The Sanctuary of Truth: Thailand’s Magnificent Wooden Temple
If you’re looking for a unique and awe-inspiring attraction in Thailand, look no further than the Sanctuary of Truth. Located in Pattaya, this stunning structure is a must-visit for anyone interested in architecture, Thai culture, or religious art.
The Sanctuary of Truth is a one-of-a-kind museum designed by Thai businessman Lek Viriyaphan. The museum is a hybrid of a temple and a castle, and it’s themed on the Ayutthaya Kingdom and Buddhist and Hindu beliefs. The structure is entirely made of wood, filled with intricate carvings and sculptures that tell the story of human existence and the cycle of life and death.
As you explore the Sanctuary of Truth, you’ll be struck by the carvings’ attention to detail and beauty. The museum is still unfinished, adding to its charm and mystique. Whether you’re admiring the towering spires or the smaller sculptures, you’ll be transported to another world as you take in the artistry and craftsmanship on display.
History and Construction
The Sanctuary of Truth is a wooden building that is a hybrid of a castle and temple based on the Ayutthaya period and Hindu and Buddhist beliefs. Construction began in 1981 by the founder Lek Viriyaphant and is still ongoing, making it a work in progress.
Founder Lek Viriyaphant
Lek Viriyaphant was a Thai businessman and philanthropist who founded the Ancient City and Erawan Elephant Museum. He also founded the Sanctuary of Truth, one of his final projects before passing in 2000. Lek Viriyaphant was known for his passion for preserving Thai culture and heritage, which is evident in the intricate carvings and designs of the Sanctuary of Truth.
The Sanctuary of Truth is constructed entirely from wood, specifically Mai Deang, Mai Takien, Mai Panchaat, and Teak. The use of teak wood is particularly notable as it is a rare and expensive wood known for its durability and resistance to decay. The temple stands out for its unique construction – built without nails, though the claim is contested, as it was originally constructed with nails, which were later removed.
The temple houses an internal space of 2,115 m2, with the tallest spire reaching 105 m. Visitors are permitted inside with hard hats to witness the ongoing construction and the intricate carvings and sculptures.
Use of Teak Wood
The use of teak wood in the construction of the Sanctuary of Truth is a testament to the durability and beauty of this rare wood. Teak wood is known for its resistance to decay, making it ideal for outdoor construction. It is also a popular choice for furniture due to its natural beauty and durability.
The Sanctuary of Truth is a unique temple/museum that blends several architectural styles. The temple is made entirely out of wood, with no metal nails used in its construction. The architectural style of the temple is a fusion of Thai, Chinese, Indian, and Khmer influences.
The Thai architectural influence is evident in the intricate carvings and decorations throughout the temple. Teak wood is also a nod to traditional Thai architecture, as teak is a commonly used material in Thai buildings. The temple roof is also designed in a classic Thai style, with multiple tiers and intricate carvings.
The Chinese architectural influence is seen in using dragon motifs and other Chinese decorative elements. The dragon symbolizes power and strength in Chinese culture, and its presence in the temple is meant to convey these qualities. The use of red and gold colors is also a nod to Chinese design, as these colors are considered lucky in Chinese culture.
The Indian architectural influence is evident in the temple’s use of intricate carvings and sculptures depicting Hindu gods and goddesses. The temple’s overall design is based on the concept of “Visionary Art,” which uses visual motifs to convey a theological point of view. Incorporating Hindu elements is meant to convey a sense of spirituality and transcendence.
The Khmer architectural influence is seen in the temple’s use of intricate stone carvings and sculptures. The Khmer Empire, which ruled over much of Southeast Asia from the 9th to the 15th century, is known for its elaborate stone temples and sculptures. The use of Khmer elements in the temple conveys a sense of grandeur and majesty.
The Sanctuary of Truth is a unique structure built to preserve and promote Thailand’s philosophical and artistic heritage. The entire structure is made of wood and is adorned with intricate carvings and sculptures that depict various aspects of Eastern philosophy and concepts.
