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 (incorrectly) the Laughing Buddha. Budai was well known for his good humor, joking spirit, and jovial laugh — even in his death, when he hid firecrackers in his robe, so that when he was cremated they would explode, shocking the other monks.
The other “Fat Buddha” is lesser known among people in the West. His name is Phra Sangkachai, who is depicted with two hands supporting his bulging belly. Asian farmers have long paid homage to him as a figure of prosperity and abundant harvests. Legend has it that he was disturbed by people comparing him with the Buddha, so he chose to disguise himself as a fat monk. In addition to the position of his hands on his belly, he is also depicted as having hair — where Budai is usually depicted as being bald.
Below you will find our growing collection of Sakon Nakhon Fat Buddha statue images, which we will continue to add to as time goes on. If you are interested in Buddha statues, please check out our other gallery of Buddha Statues with Umbrella and Walking Stick.