One of the most iconic temples in Thailand is the white temple, also known as Wat Rong Khun. This fascinating temple has some features that make it unique among Thailand’s many temples. This Buddhist temple is not only a religious attraction but also a fantastic structure showing the beauty of Thailand architecture.
There are some fascinating temples all over the world. Every one of them belongs to a religion or culture and is unique in its own way. Thailand’s white temple is one of the newly built Buddhist temples that we are going to introduce in this article. Keep reading to learn more about Thailand’s white temple.
Different parts of Thailand White Temple (Wat Rong Khun)
Thailand’s white temple has four main areas, every one of which is a symbol of a doctrine in the Buddhist religion. The construction plan of this temple is supposed to have nine parts. The construction will end in 2070, but four of them are built and finished.
Every part of the White Temple is to teach you a lesson from the Buddhist teachings and symbolizes it. Here are the four completed parts of Thailand’s white temple.
The gate of heaven
After walking past the golden bridge, you will get to a gate where two statues of the representatives of death and Rahu are guarding it. There are also several pictures of the Buddha meditating.
The most important building of Wat Rong Khun is the ubosot, which is a white building with glass pieces that double its splendor by reflecting the sunlight. This magnificent building uses design elements of classical northern Thai temples, such as three-tiered roofs and Naga snakes. There are many paintings of Buddhist stories on the ubost’s walls, as well as paintings that describe right and wrong.
The bridge of “the cycle of rebirth”
To access Ubosot, the temple’s main building, you have to cross a bridge with a small lake under it. Hundreds of statues in the shape of human hands are in front of the bridge, which amazes every viewer. The hands are reaching for something or even holding a bowl. Hands are a sign of desire, and this area is a symbol of sorrow and hell. Crossing this bridge and reaching Ubosot represents passing through the cycle of death and rebirth away from grief and sorrow.
This route and passing over this bridge to get to the ubosot building symbolizes the path of going to paradise which you have to forget all the mundane needs. There are two statues of “Kinnaree” by the lake, which are mythological Buddhist creatures that are half human and half bird in the most beautiful form possible.
The golden building
The white temple of Thailand is famous for its color as it is fully built and designed in the color white. The only non-white place in this temple is the golden bridge. The golden bridge represents humankind’s worldly needs and priorities that make them forget about the hereafter world.
History and architecture of Thailand White Temple
The white temple of Thailand is privately owned and one of the newly built temples in this country. Chalermchai Kositpipat is the designer, builder, and owner of the White temple of Thailand who constructed and opened this temple in 1997.
At the end of the 20th century, when the original temple “Wat Rong Khun” was in bad condition and in danger of destruction, its restoration began. But due to a lack of funds, the restoration process stopped.
In the meantime, the talented artist Chalermchai Kositpipat, born in Chiang Rai, decided to rebuild this historical place and restore this castle with his own capital and started his work to learn and meditate on Buddhist teachings. This temple’s construction and renovation work is still ongoing, and it is estimated that this project will be done by 2070.
As we mentioned earlier, the white temple of Thailand is based on a symbolic design that takes the teachings of the Buddhist religion as an inspiration. The color white represents purity in this temple. Belief or doctrines from the Buddhist religion inspires all the features of architecture in the white temple.
Accessibility and timings of Thailand White Temple
- Location: 60 หมู่ที่ 1 Phahonyothin Rd, Pa O Don Chai, Mueang Chiang Rai District, Chiang Rai 57000, Thailand.
- Timings: every day from 8 am to 5 pm.
- Accessibility: The White Temple is located 15 kilometers southwest of Chiang Rai. The easiest way to reach it is to use taxis established for the temple, which takes about 20 minutes.
Final words about Thailand White Temple
The white temple of Thailand is one of this country’s main attractions, which is both an art exhibit and a Buddhist temple. Bear in mind that you are not allowed to take pictures of the White temple from the inside. Another thing you must be cautious about is that you can’t walk in the temple with your shoes on, and you have to take your shoes off before entering the temple.