley cannot go alone -- he must bring Jack. In response to Hurley's statement that it is impossible to get Jack to do something that he doesn't want to do, Jacob told Hurley to tell Jack that "he has what it takes." Using this quote, Hurley was able to convince Jack to come with him on this mission. At the Lighthouse, Jacob told Hurley they cannot return to the Temple as "someone bad" was coming to it. ("Lighthouse")
The ruins of the Temple, after the massacre.
That afternoon, Claire appeared at the Temple. She told Lennon and Dogen that "he," the Man in Black, wanted to speak to them. In Japanese, Dogen told Lennon to put her "in the hole." Dogen then gave Sayid a knife, instructing him to kill the Man in Black with it. Sayid departed and encountered the Man in Black, who told Sayid that Dogen was trying to get him killed again. Sayid returns to the Temple and gives everyone an ultimatum from Man in Black: Join the Man in Black by sundown or be killed. That night, Sayid killed Dogen and Lennon, allowing the Man in Black access to the Temple. In his smoke monster form, he massacred those who stayed behind. Ben, Sun, Ilana, and Frank arrived. Ben went to get Sayid and found him crouching over the Temple Pool, looking at Dogen's and Lennon's bodies. Told by Ben to come with him so that he can be safe, Sayid gave him an evil look and said "Not for me." In the meantime, Ilana, Sun and Frank took Miles with them to the secret passageway. The Monster in Locke form was outside the Temple, and with various Others, Claire, Sayid, and Kate in tow, leaves the Temple area. ("Sundown")
Jin discovers the wall around The Temple. ("This Place Is Death")
The outer wall
The Temple Wall is built at a distance of about a half mile around The Temple. Ancient, crumbling and overgrown, the exterior of the wall is adorned with hieroglyphics appearing similar to those found on other ancient ruins across the Island. In some places, these hieroglyphics appear rudely carved over otherwise delicate and intricate decorations in the stonework. Ben indicated the wall function in keeping outsiders from seeing or approaching the Temple. The wall has at least one stone door allowing access to the interior.
At one location along the outer wall, near a corner, is a large opening leading downwards into a series of tunnels beneath the Temple. This opening has existed since at least 1977. ("Whatever Happened, Happened") In bringing Sayid to the Temple to be healed in 2007, Jack, Kate, Jin and Hurley found the skeleton of Montand lying near the opening. ("LA X, Part 1")
Surrounded by jungle, the Temple stands at the center of the mile-wide circle created by the outer perimter wall. It is an immense ancient stone ziggurat of some five tiers standing at one end of a large pond. Based on the height of the figures near the entrance, the structure is perhaps some sixty to seventy feet high. The Temple appears to have one main entrance and two small alcoves on either side containing Buddha-like statues seated in a cross-legged position. Above the main entrance a very steep stairway ascends to a dark doorway in the final tier high above. The structure is slightly overgrown with vines hanging down in numerous places.
Opposite the main entrance, several small steps lead down into the pond.
The main entrance of the Temple appears to provide access to some type of corridor passing completely through the ziggurat and emerging through a door on the far side into an adjoining courtyard structure. This courtyard appears to be a central living area for the Others inhabiting the Temple. Several doorways disappear into adjoining stone buildings and a large steep stairway ascends through the tiers up the rear of the ziggurat from here. Close to the ziggurat is a large metal gong suspended from a post used to sound an alarm. The courtyard also has a small makeshift bamboo scaffold which can be used to launch flares that can be seen elsewhere on the Island.
The pool room
The dark spring inside The Temple. ("LA X, Part 2")
On passing through an arcade at the far end of the courtyard, a door gives access to a large chamber containing a bubbling spring of water set into the floor. Several stone stairways descend into the water below. Numerous hieroglyphics cover the columns of the arcade and at least one of the stairways. On bringing Sayid here to be healed in 2007, Dogen and Lennon were surprised to find that the water in the pool had turned dark.
The healing spring
Immersion in the spring appears to provide healing benefits although, as described by Dogen, there can be risks. On one side of the pool is a short pedestal atop which sits an ornate hourglass which is usually kept covered. While smaller injuries can be cured by simple immersion - as evidenced by Dogen cutting his hand - more serious wounds require the patient to be forcibly held beneath the surface of the water until the sands of the hourglass expire. Upon their expiration, the patient will either drown, or survive being simultaneously healed of their injuries. ("LA X, Part 2") Richard Alpert also indicated there may be other side-effects to the healing process. In taking young Ben to the Temple to be healed in 1977, he told Sawyer and Kate that the boy would lose his memory and innocence - and that he would always be "one of us." ("Whatever Happened, Happened")
Located elsewhere in the Temple compound, Dogen appears to occupy a sizable stone chamber lit by oil lamps and by daylight filtering down through openings in the ceiling. A stone firepit occupies one side of the room used for heat and cooking. The room largely seems dedicated to the careful cultivation of small potted plants or herbs - which cover several shelves, racks hanging from the ceiling and a large table in the middle of the room. Other dried herbs hang over a stone bench nearby. Among the plants, Dogen appears to be growing tea. ("What Kate Does")
The chamber also contains several bookshelves and a large desk containing a typewriter and a baseball. Another corner contains a specialized sinister chair equipped with arm, leg and head restraints next to a small table supporting a hand-cranked electrical generator.
