Sunday, 31 July 2011

Is this the weirdest Buddhist temple in the world?

I visited this Thai Buddhist temple near Nong Khai Northern Thailand about ten years ago and since then have visited a lot more Buddhist temples around the world but never one as strange and compelling as this one. The immense sculptures are mostly made out of concrete and the main temple hall is that of an overarching spider. By putting in small coins to some of the sculptures they come to life like a skeleton on a bike in a pond. Similar to many temples in Thailand it has a mix of Buddhist, Hindu and Confucian deities.

A Buddhist monk was exiled from his home country Laos in 1978 and ended up in Thailand. He began to assemble a collection of immense concrete sculptures from a variety of Religions and displayed them in a huge garden. It has to be seen to be believed and is a sort of mad scary Buddhist Disneyland – but then the concept of our own eventual demise is of course a scary concept and one the temple highlights in many of its bizarre sculptures.

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