During my recent Thailand holidays, I decided to explore the following Buddhist architectural marvels in the country. This was a profoundly spiritual experience.
1. Wat Phra Kaew
The Wat Phra Kaew is also known as the Temple of the Emerald Buddha. The temple looked fantastic with its ornate decoration. The Grand Palace which was the former residence of the Thai monarch is also part of the temple compound. The audio guide I rented from the ticket kiosk gave me comprehensive information about both- the temple as well as the palace.
As part of my Thailand tour, I decided to go to Nakhon Pathom to see the Buddhamonton. It was built in 1957 to commemorate the 2,500th year of Buddhism. The upright walking Buddha statue was larger than I had expected. It was around 15.8 meters high. Around the four directions of Buddhamonton, there were four landmarks to represent Lord Buddha’s birth, enlightenment, the first sermon, and death (Nirvana).
3. Khao Chi Chan
The Khao Chi Chan is a simply huge mountain. It features an image of Gautama Buddha sculpted on a marble cliff. Hence it is also called Buddha Mountain. Just looking at the mountain was enough to realize the hard work and skill that had been put into creating this epic work of art.
4. City Pillar Shrine
While I was searching for places to visit and things to do in Thailand, I came across the City Pillar Shrine. Just approaching this beautiful place gave me a sense of peace. On asking a few locals, I came to know that a former Governor of Khon Kaen had laid a stone inscription here for a Buddhism rite following which the City Pillar Shrine was set up.
5. Chiang Mai
Chiang Mai is an ancient city in Thailand. Originally the city was made of teak wood. I ended up spending an entire day exploring the city. It has a large number of monasteries and Buddhist monuments. After witnessing the city, the rainforest nearby is apt for some deep thinking with its sparkling waterfalls and springs.
6. Wat Dharmikarama
The Wat Dharmikarama is also known as the Bat Temple. While earlier it used to house bats, today it is a place for students to study and practice Buddhism. There are murals above the doorways and windows depicting the life of Gautama Buddha and of the ten lives he had lived before. These murals are in a great condition. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to find out who the mural painters were.
7. The Phanom Rung Historical Park
The last site on my list was the Phanom Rung Historical Park. It has the best-restored Khmer monument in Thailand. It is situated on an extinct volcano. It was built as a Hindu monument to Lord Shiva sometime between the 10th and 13th centuries. Later it was converted into a Buddhist religious site. The entire pagoda has intricate designs which tell stories of different Hindu deities. Most of the building is made up of laterite and sandstone.
If, like me, you are planning on visiting Thailand to witness the religious architecture and immerse yourself in the spirituality of this country, be sure to select one of the best Thailand packages that offers visits to the aforementioned places.