Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Wat Hua Wiang : Mae Hong Son

Located next to Mae Hong Son market, Wat Hua Wiang is a temple with a large compound featuring a large Burmese-style bronze Buddha image as its focal point. The compound also features a two-storey building with a multi-tiered tower and although the temple’s buildings are a bit dilapidated, this adds to its appeal. In addition, the temple is quite lively as it houses quite a few monks. This is a nice temple to visit.

The temple is open daily and admission is free (although donations are suggested).

How to get there: Wat Hua Wiang is near the airport and is accessible by Tuk-Tuk and Songtaew and is available by bus from Mae Hong Son.

[ source credit to discoverythailand.com ]

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Wat Muang Kao Saen Tum :Trat Province

Wat Muang Kao Saen Tum

in Khao Tah Moh, Moo 7 Baan Erem. Tambol Praneet. The temple is 38 km far from Amphoe Khao Saming Office. In the southern area lies dark brown stone ingots of different shapes from 4 to 9 sides. The stones are 30-150 cm. in length and weigh from 10-100 Km. The way the stones are put and piled up suggests that the area once used to be a place of worship. When Knocked upon, some stones give the sound resembling that of belts. The Historical site is believed to be built in pre-BC time.

source: moohin

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Wat Phlup : one of the oldest temple in Chanthaburi

Wat Phlup
Located at Ban Samet Ngam about 8 kilometres to the southwest of the provincial town is an archaeological site where remains of many old vessels have been found.

The vicinity is also dotted with a number of square- shaped basins along the shore indicating they might have been a boat -building site. It is believed that the forces of King Taksin constructed their war vessels around here in preparation to liberating Ayutthaya after its fall.

at Tambon Bang Kacha to the southwest of town was the site of an old community during the late Ayutthaya period. Special features are two ancient pagodas of different styles and an old Thai wooden pavilion.

[ source: moohin.com ]

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Monday, May 28, 2007

The Old Palace Grounds : Chonburi

The Old Palace Grounds
are in a verdant area by the sea. Built during the reign of King Rama the fifth, the palace was once a hospice of royal princes and princesses to recuperate after their illnesses. Several ponds, which are still in good condition, are found in the palace garden.

These ponds were bestowed with beautiful names, such as Atsadang and Phitphlen ponds. There are also two temples built at the behest of King Rama the Fifth: with a European style ordination hall and pagoda, situated on the topmost part of the hill and Wat Atsadang NimitWat Chuthathip Rajathammasupha situated in the Bhanuransi Village area in the northern part of the island.

[photo credit: www.chonburi.go.th ]

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Mural Painting of Wat Buak Khrok Luang : Chiangmai

This temple has a charming wooden Lanna style viharn built around 1857. It is famous for its 19th century murals, which depict tales of the previous lives of the Buddha in a northern style. Continue down the lane to Ban Suan restaurant and access to H 1317 beyond.

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Thursday, May 24, 2007

Prasat Muang Singh Historical Park : Kanchanaburi

One of the most important sites found in the Khwae Noi River basin is an ancient city site named Muang Singh. The important discoveries made near the ancient city remains include prohistoric human skeletons together with metal tools, vessels and ornaments; brick bases of the Dvaravati period architecture; and the laterite ruins of the 13th century.

This Muang Singh must have been an important outpost of Angkor as it was mentioned in the Prasat Phra Khan inscription made during the reign of King Jayavarman VII. At present, Muang Singh on the bank of Khwae Noi river is included in Muang Singh sub-district, Sai Yok district, Kanchanaburi Province. The vestiges of the ancient city comprise several layers of rectangular walls and moats, having Prasat Muang Singh in the middle. Other three lesser monuments in ruins are also found in the area. From the main monument has been discovered a number of Mahayana Buddhist images.

