Wat Rong Khun or White Temple ( Heaven on Earth)
Located near the city of Chiang Rai, about 5 kilometers to the south, Wat Rong Khun (White Temple) is one of the most beautiful and unique temples in Thailand, as its ubosot (Pali: uposatha; consecrated assembly hall) is designed in white color with some use of white mirrored glass. The white color stands for Lord Buddha’s purity; the white mirrored glass stands for Lord Buddha’s wisdom that “shines brightly all over the Earth and the Universe” . The construction of the White Temple is Acharn Chalermchai’s master work, which he refers to as an offering to Lord Buddha and his beloved country. The work is totally different compared to the Black Temple created by national artist Thawan Duchanee.
Creating Buddhist Art for the Land by Acharn Chalermchai Kositpipat (Wat Rong Khun)
The bridge leading to the temple represents the crossing over from the cycle of rebirth to the Abode of Buddha. The small semicircle before the bridge stands for the human world. The big circle with fangs is the mouth of Mara or Rahu, meaning impurities in the mind, a representation of hell or suffering.
Auspicious animals decorated on the roof (Wat Rong Khun, Chiang Rai)
All the mural paintings inside the ubosot (assembly hall) have golden tones and quite contemporary. The four walls, ceiling and floor contain paintings showing an escape from the defilements of temptation to reach a supramundane state. Unfortunately, photography is not allowed inside the ubosot. On the roof, there are four kinds of animals representing earth, water, wind and fire. The elephant stands for the earth; the naga stands for water; the swan’s wings represent wind; and the lion’s mane represents fire.
Did you leave anything behind Wat Rong Khun?
Construction of the present ubosot began on 3 February 1996 under the supervision of Phra Khru Chakhariyanuyut but the temple was running out of money due to the financial crisis. In 1997, Acharn Chalermchai Kositpipat, the famous National Contemporary Artist who is a native of Ban Rong Khun by birth, volunteered his service to carry out the construction of the ubosot at his own expense by creating Buddhist Art for the Land as an offering to Lord Buddha and he did some amendments to the plan and developed Wat Rong Khun into a prominent site attracts an increasingly large number of both Thai and foreign visitors every year.
Golden Toilet (Wat Rong Khun. Chiang Rai)
Nowadays, Wat Rong Khun is still being constructed. When completed, the construction project of Wat Rong Khun will consist of nine buildings: the ubosot, the hall containing Lord Buddha’s relics, the hall containing Buddha images, the preaching hall, the contemplation hall, the monk’s cell, the door facade of the Buddhavasa, the art gallery, and the toilets. The temple features one the most beautiful toilets in Thailand.
Heaven on Earth (Wat Rong Khun, Chiang Rai)
Born on February 15th 1955, Acharn Chalermchai Kositpipat has vowed to dedicate himself to serving the religion by constructing Wat Rong Khun since 1997 when he was 42 to the last day of his life at this temple. He is devoid of all desires for material things but only aims at dedicating himself to his beloved nation, religion, monarch, and mankind with unwavering faith.
Wat Rong Khun, a national landmark in Thailand
From an unknown temple, Wat Rong Khun has become a national landmark , a pride of the province and the country. Acharn Chalermchai Kositpipat wishes Wat Rong Khun to become a learning and meditation centre for people to practice dharma and gain benefit from the teachings of Lord Buddha and it will become a world-class beauty for years to come.
All proceeds will go directly into the building fund
Visitors can also shop for a variety of high quality souvenirs such as T-shirts, postcards, replica paintings etc at the art gallery next to the temple. The money raised from the sale will go into the building fund.
The passage to heaven (Wat Rong Khun, Chiang Rai)
Wat Rong Khun
Pa O Don Chai Sub-District,
Chiang Rai Province 57000, Thailand
Tel: 0-567-3579, 08-9951-5842, 08-1796-7432
Famous Buddhist Temples in Thailand – Wat Rong Khun or White Temple ( Heaven on Earth)