This spectacular white building is called Wat Rong Khun or The White Temple. It’s a Buddhist temple located in Northern Thailand just outside the city of Chiang Rai. Designed by Thai visual artist Chalermchai Kositpipat in 1997, The White Temple is an awesome blend of traditional Thai architecture and both beautiful and grotesque surreal elements. It’s as much a work of art as it is a building devoted to learning and meditation.
“To reach the temple you have to walk over a bridge over a moat filled with innumerable sculptures of out-reaching arms, apparently symbolizing desire. Once inside, you will be greeted not by traditional Buddha life scenarios but by contemporary scenes and icons of popular culture. Instead of paintings of heroes fighting demons, the artist decided to take contemporary manifestations of good and evil and put it into a Buddhist context. Murals of Batman, Superman, Predator and even Keanu Reeves as Neo from The Matrix are seen in the interior.”
Although it’s already an incredibly impressive sight, Wat Rong Khun is still a work in progress. The temple sits on 3 acres of property that will eventually include a phra ubosot (prayer room), pagoda, hermitage, crematorium, monastery hall, preaching hall, museum, pavilion and rest room facilities.
A 1,400 year old Gingko biloba tree at the Gu Guanyin Buddhist Temple in the Zhongnan Mountains of China is seen shedding its golden leaves this past Autumn, bathing the temple garden in a sea of golden yellow.
The Hsinbyume Pagoda is a uniquely shaped, white washed pagoda just outside of Mandalay. The Pagoda is topped with a gold spire, that enshrines an image of Buddha. The seven tiers of the pagoda feature niches, that contain small statues of mythological figures.
It is possible to climb to the top of the structure, where you will be treated to a great view of the Irrawaddy river, and nearby Mingun Pagoda.
Hokki-ji, a Buddhist temple in Okamoto, Japan, a masterpiece of wooden architecture, and one of the Seven Great Temples of Nara. 708 AD, Nara Period.
Hokki-ji is located on the original site of the Okamoto Palace, and was largely built of the materials from it.
Legend has it that Prince Shotoku, who dedicated his life to spreading Buddhism, read and came to understand the Lotus Sutra (one of the Buddhist teachings) in a palace that was later turned into a temple in the 7th century. The 24 m tall, three-storied pagoda built in 708 is the oldest in Japan, and although most other buildings were destroyed by fire, this pagoda indicates what the temple would have looked like when it was built. It is designated a National Treasure due to being one of the very few surviving 7th century pagodas. It looks very much like the five-storied pagoda of Horyu-ji built under the same prince, and it is thought that it was constructed by someone who possessed the same technique as the person who built Horyu-ji.