In the far North, near the Burmese, Laos and Chinese borders is Wat Rong Khun Temple, this temple is like no other! Wat Rong Khun temple is a contemporary unconventional Buddhist and Hindu temple in Chiang Rai. It was designed by Chalermchai Kositpipat. Construction began in 1997.
Wat Rong Khun is different from any other temple in Thailand, as its consecrated assembly hall is white in colour with some white glass. The colour white symbolises Lord Buddha’s purity, the white glass symbolises Lord Buddha’s wisdom that shines brightly all over the Earth and the Universe. The bridge leading to the temple symbolises the crossing over from the cycle of rebirth to the House of Buddha. The small semicircle before the bridge symbolises 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 super mundane 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 swans wings represent wind, and the lions mane represents fire.
In 1997, Chalermchai Kositpipat volunteered to carry out the construction of the assemble hall at his own expense as an offering to Lord Buddha, but he later altered the plan in such a way that Wat Rong Khun developed into a prominent site attracting both Thai and foreign visitors.
At the present time, Wat Rong Khun is still under construction, and will be for years to come. When completed, the construction project of Wat Rong Khun will consist of nine buildings the assembly hall, the hall containing Lord Buddha’s relics, the hall containing Buddha images, the preaching hall, the contemplation hall, the monks cell, the door facade of the Buddhavasa, the art gallery, and the toilets.
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