Home > General Knowledge, Temple > 242/365 – Wat Rong Khun

242/365 – Wat Rong Khun

Wat Rong Khun is a contemporary unconventional Buddhist and Hindu temple in Chiang Rai, Thailand. It was designed by Chalermchai Kositpipat. Construction began in 1997,finished in 2008.

Style and construction   Wat Rong Khun is different from any other temple in Thailand, as its ubosot is designed in white color with some use of white glass.

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 ubosot (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.

Visitors will find it rather bizarre to find modern images throughout this temple. Images of the Predator from the Hollywood film, Spiderman, Batman, Keanu Reeves character in the Matrix, rocket ships, etc.

The sea of hands rising up towards the bridge to the temple, some holding skulls are very striking.   In 1997, Chalermchai Kositpipat volunteered his service to carry out the construction of the ubosot at his own expense as an offering to Lord Buddha, but he later altered the plan as he saw fit in such a way that Wat Rong Khun developed into a prominent site attracting both Thai and foreign visitors.

Nowadays, Wat Rong Khun is still being constructed. When completed, the construction project of Wat Rong Khun will consist of nine buildings: the ubosot, the hall containing Lord Buddha’s relics, the hall containing Buddha images, the preaching hall, the contemplation hall, the monk’s cell, the door façade of the Buddhavasa, the art gallery, and the toilets.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wat_Rong_Khun

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Categories: General Knowledge, Temple
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