The three lesser monuments could have been built in the same period as Prasat Muang Singh in the 13th century, in the area which had been on the important communication route that connected central Thailand to Lower Burma.

photo source

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Snam Chand Palace : Nakhon Pathom

Located about 2 km West of Phra pathom Chedi, covering an area of 888 rai, 3 ngarn, 4 sq wah, there are a number of exquisite royal residences and palaces during the reign of King Rama VI available as follows : Piman Pathom hall, Wat-Charee Rommaya Hall, The Charli Mongkol Asna building, The Marie Raja Rata Ballang building, The Tabkaew hall, The Tabkwan hall, Rean Tabcharoen, The Mounment of Monument of King Rama VI, Sra Nam Chand.

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Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Wat Phra Yuen Buddhabahtyukol : UTTARADIT

Wat Phra Yuen Buddhabahtyukol Is about 200 meters away from Wat Phrataen Sila-at. This is an ancient temple which has been in existence along with Wat Phrataen Sila-at and is located on the same hill but on different doi. As legends tell, that that Lord Buddha has traveled here and stood on top of this hill so the footprints of his left and right feet have appeared on the same laterite base.

These Buddha footprints are 1.50 meters high above ground and have lotus base supporting and there is a Mondhop covering the Buddha footprint.
At the side of mondhop there is remnant of laterite stone, which is the base of old, chedi having the shape like Khaobin shape of Sukhothai period. In the area of this Wat Phrayuen Buddhabahtyukol still there is a small vihara where Maravichai posture bronze casted Buddha image is situated. It is Sukhothai art Buddha image called Luang Phor Buddharangsi

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One of the world's most amazing constructions : Phra Prang Sam Yot Lopburi

Once a Hindu Shrine, is the landmark of Lop Buri, and only 200 metres from the train Station. It was constructed in Lop Buri style with laterite and sandstone decorated with stucco. The adjoining prangs signify the Hindu Trinity of Brahman, Vishnu and Siva. In the reign of King Narai, the Shrine was converted to a Buddhist temple as some Buddhist designs can still be seen on it.

This former Hindu Shrine is Lop Buri's best known landmark. The laterite and sandstone structure was constructed in Lop Buri style and decorated with stucco. The three towers signify the Hindu Trinity of Brahma the Creator, Vishnu the Preserver and Shiva the Destroyer. During the reign of King Narai, the shrine was converted to Buddhist temple.

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Monday, May 21, 2007

Wat Phra Non : Kamphaeng Phet

Wat Phra Non
is the renovated Buddhist monastery with four laterite walls. Within is compound, there are a square shaped well and bathrooms.

Its chapel whose base and pillars are made of laterite has the boundary stones (or SEMA) carved in as a diety in the Thai salute manner and other delicate designs. Behind the church is situated a vihara housing the reclining image of Buddha.

The vihara's wall was partly cut into space blocks replaced by balusters. Another striking spot is its large pillars. Nowadays, this construction styles are rarely found.

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Saturday, May 19, 2007

Wat Analayo-Doi Busarakham: Phayao

Wat Analayo is on Doi Busarakham, 20 kms. from town to the north. It is a big temple built by a Thai monk who was known as "Phra Kru Phaiboon" Within its wide compound, the big and beautiful Buddhist image of the Sukhothai style as well as many other structures are present. The view of Kwan Phayao (The natural lagoon) and the town can be seen from top of the hill.

photocredit : moohin

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Wat Ku Tao :Chiangmai

The chedi of Wat Ku-Tao was built in 1613 in the shape of five guards of various sizes beautifuly decorated with colored porcelain - representing five Lord Buddhas.

People disagree on whether the unusual chedi resembles a stack of five pumpkins or five alms bowls in ascending sizes. But one thing is for sure, behind the walls guarded by celestial lions, the main appeal of the temple is its peace as savoured under the banyan tree

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Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Wat Wang Wiwekaram ( Mon Temple ) : Kanchanaburi

Wat Wang Wiwekaram

The temple was built on the donation of villagers who had faith in Abbot Uttama. It is the shrine of Mon's pride and the most important temple of Sangkhlaburi. The landmark is the59-meter high replica of Chedi Buddhakhaya. The top of the Chedi contains Buddha's relics from Sri Lanka. The shrine houses "Luang Por Khao", a large white marble Buddha image. Near the lake is an exotic bell tower built in Mon architecture.

