Buddha Monthon, Museum of Human Imagery & Wat Sisa Thong: Nakhon Pathom Province
Buddha Monthon is the largest Buddhist Park in Thailand located west of Bangkok. It was created in 1957 to commemorate the 2500 years of Buddhism, its layout in the shape of a mandala, the cosmic plan of the universe. It was not until 1976 that the buildings were added and the 16-meter tall Buddha image that is the focal point of the park, fashioned by Achan Silpa Bhirasri, the father of modern Thai art.It is a lush and peaceful place rich in greenery and ponds, and where major Buddhist festivals are observed. In the mandala-shaped park are small sites marking the four main events in the Buddha’s life – his birth, enlightenment, the first sermon, and death, attaining nirvana. There is an open sided viharn that houses hundreds of marble plaques of the Tripitaka, the Buddhist writings, as well as murals of the last ten Jatakas, the previous life stories of the Buddha, as well as murals of modern Bangkok.
The Human Imagery Museum, one of its kind in Thailand, was opened in 1989 with the aim to promote and preserve traditional Thai art and culture. The 125 figures displayed in the two-floor building are made of fiberglass as this material withstands the tropical climate better than the customary wax that is traditionally used for such figures. Exhibits include historical Thai personalities, the Chakri kings, figures from Thai literature and folklore including those from the epic poem Phra Aphai Mani written by Sunthorn Phu, famous monks in Thailand, traditional children’s games and more.
Wat Sisa Thong, This temple that is now dedicated to Rahu who is referred to as the God of darkness, was originally built by a community of Lao people who had settled on the banks of the Nakhon Chai Si River in the late 18th century. When in 1815 they dug the ground to build a temple they discovered a head of a golden Buddha and named the temple after it. The temple was later relocated near the canal that was dug for royal access from Bangkok to the Phra Pathom Chedi. Later, Luang Po Noi, the abbot of the temple, began making Rahu amulets. These were said to bring good luck, success in monetary gains, granting power over others, and as Rahu is considered a threatening deity, it has been important to be on his good side. Offerings to Rahu are all black, a set of eight edible items. Rahu has gained many followers especially around thirty years ago with people seeking his help for their own gains and benefit.
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The contribution of THB 2,200 (THB 2,700 for non-members), will cover transportation, lunch, gratuities and other costs incurred to make this trip possible. In addition, basic travel insurance is included. There is a 4% surcharge for credit/debit card payment to cover bank charges. Please pay by cash or cheque payable to “The Siam Society”. Alternatively, you can transfer the money to The Siam Society travel account at TMB Bank, Asoke Branch, saving account no. 053-2-18000-7. Please fax or e-mail the deposit or transfer docket to us.
For further information and bookings please contact Khun Prasert at Tel. 02-661-6470-3 ext. 504 or Khun Supanut Tel. 02-661-6470-3 ext. 506, Fax 02-258-3491 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org. The Society office is open from 09:00 to 17:00, Tuesday to Saturday