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Category: Thai Temple Statues

Mar 11
The Mythological Kala – Scary Faces at Khmer & Thai Temples

Seen above: A well preserved lintel with carved face of Kala, from an 11th century temple in Thailand (about the same time Phra That Dum was built). The demon-like figure Kala (กาล) is found in ancient Khmer temple art and Hindu-Buddhist iconography throughout Southeast Asia. However, it is one of the lesser known mythological figures […]

Mar 11
Wat Phra That Dum – Sakon Nakhon Khmer Ruins

Wat Phra That Dum (วัดพระธาตุดุม) is a Sakon Nakhon temple complex that contains the ancient ruins of the Khmer era stupa Phra That Dum. Around 1000 years old, it is one of several ancient Khmer ruins in Sakon Nakhon province — the most famous one being the mountaintop ruins of Phra That Phu Phek. New […]

Feb 18
Preta: Hungry Ghost Spirits in Thailand

Thai culture is filled with supernatural spirits or ghosts, such as Nang Tani (the spirit who haunts wild banana trees) and the cannibalistic Phi Pop who will eat your internal organs with glee. These spirits are part of Thai folklore rather than Buddhist traditions, thus you’ll rarely, if ever, see one depicted inside a Thai […]

Feb 12
Esoteric Symbols in Thai Buddha Statues

Most people aren’t aware of “mystical Thailand” and the esoteric symbols found in many Thai Buddha statues. These hidden symbols make temple visits all the more interesting, when you realize they are waiting to be discovered. For example, take this blue Buddha statue at Samnak Song Hin Taek Phawana (seen above). Note the serpent at […]

Sep 27
Phra Chai: The Thai Buddha of Victory Amulet & Talisman

Seen Above: A small statue of Phra Chai Ayutthaya in Phon Na Kao District, Sakon Nakhon One of the most “magical” of all Buddha images in Thailand is the figure of Phra Chai (พระชัย). You rarely, however, will see a statue of Phra Chai at Thai temples. The figure most often appears as an amulet, […]

Mar 24
Naked Thai Buddhist Monk Statues Without Robes

The Isan temples of Northeastern Thailand have some of the most curious histories, statues, and monks in all of Thailand. Previously we wrote about Sakon Nakhon’s Luang Pu Sorn Paphassaro, the only long-haired Buddhist monk in Thai history. Today, we introduce you to perhaps the only statues of revered Thai monks, where the monks have […]

Mar 20
The Largest Thao Wessuwan Giant in Thailand

Wat Amalakaram (วัดอัมลการาม) in Sakon Nakhon now has built the largest statue of Thao Wessuwan in Thailand. Last month the Buddhist temple held a prayer ceremony to celebrate the completion of the statue, which goes by the name Thao Wessuwan Thanjai (ท้าวเวสสุวรรณทันใจ). The word “than-jai” in Thai means instantly. It was included in the name […]

Feb 12
Northeastern Thai Temples with a Sense of Humor

When people think of Thai temples, they don’t usually think of sacred places with a sense of humor. But indeed many Thai temples (and the monks who live there) do have a keen sense of humor. This is especially true in the village temples of Northeastern Thailand. We were recently reminded of this fact when […]

Nov 20
Thailand’s Only Long Haired Monk

There is one thing that you will not see in Thailand, and that is a Thai monk with long hair. Or will you? There is one exception, and that is a statue of Luang Pu Sorn Paphassaro (หลวงปู่สอน ปภสฺสโร) in Sakon Nakhon — a Northeastern Thai province in the region known as Isaan. Thai monks […]

Oct 23
Naga Monument – Nakhon Phanom

The Naga Monument is a relatively new riverside attraction in the city of Nakhon Phanom. The immense brass Naga serpent statue was built in 2016 and cost 9 million baht (approx. $230,000). The elegant Buddhist sculpture has 7 heads, weighs 9 tons, and measures 4.49 meters wide and 10.90 meters high. The statue is facing […]

May 21
Wat Chaeng Saeng Arun – Photo Gallery

Wat Chaeng Saeng Arun (วัดแจ้งแสงอรุณ) in the village of Na Hua Bo, Phanna Nikhom is a Sakon Nakhon temple that will fascinate those who are interested in Buddhist and Hindu arts and culture. The temple is filled with statues of mythological figures and unique examples of statues rarely seen elsewhere in Sakon Nakhon province. Please […]

Nov 28
Sakon Nakhon Reclining Buddhas

When visiting Sakon Nakhon temples, you will see a wide variety of Reclining Buddha statues. The most famous Reclining Buddha in Thailand is found at the Wat Pho temple in Bangkok, where the statue is 15 meters tall and 45 meters long, decorated with Mother of Pearl illustrations of 108 characteristics of the Buddha. While […]

Nov 20
Sakon Nakhon Buddhas with Naga

The Buddha protected by a Naga serpent is a statue commonly seen at Sakon Nakhon temples. However, simply because the theme is common doesn’t mean that the statues are identical. In fact, I don’t think we have ever seen an identical Buddha statue with Naga protector at any of the more than 100 Sakon Nakhon […]

Nov 12
Sakon Nakhon Fat Buddha Statues

When visiting Sakon Nakhon temples, you will come across a variety of “Fat Buddha” statues. However, the term Fat Buddha is a misnomer. These statues actually depict two famous monks who were recognized for their big bellies. One of these religious men is the famous Chinese monk known as Budai, who is also sometimes called […]

Nov 07
Sakon Nakhon Buddhas with Umbrella & Walking Stick

One of the most common Buddha statues you will find at Sakon Nakhon temples is that of the Buddha with an umbrella and walking stick. The umbrella (or parasol) is related to the Ashtamangala, which is a sacred suite of Eight Auspicious Signs in Hindu and Buddhist mythology. The parasol represents the protection from harmful […]