Meaning of Life
One of the central themes of the Sanctuary of Truth is the meaning of life. The carvings and sculptures in the structure are designed to convey the idea that life has a deeper purpose beyond mere existence. According to Eastern philosophy, the meaning of life is to seek enlightenment and attain a state of inner peace and harmony.
The carvings and sculptures in the Sanctuary of Truth depict various scenes from Eastern mythology and religion that illustrate the journey towards enlightenment. For example, carvings of the Buddha and other spiritual figures represent the attainment of spiritual enlightenment.
Impermanence of Life
Another important concept depicted in the Sanctuary of Truth is the impermanence of life. According to Eastern philosophy, everything in the universe is constantly changing, and nothing is permanent. This includes life itself, which is seen as a transient and fleeting experience.
The carvings and sculptures in the Sanctuary of Truth depict various scenes that illustrate the impermanence of life. For example, carvings of the cycle of birth and death represent the idea that life is a continuous process of change and transformation.
Inside the Sanctuary
When you enter the Sanctuary of Truth, you will be transported to a world of wonder and beauty. This magnificent structure combines a temple and a castle themed on the Ayutthaya Kingdom and of Buddhist and Hindu beliefs. Inside, you will find a museum, an art gallery, and a workshop showcasing Thai artisans’ intricate craftsmanship.
The museum inside the Sanctuary of Truth is a tribute to Thai culture and heritage. It features a collection of artifacts, sculptures, and paintings that depict the country’s rich history and traditions. You will be amazed by the attention to detail and the intricate designs of the exhibits. The museum is a great place to learn about Thai culture and gain a deeper appreciation for the country’s art and architecture.
The art gallery inside the Sanctuary of Truth is a showcase of the works of Thai artists. The gallery features a collection of paintings, sculptures, and other artworks that reflect the beauty and diversity of Thai art. You will be impressed by the skill and creativity of the artists who created these masterpieces. The art gallery is a must-visit for anyone who loves art and wants to explore the rich artistic heritage of Thailand.
The workshop inside the Sanctuary of Truth is where the magic happens. This is where the skilled artisans create the intricate carvings and sculptures that adorn the walls and ceilings of the sanctuary. You can watch the artisans at work and see how they use traditional techniques to create these beautiful works of art. The workshop is a great place to learn about Thai craftsmanship and to see firsthand the skill and dedication of the artisans who create these masterpieces.
Visiting the Sanctuary
If you are planning to visit The Sanctuary Of Truth, you should know a few things before you go. Here is some information to help you plan your visit.
The entrance fee for adults is 500 Baht, and for children between 110-140 cm, it is 250 Baht. Children under 110 cm can enter for free. You can buy tickets at the entrance or online on their website. The ticket counter is open from 8:00 a.m. to 05:00 p.m. daily.
Location and Taxi Service
The Sanctuary Of Truth is in Tumbon Naklea, Amphur Banglamung, Chon Buri Province. It is about 15 minutes north of Pattaya city along the coast. If you are staying in Pattaya, you can take a taxi to get there. Taxis are readily available; the ride should take around 20-30 minutes. You can ask the taxi driver to wait for you while you explore the Sanctuary.
When visiting the Sanctuary, it is recommended to dress conservatively. Men should wear shirts with sleeves, and women should avoid wearing revealing clothes. If you wear shorts or a skirt, ensure it is knee-length or longer. If you are not dressed appropriately, you may be asked to cover up with a wrap-around skirt available for rent at the entrance.
After your visit, stop by the souvenir shop to take home some mementos of your trip. The shop offers a wide selection of items, including wooden carvings, postcards, and t-shirts. Prices are reasonable, and you can find something for everyone on your shopping list.
The museum provides guided tours of the building and an array of exciting tourist activities such as ATV rides, cruises on traditional Thai gondolas, and the ever-controversial elephant rides. For those looking for a bite to eat, there is a restaurant serving both Thai and halal cuisine and a miniature zoo. For a truly unique experience, visitors can watch skilled wood carvers as they work on the ongoing construction.
