“This paper explores the spatial context of these varied functional patterns and whether they have any significance. The empirical case‐studies examine the contemporary spatial context of 36 temples and establish how these exemplify the relationship between the temples and retail activity. The study uses Space Syntax analysis, land‐use descriptions and figure‐ground studies, at city and district levels. In conclusion, it presents five spatial typologies, a set of principles that illustrate the spatial relationships between the temples and retail activity. It becomes evident that there is a significant relationship between the historical evolution of the temple locations and the retail land use which occurs and therefore the spatial typologies which are found.