Wat Chaiya Mangkalaram – George Town, Malaysia - Atlas Obscura

Wat Chaiya Mangkalaram

Giant relaxing Buddha in Malaysia. 


When enlightenment is reached, the feeling is completely sublime and without trouble. Worries simply drift away into a calmer state of being. This Buddhist ethos is perfectly portrayed in Wat Chaiya Mangkalaram, a temple with a giant reclining Buddha.

Unlike monuments to other spiritual figures, the Buddha is not supposed to create feelings of sadness or loss. Instead, the 100-foot-long golden Buddha is meant to inspire, showing all of those who follow in his path the supreme happiness achieved from nirvana. Sprawled across the entire temple, the Buddha is slightly smiling and natural light shimmers off of his gold and white finish.

Wat Chaiya Mangkalaram is actually a Thai temple, and is not directly connected to Malaysia in origin. The temple was built in 1845 by a Thai monk, and has been a location of serious Buddhist devotion since. Many of the most devoted to the temple have had their ashes placed in niches behind the massive Buddha statue. There they rest and accompany the smiling and tranquil Buddha after their death.

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September 21, 2011

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