Jul 27, 2012


Just came back from a short but absolutely thrilling Thai trip. Have got countless memories to share but due to limitation of time and space on this blog, I will try to do it one by one.

Here is the story of our first stop in Bangkok, the famous and magnificent Golden Buddha Temple.

The Golden Buddha is the world's largest solid gold statue. It is located in the temple of Wat Traimit, Bangkok Thailand.

Temple of Wat Traimit

Side view of the Shikhar of Wat Traimit

Monk seated @ the entrance of the temple, blessing devotees with Holy water

Intricate wooden carving on the way to main temple hall

Buddhist mythology is indeed Hindu mythology, but with different local names at times

The origins of this statue remain uncertain. It is made in the Sukhothai Dynasty style, and is thought to have been made during the Sukhothai period in the 13th-14th centuries. The head of the statue is egg-shaped, which indicates its origin in the Sukothai period. Sukothai art had Indian influences. Metal figures of the Buddha made in India used to be taken to various countries for installation. So the Golden Buddha statue may have been cast in parts in India.

Later the statue was moved from Sukhothai to Ayutthaya in 1403. At some point of time, the statue was completely plastered over to prevent it from being stolen. This plaster was later painted and inlaid with bits of coloured glass. It is believed that this plastering was done to protect the statue in Ayutthaya kingdom from Burmese invaders. The statue subsequently remained among the ruins of Ayutthaya without attracting much attention.

In 1801, Thai King Rama I after establishing Bangkok as a new capital city of the Kingdom, and after commissioning the construction of many temples in Bangkok, ordered that various old Buddha images should be brought to Bangkok from the ruined temples around the country. So this was the time that the Golden Buddha was probably brought from Ayutthaya to Bangkok. After being moved to the temple of Wat Traimit in Bangkok the statue was kept under a tin roof for about 20 years. Thus, it seems like the true identity of this statue was forgotten for almost 200 years

Celling of the main temple hall beautifully decorated with elaborate gold work

In 1954, a new Viharn building was built at the Temple, so it was decided to house the statue there. The statue was being moved to its new location on 25 May 1955. During the final attempt to lift the statue from its pedestal, the ropes holding the statue broke, and the statue fell down hard on the ground. At that time, some of the plaster coating of the statue chipped off, allowing the gold surface underneath to be seen. So this is how the real statue beneath the plaster was revealed. The work was immediately stopped so that the full evaluation could be made.

Later, all plaster was carefully removed, so that the Gold Buddha could be seen again in all its glory. In the process, the photos of different stages of plaster removal had been taken and are now displayed in the Temple for the visitors. Also on display are some of the old pieces of the plaster.

When the plaster was being removed, it was also found that the gold statue actually consists of nine parts that all fit smoothly together. Also, a key was found encased in plaster at its base. This key could be used to disassemble the statue, to facilitate its transportation.

The statue made or 18 carat Solid Gold is 3 metres (9.8 ft) tall and weighing 5500 kg, is the World Biggest Solid Gold Statue holding a Guinness Book of World record on it name. 

For all those people whose mind has already started calculating the price of gold used for the statue, let me tell you that Im no different and tried doing the same. However to my bigger surprise, just before displaying the final result of calculation my device said, RESULT TOO LARGE TO DISPLAY. Then it suddenly struck me, I thought to myself, mathematics could probably measure the money spent for moulding the statue but not the Devotion of the people. Science has its own limitations you see.

However, going by the present market price of Gold at 30000 Rs for per 10 grams, a Solid Gold Statue of 5500 Kg would value at around 1650,000,000,00 Rs. Yes of course that’s only the cost of gold involved, without considering the Antique Value of the statue. My knowledge of mathematics is however limited to express the amount in words. You may like to give it a try....

Chatraa covering the head of Lord Buddha, again very similar to Hindu ways of worship

Beautiful gold hangings on the edge and dull silver finish at the centre makes a perfect combination 

Temple columns decorated with gold enamel

Beautiful arches and windows with detailed work

Bells form a very integral part of Buddhist culture and philosophy 

Garuda the divine carrier of Lord Vishnu on the bell

There are something’s which get etched into your memory for ever. This was one of those experiences. Golden Buddha Temple is truly a marvel. A height of human perfection and devotion which might never be paralleled in the time to come.

Hope you enjoyed it as much as I enjoyed it putting it together for you... Stay in touch for more..

Till then, as they say in Thai, Sawasdee

Images curtsey: Canon DSLR 550D mounted with Telephoto Tamaron 80-210mm
History curtsey: Wiki & our amazing Thai Guide cum Trip coordinator, Mr. Andy

This one's for you Andy...

Jul 1, 2012


सावन का महिना, पवन करे शोर,
जिया रा ये झूमे ऐसे, जेसे मन मा नाचे मोर 

Monsoon is finally here in full swing. Thought of sharing some recent photographs which I have taken this season. Someone has said it so right, Photographs speak more than words. Have chosen best of the spots in Mangalore to click these images. If you have not been to this Green World in monsoons, believe that you have missed something. 
Enjoy the rains...

घनन घनन घिर घिर आये भद्रा, घन घन घोर कारे छाए भद्रा,
घनन घनन गूंजे भद्रा के डंके, घनन घनन देखो बिजुरिया चमके,
मन धडकाये भदरवा, मन मन धडकाये भदर्वाआ......

Sunset @ Panambur Beach

 Gurupur River during sunset

View of a small island from Sultan Battery

Boat to heavens... Wonder where do they find all these beautiful colours for their boats..

Steamers anchored @ Sultan Battery

U can like it or Hate it.. But u just cant ignore it... Unique colours indeed...

I wish, I was a Pirate...
Call me Captain.... Capt. Jack Sparrow ;-)

 Sun shining thru d clouds @ Sultan Battery

Who would like to get lost @ such a place... Look at the small wooden bridge on right

I'm sure U might have started lovin these colours by now.. Nature @ its Best

d famous Sunken Ship @ Tannir bave beach..

 Tides slashing the sunken deck..

 Image taken from a 80-210mm Telephoto lens mounted on Canon EOS 550D
For all of you that it sounds like Greek, know that its an advanced DSLR camera with a Telephoto zoom lens, & comes for a cost that our wife will often not appreciate...

Satellite Image of same location: Courtesy Google maps.  Cursor points @ d shipwreck

Yes U r right... Its not where it should ideally be.. But what the heck !!  It still looks lovely...

U must be wondering why all wrecked ships.. Then Mangalore has d good ones as well.. Just that, they don't let  nuts like U and me come close to them.. ;-)

 Sprint any one ??????

Sleeping Buddha @ Lake Pilikula Nisargadhaam

Images from Pilikula Nisargadhaam park.. If you may believe, all these ducks r free to walk anywhere in d park just like one of us visiting it...

Wish... we were at least half as united and disciplined...

Looks like, one close family...

 Feng shui Buddha @ Lake Pilikula Nisargadhaam

 Say cheese....

Nature @ its best

Close up image of Sleeping Buddha.. 80-210mm again.. Remember ???

 A monsoon view from balcony @ our home...

 Water Fountain & Buddhist Goddess Tara in our balcony

And thats me.. No prizes for guessing this of course... Hope U had a good time watchin these images.. And believe me I had a blast clicking them for U... 
Leave ur comments and suggestions in Comments Column below... signing out...