Murals at Wat Buak Krok Luang, Chiang Mai, Thailand

high-definition creative commons photographs from this temple in Chiang Mai, Thailand, showing the architecture, 19th century murals and decoration work, together with some further information.


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The Viharn at Wat Buak Krok Luang, built in 1837, is one of the most interesting examples of Northern Thai architecture. The stepped roof is the characteristic of the indigenous Lanna Style, whereas decorations on the gables such as the bird Chofa and goose Hong, show Central Thai influence.

The serpents with the bird beaks flanking the entrance steps are also of special interest. Another interesting object is the pulpit inside the hall, which was built by Princess Chamarirachathewi, the consort of the last monarch of Chiang Mai, Prince Keo Nawarat.

The most celebrated objects of art are the murals belonging to the Shan school, which are also influenced by the Konbaung art of Burma. They are dated to the early 19th century. The Burmese influence is noticeable in the bird-eyed view technique and the wavy line dividing the various scenes etc.

The murals narrate the Life of the Buddha, with scenes such as the Great Departure and the Awakening. They also depict his ten previous lives, including Temiya, Sama, Nemiraja, Mahosadha and Vidhura. The life of the local Lanna people is also depicted in the murals.

As can be seen they are now badly decayed, and some of them are missing, owing to a previous renovation which was necessitated by damage through termites. There has apparently been a recent restoration of the murals by the Academy of Fine Arts in Bangkok, but I couldn't find out when it was carried out.

The Ubosot is a recent building as the original one was situated around one kilometre away to the north-east. Although it is not clear when the present Ubosot was built, it was granted the status of Wisunkamsima in 1954. It was closed when we got there and we were unable to see inside.

text adapted from the signboards inside the grounds


Photographs by Anandajoti Bhikkhu

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