9 Kilometres from the town is the famous Wang Wiwekaram Temple,diocese of the revered Uttama Abbot.Near here,tourists may rent low cost accommodations at sangkhlaburi cottages beside a running brook. Wat Wang Wiwekram

This extensive temple on the southerm outskirts of Sangkhlaburi edges the Khao Laem reservoir. The compolex is constructed in an unusual mix of thai,Indian and Burmese Buddhist architectural styles.and the abbot "Luang Pho Uttama" is highly revered among local people including tribal folko and Burmese.


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Wat Phra That Suthon Mongkhon Khiri :Phrae

Three kilometres from Den Chai district, or some 2 kilometres from the provincial town, is Wat Phra That Suthon Mongkhon Khiri. Although a comparatively modern temple, it boasts highly eye-catching structures. The Ubosot in particular is noted for its delicate sculptures with fine designs.

There is also the golden teak structure in the Lanna-style which houses valuable relics of the North, including Buddha statues, lacquerware, Lanna musical instruments, ancient weapons and pictures depicting past events.

photo: moohin.com

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Wat Thung Si Muang : Ubon Ratchathani

Wat Thung Si Muang is located on Luang Road in the municipal area. The temple was built during the reign of King Rama III and has a beautiful ordination hall in the northeastern architectural style. A scripture hall is located in the middle of a pond, featuring a roof that shows the Burmese architectural style while the lintel was carved in Laotian architectural art. Mural paintings in this temple feature the civilisations and cultures of the people of Ubon Ratchathani over 200 years ago.


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Sunday, May 13, 2007

Thai Temple Glossary part 2

(Photo : Mondop at Wat Phrakaew, Bangkok)

Mondop is a square based structure usually topped with a spire. It is often erected above the libray holding the sacred Buddhist scripts.

(Photo :Ho trai Wat Phra Sing)

Ho Trai : The Ho Trai (also transcripted as"Ho Phra") is the library of the Wat. It is usually a very small, highly decorated building.

In the Central Plains it often sits on columns in a pond . The holy scripts and sacred manuscripts of the Wat are kept inside.

Viharn : A Viharn is a sermon hall. It is usually the busiest building in a Wat and open to everyone (provided the visitor behaves according to the temple etiquette!: you must be properly dressed, take off your shoes before entering a building and behave quietly) Just like the Bots, Viharns hold an altar and one or several Buddha images.

Sala : A Sala is an open-sided pavilion. Some Viharns are built in this style

Naga : A Naga is a representation of a mystical serpent that according to the holy scripts sheltered the Buddha while he was meditating. In temple architecture, it runs down the edge of the roof, or, especially in Lanna (North of Thailand) temples, flanks the staircase that ascends to the Viharn or Bot. In sculptures, it is depicted sheltering the head of the Buddha with its own. Beautiful representations of Nagas are known from Khmer art, as found in the Khmer ruins in the Northeast of Thailand.


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Thai Temple Glossary part 1


There are thousands of temples, or wat, in Thailand. Some of these vary in style and size but according to the principles of Buddhist architecture, the structures within a temple should include a bot, or ubosot, for religious ceremonies such as ordinations; a wihan to house various Buddha images and for laypersons to take part in religious services;

A Sala kanparien which is a large meeting hall which is not only used for religious services but also sometimes as a social or civic center; a mondop for storing the Buddhist scriptures; chedi for housing sacred relics or images; a ho rakang, or belfry, to sound the time for ceremonies, prayers, etc. and kuti where the monks live. Some may also have a library, a crematorium and a school.

Wat : A Wat is a Thai Buddhist temple or monastery. In most cases it is not just one building, but a collection of buildings, shrines, and monuments within a courtyard that is enclosed by a wall.

