Part of our time in Bangkok was spent touring around some of the local temples. For those who don’t know, Thailand is pretty much a Buddhist country. For me, it was quite interesting to see these temples pepper potted around the city (and other areas of the country – particularly the northern part). The above feature Buddha being the Fasting Buddha (I only saw the one fasting one on my journey).
We looked at the different styles of Thai Buddha’s – in part different craftsmen, put also specifically Buddha at different stages of social peace or times of war. Some clues had when looking at the arms, bone structure of face and ‘ringlet’ size (for lack of a better term as I write) of the hair. Of the two above, the one on the right shows he is made in tougher times with likely neighbourly wars.
The Golden Buddha (above) was impressive to see. Story has it, during war times, he was covered in concrete to disguise that it was actually made of gold. Years (I’m guessing many) went by, and people forgot about the golden one. Then one day, then moving to a new temple the concrete cracked (imagine the instant ‘oh my god’ as you the mover crack this massive statue), but rather than a disaster, the gold was again revealed.
One of my favourites was the Reclining Buddha. This is one MASSIVE figure. Too big to move, renovations of the building had to happen around it.
Once upon a time temples were the schools or universities of the community. People went to further their learning and studies. One such example was the temple area of the Reclining Buddha. Small building (open sided ones) surrounded the main temple areas, all featuring teachings on the body, herbs, yoga, meditation, and general wellbeing. Some pretty cool stuff.
Probably one more day of Bangkok tomorrow I think!