- This article is about a location, for the episode, see The Western Air Temple
The Western Air Temple was one of the four temples of the Air Nomads, and one of the two, the other being the Eastern Air Temple, exclusively housing female Airbenders. It is located in the mountains north of the Fire Nation. Its population was however wiped out at the beginning of The War during the Air Nomad Genocide. The temple is notable in that unlike the other three temples, it is situated underneath the edge of a cliff instead of atop a mountain. The spires seem as though they were built upside-down, and because of that, the temple is hidden to the passerby.
Aang and his friends headed to the Western Air Temple for a safe place to stay after the unsuccessful invasion. It was there that Zuko began his search for the Avatar following his banishment. Ironically, after following the remnants of the invasion force there, Zuko decided to join Aang, pledging to teach him firebending.
Combustion Man attacked this temple in hopes of eliminating the Avatar and his gang. Thanks in part to Zuko's intervention on their behalf and Sokka's expertise at using a boomerang, Combustion Man was defeated and killed when the building he was on exploded and fell into the nearby canyon. The temple suffered extensive damage from the attack but is still largely intact.
In "The Southern Raiders", Azula leads an attack on the temple, battling her brother and forcing the rest of the group to flee. After one of her blast clashes with an equally powerful blast from Zuko, both of them are thrown off the Airship. Zuko is saved by the group, who was flying on Appa, and Azula uses her Firebending to propel herself towards the cliffside, using her hair piece as a hook to slow the fall. The attack resulted in quite a large amount of damage, but the extent is unknown. It is known that the remnants of the fountain were completely destroyed.
The temple's design allows wind to flow into even the deepest chambers, which made the Air Nomads feel quite at home. Although its interior has not been shown, Teo also mentions seeing a hall of statues. The temple features some interesting recreational spots, such as a giant Pai Sho table, an all-day echo chamber, and an air bison obstacle course and racetrack.
Another interesting feature is a series of metal doors used as shields that are found within the fountain area.
While other nations possess royalty and are run by monarchies, the Air Nomads are led by the monks/nuns of the Air Temples, i.e. by a theocracy.
The Air Nomads are the only nation comprised entirely of benders, due to the highly spiritual nature of their lives. It is said that meditation was an important part of the Airbenders' daily routines, as it helped them to focus their energies and understand the potency of their element.
The arrow on an Airbender's head signifies that he or she has mastered Airbending. This is an emulation of the natural arrows on the heads of Flying Bison, animals revered by the Air Nomads who can naturally Airbend and are believed to be the inspiration for the first Airbenders. As seen in the episode "The Storm", apprentice Airbenders have no tattoos. In order to receive the tattoos as well as the title of a master, an Airbender must pass the thirty-six levels of airbending along with creating a new technique.
Natural Resources and FoodsEdit
As could be determined, air is the main and most significant power source and natural resource of the Nomads, as without it they would be rendered powerless. With the power of air channeled under their control, the Airbenders were enabled to defend and protect their homes and way of life and travel across the globe.
The Air Nomads were a tranquil and environmentally friendly race of people and did their best not to leave a mark on the land. Any industry that they started, such as farming and gardening, were powered naturally. They also produced their own food.
Air Nomads are also vegetarians, as are the modern monks of Tibet. This is suggested by Aang's words when he said he didn't eat meat in "The King of Omashu", as well as other various episodes.
- Until Combustion Man destroys part of the fountain structure and blows up one of the temples inverted towers, this seemed to be the only temple untouched by other parties; the Southern Temple had Air Nomad corpses from the battle with Fire Lord Sozin's forces, the Northern Temple was modified by Earth Kingdom colonials, and the Eastern Temple was cleaned up by Guru Pathik. The Western Temple is only known to have been visited by Iroh and Zuko a week after the latter's banishment.
- The Western Air Temple is sometimes considered to be the group's new "home".