The Bot : The Bot (also called Ubosot) is the ordination hall of a Wat. It is the place where new monks take their vows. You can recognize a building as a Bot by the six boundary stones (Bai Sema) that define the limits of its sanctuary. Bots are usually open only to the monks. The building faces east and usually houses an altar and one or several Buddha images. The hornlike finial on the roof ridge is called the chofa, representing the head of the garuda.

Chofah : Chofahs are the bird-like decorations on the end of the temple roofs.

Chedi : A Chedi (a different term would be stupa or pagoda) is a domed edifice, often quite tall, under which relics of the Buddha or revered religious teachers are buried.

Prang : A Prang is an Ayutthayan or Khmer-style Chedi that is high and slim and looks like a vertical ear corn.Many of the Chedis in Wat Phra Kaew or Wat Po in Bangkok are Prangs.

source: ekohchang.com
Photo: thaiwebsites.com

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Saturday, May 12, 2007

Unseen in Thailand Wat Bangkung : Samut Songkhram Photo

Wat Bang Kung: Its main Temple was built in Ayudhaya Period (more than 200 years old) and covered by roots of local trees.

Within the main building is a large stucco
Buddha image that locals called Luang Pho Bot Noi. There are also murals of late Ayutthaya period depicting the story of Lord Buddha's life.

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Friday, May 11, 2007

Reclining Buddha of Wat Khun Inthapramun : Ang Thong

This 50 meters reclining Buddha is housed in Wat Khun Inthapramun, Amphoe Pho Thong, 11 kilometers from the township. The monastery is located in the open air of the rice fields having no roof due to the Wihan housing the image being in ruins.

In front of this image lies a statue of a man who, according to the legend, is Khun Inthapramun, a revenue officer who secretly took away the official money to enlarge the original 40 meters construction of the image. When the king heard about that and interrogated him where from he obtained the money he did not answer and was whipped to death, thus originating the name of this monastery as Wat Khun Inthapramun.

source: hotelthailand.com
photo : moohin

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Wat Phra Pathom Chedi : Nakhon Pathom

Phra Pathom Chedi is the oldest Buddhist monument in Thailand. It is located in a region where Buddhism was first introduced here by Sona Thera and Uttra Thera in the fourth Buddhist century. The present shape of Phra Pathom Chedi differs from the original one which was that of an overturned bowl in the Indian stupa style.

Situated in Tambon Phra Pathom Chedi, Amphoe Muang, It is a towering tribute to Buddhism, a place worthy of being worshipped of Nakhon Phathom. Chedi which, 235.50 metres high, is te biggest Chedi in Thailand, and is also the tallest of Buddhist mounments in the world. The Chedi's upper terrace is surrounded by the bell towers which are spaced at intervals.

It is generally believed that anyone who strikes all of the bells can consign merit to the guarding Gods or Angels. Phra Pathom Chedi has become a center of study and research of historical archaeology since it is the national museum of Phra Pathom Chedi and the collecting place for anient artifacts in abundance such as Phra Ruang Rochanarit, pacifying the relatives posture, is one of the finest bronze image ever buit in Sukhothai style; Buddha Images in "Parlay-lai", in "Pang Sila kao" and in any other postures.


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Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Wat Sothon : Chachoengsao

This temple is in the municipal area by the Bang Pakong River. Built in late Ayutthaya Period, with its original name of Wat Hong, it is the location of Phra Phutthasothon or Luang Pho Sothon, the important Buddha image in the attitude of meditation with a width of 1.65 meters and a height of 1.48 meters high. According to the legend, this Buddha image had been floated along the river, before being placed here at this temple.

The original image was a beautiful Buddha image, but later on cement was placed on the image to prevent from burglary. Worshippers from all walks of life come to pay respect to this most reputed image by pasting gold leaves on the image.

Tourism Authority of Thailand

photo credit :
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