If you’re planning a visit to The Sanctuary Of Truth, you might wonder what else is around the area. Here’s a quick rundown of what to expect:
The Sanctuary Of Truth is located in the Na Kluea area of Pattaya, a coastal city in Thailand. As such, it’s no surprise that plenty of beaches are nearby. The closest beach to The Sanctuary Of Truth is Wong Amat Beach, just a few minutes walk away. This beach is known for its clear waters and soft sand, and it’s an excellent spot for swimming and sunbathing.
If you’re looking for more beach options, several other beaches are worth checking out. Here are a few:
- Pattaya Beach: This is one of the most popular beaches in Pattaya, and it’s just a short drive from The Sanctuary Of Truth. The beach has restaurants and bars, and plenty of water sports activities are available.
- Jomtien Beach: This is another famous beach in the area, just south of Pattaya Beach. Jomtien Beach is known for its calm waters, making it an excellent spot for families with young children.
- Naklua Beach: This beach is located just north of The Sanctuary Of Truth and is a quieter option than some other beaches in the area. It’s an excellent spot for relaxing and taking in the views.
When you visit The Sanctuary Of Truth, you will be greeted with a massive wooden structure over 100 meters tall. This temple is entirely made of wood and features intricate carvings and sculptures that depict various religious and philosophical beliefs. The temple is on the Rachvate Cape seashore, Tumbon Naklea, Amphur Banglamung, Chon Buri Province.
The suggested duration of your visit is 2-3 hours, which should give you enough time to explore the temple and appreciate its beauty. Upon arrival, you must pay an entrance fee, which varies depending on your age and nationality. Dress modestly; this is a religious site, and visitors must dress respectfully.
Once inside, you will be amazed by the intricate carvings and sculptures that adorn the temple’s walls and ceilings. The carvings depict religious and philosophical beliefs, including Buddhism, Hinduism, and Taoism. You can also take a guided tour of the temple, giving you a more in-depth understanding of the temple’s history and significance.
The temple’s beauty and significance make it a must-visit destination for anyone interested in sightseeing or religious tourism.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the philosophy behind The Sanctuary of Truth?
The Sanctuary of Truth is a unique temple-museum showcasing Ancient Eastern Truth’s philosophy. The temple is built entirely of wood and has intricate carvings that depict the four elements of Earth, Water, Wind, and Fire. The philosophy behind the temple is to promote the idea of unity and harmony between humans and nature.
What is inside The Sanctuary of Truth?
Inside The Sanctuary of Truth, you will find many sculptures and carvings depicting various aspects of Eastern philosophy and religion, including Buddhism and Hinduism. The temple museum is divided into four wings, each representing one of the four elements. Several cultural performances take place inside the temple, including traditional Thai dancing and music.
When is The Sanctuary of Truth open?
The Sanctuary of Truth is open daily from 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM. The temple-museum is open to visitors all year round, including on public holidays and weekends.
What’s the best way to see The Sanctuary of Truth?
The best way to see The Sanctuary of Truth is to take a guided tour. The tour guides are knowledgeable and can provide you with valuable insights into the temple’s history and philosophy. Alternatively, you can explore the temple-museum on your own and take your time admiring the intricate carvings and sculptures.
How much does it cost to visit The Sanctuary of Truth?
The admission fee for The Sanctuary of Truth is 500 Baht per person. Children under the age of 100 cm can enter free of charge. There are also discounts available for senior citizens and students.
Is The Sanctuary of Truth worth visiting?
Yes, The Sanctuary of Truth is definitely worth visiting if you are interested in Eastern philosophy and religion. The temple museum is a unique attraction that offers a glimpse into the rich cultural heritage of Thailand. The intricate carvings and sculptures are a feast for the eyes, and the cultural performances are a treat for the ears.
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