Watlao Buddhamamakaram Temple - Atlas Obscura

Watlao Buddhamamakaram Temple

Ornate and vibrant, this temple is a colorful place of worship for Columbus's Thai and Laotian communities. 


Tucked away in Bexley, a suburb of Columbus, the Watlao Buddhamamakaram Buddhist Temple was built in 2009 to support the Laotian and Thai Buddhists in the eastern Columbus area. It’s a Theravada temple built in the traditional South East Asian style.

From afar, the most noticeable aspect of the temple is its color. Having recently undergone renovations, the building shines in colorful hues of green, red, blue, and gold. Up close, though, one can see the full extent of the building’s ornate details, which are meticulously painted and decorated with various architectural accents. One such notable detail is the twin serpentine dragons flanking the pathway to the front of the building.

The ground that the temple sits on is also meaningful. Isolated from the city’s main arteries, the site is quiet and peaceful. This calming atmosphere is intentional. Although it’s a Buddhist temple, people of all backgrounds can visit and reflect in the serene environment.

Know Before You Go

The temple is open most mornings for service and food offerings. When visiting,  please be respectful of the fact that this is a worship space.

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