The White Temple of Chiang Rai

 

White Temple of Chiang Rai

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 White Temple of Chiang Rai

Wat Rong Khun, perhaps better known to foreigners as the White Temple, is a contemporary, unconventional, privately owned, art exhibit in the style of a Buddhist temple in Chiang Rai ProvinceThailand. It is owned by Chalermchai Kositpipat, who designed, constructed, and funded the project with his own money in 1997 .

On 5 May 2014 at the temple was damaged by the earthquake.  Chalermchai announced that he would restore the temple to its original beauty in two years and promised to devote his life to the work.

Wat Rong Khun stands out through the white color and the use of pieces of glass in the plaster, sparkling in the sun. The white color signifies the purity of the Buddha, while the glass symbolizes the Buddha’s wisdom and the Dhamma, the Buddhist teachings.

Inside the Wat Rong Khun Temple the walls are painted with larger than life in a contemporary style, colorful characters related to Buddhism. The artist uses icons from modern culture through space ships, Superman, and even Neo from the Matrix.  Taking photos inside is not allowed.

White Temple of Chiang Rai

The bridge leading to the temple represents the crossing over from the cycle of rebirth to the Abode of Buddha. Photo Credit: Flickr – Cory

White Temple of Chiang Rai

Photo Credit: Flickr – Joel Ormsby

White Temple of Chiang Rai

In front of the bridge is a circular area with hundreds of reaching hands which symbolize desire

White Temple of Chiang Rai

White Temple of Chiang Rai

Next to the lake stands two very elegant Kinnaree, a creature from Buddhist Mythology half human, half bird

White Temple of Chiang Rai

White Temple of Chiang Rai

Photo Credit: Flickr – Pierre Bodills

White Temple of Chiang Rai

The rest rooms building. This golden building represents the body. The gold symbolizes how people focus on worldly desires and money. Photo Credit: – Flickr

 

 

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9 thoughts on “The White Temple of Chiang Rai

  1. Amelia

    I really want to go to Thailand. I think its the top of my list now, but I’m having a hard time convincing my boyfriend that we have to go. Maybe these photos will change his mind!

  2. Kat

    Oh this is timely because I will be in Chiangmai at end Jan 2016, hope to visit this temple in Chiangrai, if time permits. The photo with the hands looks kinda eerie though…

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