Meditating on the future: New Buddha statue in Bangkok

A 20-storey-tall Buddha statue is a picture of calm in bustling Bangkok. The Thai temple that is building the 69m-tall statue said construction is nearly complete, but that its official opening may be pushed back to next year, due to delays caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

The Royal Wat Paknam Phasi Charoen temple on the outskirts of Bangkok dates back to 1610 and is located on an island created by canals flowing from the Chao Phraya river.

Work on the statue started in 2017 and was due for completion this year.

The Phra Buddha Dhammakaya Thepmongkhon statue, made of copper and painted gold, is in a seated lotus position.

Parts were produced in China before being shipped to Thailand for assembly.

A spokesman for the temple said the statue will be visible from all parts of the raised train line that spans the capital Bangkok.

Using US$16 million (S$21.5 million) worth of donations, the temple decided to build the statue both to honour Buddhism and pay tribute to its former abbot Luang Pu Sodh Candasaro, who had helped to develop the temple into a renowned centre for meditation.

The statue has drawn double the usual number of visitors to the temple and more are expected once Thailand's borders - which are currently closed due to the pandemic - reopen to tourists.

Thailand's tallest Buddha statue is the Phra Buddha Maha Nawamin statue in Ang Thong province, which stands 92m high.

REUTERS

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