One of the corridors in the courtyard complex contains a secret doorway marked with a hieroglyph looking similar to an omega sign. The passage is open by pressing on the block containing the hieroglyph - and pushing in on the section of wall that subsequently opens. The far end of this hidden tunnel opens beyond the Temple's outer wall near a big tree. ("Lighthouse") ("Sundown")
Beneath the Temple
The mural from the Cerberus chamber (Source: Duncan Crawford)
An extensive network of ancient tunnels and chambers on at least two levels exists beneath the Temple which were first seen in "Dead Is Dead". There are at least two known entrances to this maze-like area: a large opening leading beneath the Temple Wall and a second passage leading to the surface inside the perimeter wall. This second passage is closed by two heavy wooden doors. ("LA X, Part 1") These passages are similar in design and are linked with The Tunnels located beneath The Barracks - a journey said to take a day and a half traveling above ground.
The Cerberus chamber
A large central chamber, located somewhere deep beneath the Temple. The high ceiling is supported by four columns covered in ornate hieroglyphics. Central at one end of the room is a large stone engraving of The Monster and the Egyptian god Anubis. Beneath the carving lies a large angled stone slab perforated with a myriad of tiny holes. This slab forms a vent allowing the Monster access to the chamber.
|Picture||Name||First visit||Last visit|| Reason for visit
|Jin||"This Place Is Death"||"LA X, Part 2"||While time-travelling, Jin met the science team. When they were travelling through the jungle, the monster attacked them, dragging Montand to the Temple wall. Jin and the other members of the team attempted to rescue Montand, but the monster succeeded in dragging him into a hole in the ground. Jin came later back with Jack, Hurley and Kate to heal Sayid who had been shot.|
|Richard||"Whatever Happened, Happened"||"Whatever Happened, Happened"||Entered while carrying Ben after agreeing to save him. Later ordered by Ben to lead the Others there.|
|Ben||"Whatever Happened, Happened"||"Sundown"||Carried inside by Richard after being given to the Hostiles as a boy. Returned with "John Locke" for judgment.|
|Sayid||"LA X, Part 2"||"Sundown"||Brought to the Temple after being shot by Roger Linus.|
|Sawyer||"LA X, Part 2"||"What Kate Does"||Was taken to the Temple after being captured by the Others.|
|Miles||"LA X, Part 2"||"Sundown"||Was taken to the Temple after being captured by the Others.|
|Jack||"LA X, Part 2"||"Lighthouse"|| Brought Sayid to the Temple along with Hurley, Kate and Jin to heal him.
|Hurley||"LA X, Part 2"||"Lighthouse"|| Brought Sayid to the Temple along with Jack, Kate and Jin to heal him.
|Kate||"LA X, Part 2"||"Sundown"||Brought Sayid to the Temple along with Jack, Hurley and Jin to heal him.|
|Claire||"Sundown"||"Sundown"||Entered the Temple to tell Dogen the Man in Black wanted to see him.|
|The Man in Black||"Sundown"||"Sundown"||In the form of the Monster.|
|Ilana||"Sundown"||"Sundown"||Came to the Temple with Sun, Frank and Ben during the Temple Massacre.|
|Sun||"Sundown"||"Sundown"||Came to the Temple with Ilana, Frank and Ben during the Temple Massacre.|
|Frank Lapidus||"Sundown"||"Sundown"||Came to the Temple with Ilana, Sun and Ben during the Temple Massacre.|
- A draft of The Truce, and potentially the final document, stipulated that the DHARMA Initiative entering or violating any ruins on the island was a violation.
- The inhabitants of the Temple all appear barefoot, much like the deceased Jacob. This is also in keeping with their previous ragged appearance in season two.
- A fan visting the temple set discovered two statues of presumed trimurti on the front of the temple. 
- For fan theories about these unanswered questions, see: The Temple/Theories
- Who built the Temple, when, and why?
- Why did the Temple have its own DHARMA logo on Ben's map?
- What happened to Rousseau's team underneath the Temple?
- Why did the Others feel it was important to keep outsiders from seeing the Temple?
- What is the Monster's connection to the Temple?
The healing spring
- How were the spring's healing properties discovered?
- Why did the spring change color?