Temple in ship shape
Buddhist temple of the 18th century
|There are no accurate records when the ship temple Tanot Wat Luang was build. But by ancient records is is now known that it must be build at the end of the Ayutthaya period or the beginning of the Rattanakosin period, so in the last third of the 18th Century.
In the original construction the ship had only one door, which was located on the sunrise side, which faces to the east. The temple also only had four small windows.
At the end of the 16th Century Naresuan the Great visited the region, so it is a historical place.
The buddhist Ship Temple Wat Tanot Luang is colorful illuminated by the setting evening sun.
The Chinese influence in Thailand is can not be overlooked: Two giant golden circles with the Chinese Zodiac forms the entrance of the temple at the back of the ship.
|The Chinese astrology does not calculate the position of the sun, moon and planets at the time of birth, so it is not a kind of astrology as we know it in Europe. The Chinese Astrology has a calendar with dates of birth as basis.
The following animals are in the Chinese calendar: Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog and Pig.
|Majestic rises the great temple of Wat Luang Tanot up into the sky. It is about 15 meters high and about 60 meters long. The Buddhist temple is everywhere richly decorated with gold and glass and the walls and floor are made from the finest marble and granite.
Unfortunately many pigeons nestles in the beautiful decoration and spoil the marble with their excrements.
|The outer walls of the Buddhist temple of Wat Luang Tanot were processed for years by stonemasons. They are beautifully decorated, three-dimensional figures stand out from the walls.
It is a paradise for birds because they can settle in perfectly. The Buddhist monks, they would never kill them, because that would contradict the principle of Buddhism.
|Up front in the bow of the ship is a royal Naresuan figure at whose feet many chickens figures, ships, flowers, and a walking stick is placed.
King Naresuan loved cock fighting and therefore are placed at so many cocks to his feet.
Two impressive entrance gates with the golden paintings shows the life of Gautama Siddharta Buddha and forma the entrance to the huge temple. In the middle of the entrance doors is an elephant made of stone, and on the back of elefant the steering wheel of the ship.
The great golden gates are almost always closed, only for special purposes, such as a Buddha Festival they will be open to the public. The monks come twice a day together to meditate and sing kata in the ship temple of Cha-Am.
Here are sections of the golden doors, where the life of Siddhartha Gautama Buddha is shown in different images.
Shortly after his birth Buddha was already able to walk and steps over Lutus leaves on a lake.
We had luck, for us the holy temple of Wat Luang Tanot opened and after the monk had opened all the windows, the interior shone in a rich red and gold.
At the end of the temple, above the east exit is a giant picture at the wall. It shows a boat trip which was accompanied by angels, but in the water, many shipwrecked were eaten by sharks, sea snakes and dragons.
Beside the ship's temple is a long building, where the monks of the Buddhist temple are accommodated. They live in modest circumstances in a small chamber. This building serves also as a dining room, as a library and as a museum.
Some holy monks in Thailand were rebuilt as life-size wax figure. The similarity is very good. Even moles or stubbled hairs were faithfully reproduced.
Two golden Buddha statues and a small wooden shrine are at the end of the great hall. They are used as a place for meditation for the monks.
In the small museum you also see three pictures that show the ship temple with full flagging. The idea is fascinating that a temple is built on board of a huge ship. The realization of the project is amazing, because is was not spared on pomp and imagination.
Wat Luang Tanot at Cha-Am is a worthwhile excursion, especially you nearly never meet other tourists, because the temple is rather unknown.
Cha-Am is only a few kilometers away from Hua Hin. For detailed information about Hua Hin, nightlife, the best attractions, please visit our page >> www.Hua-Hin.eu >>.