The White Temple

The White Temple
 
Also known as The White Palace. Wat Rong Khun is regarded as one of the most beautiful temples built in this century. A masterpiece of artist Chalarmchai Kositpipat, famed for his extravagant and unique Buddhism-related paintings, Wat Rong Khun reflects the artist’s grand visions of Heaven, Hell and Nirvana. This Buddhist temple is pure white and coated in tiny mirrors which shine so bright on a sunny day that its appearance is almost blinding to the eye, the main assembly hall and adjacent area are carved in white with glass mosaics.Surrounded by fountains and pools of water which are home to dozens of albino Japanese fish (koi-carp) the temple is an incredible sight to behold. The temple and its grounds are constantly undergoing renovation due to Kositpipat’s desire for perfection. The project is predicted to take ninety years to complete and the artist has plans in place to ensure that his work is continued long after his death. The construction started in 1997 and the assembly hall is not yet completed, only two walls have so far been painted with a depiction of heaven and hell. Look closely and you’ll see pictures of international heroes like Spiderman, Sailor Moon and even Ben 10 hidden in the murals. When it’s completed (it could take 50 years), the temple will have nine buildings. Donations are welcome but should not exceed B10,000 as Chalermchai doesn’t want to be under the influence of big donors, even though he’s spent more than B40 million of his own cash.

Construction began in the late 1990s, but areas of the facade are still blank slates ready to be covered. No matter how that turns out, the white temple is unlike any Buddhist temple in the world. In fact, although worshippers come here daily, this is more of an elaborate art project than a devotion to the Buddha. 

 
Before you can enter you must pass hundreds of grasping hands which symbolise the gulf between Heaven & Hell. Hundreds of clay hands desperately reaching out of the pit under the bridge, some holding skulls, others holding pots for alms. Known as the ‘Pit of Hell’ these hands represent people trying to escape.
The bridge represents a crossing over to the Abode of Buddha from the cycle of rebirth. The semi-circle seen in the image below represents the human world. The fangs in the larger circle represent the mouth of Rahu, meaning impurities in the mind, a representation of hell or suffering.
Amazing statues.
So many different symbols.
A beautiful place.
At the entrance there are two ‘demons’ right and left depicting the sinful addictions of human beings... alcohol and cigarettes.
The detail is amazing.
A heart tree.
Young girls in Chiang Mai.
Thai traffic Police.
The Forza visits the White Temple.
The man responsible for designing the White Temple. Chalermchai Kositpipat. Or at least a wooden cut out of him.

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