Sunday, July 28, 2013

Wat Rong Khun - Biggest Buddhist Temple

            Wat Rong Khun in Chiang Rai, Thailand is unlike any Buddhist temples in the world. It is established by a the famous well-known Thai artist Chalermchai Kositpipat, who had accumulated savings over a period of 20 years from selling his paintings. Construction began in 1997.

Wat Rong Khun is different from any other temple in Thailand, as the all-white, highly ornate structure gilded in mosaic mirrors that seem to shine magically ; it is designed to be viewed in the moonlight hours. The white color stands for Lord Buddha’s purity; the white glass stands for Lord Buddha’s wisdom that "shines brightly all over the Earth and the Universe."

The bridge leading to the temple represents the crossing over from the cycle of rebirth to the Abode of Buddha. The small semicircle before the bridge stands for the human world. The big circle with fangs is the mouth of Rahu, meaning impurities in the mind, a representation of hell or suffering.

All the paintings inside the assembly hall have golden tones. The four walls, ceiling and floor contain paintings showing an escape from the defilements of temptation to reach a supramundane state. On the roof, there are four kinds of animals representing earth, water, wind and fire. The elephant stands for the earth; the naga stands for water; the swan's wings represent wind; and the lion’s mane represents fire.

The temple is still under construction. Chalermchai expects it will take another 90 years to complete.
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