New Album showing unusual Buddha Relief Carvings on Photo Dharma

Revealing the Worlds
Revealing the Worlds

I recently visited a nearby Temple, which has been built in a very remote area on the Thai-Malaysian border, around 15km west of Padang Besar in Songkhla, and was kindly hosted for a few days by Ajahn Athikan Ho Chee Chandako, who is now the monk looking after the Temple.

The Temple is a huge complex founded by one Chinese monk from Singapore who came to the limestone caves in this area in 1968 (BE 2511), and settled there, with the intention of founding a Pure Land on earth, and combines both Theravāda and Mahāyāna elements.

The monk lived in these remote caves for a couple of years, and as there were no houses around I was told he survived on roots and fruits. Later he became known as Ajahn Mengsum. From these humble beginnings and with perhaps only his faith and commitment to guide him, he opened up many more of the caves, and built a big Temple complex before he passed away in 2010.

The main 1,000 Buddha Temple in the complex is a large building designed after the Mahābodhi Temple in Bodhgaya, which has Thai folk-style reliefs on the outside walls for the first and second floors, and Chinese style on the third floor.

The Temple therefore presents a mixture of Indian, Chinese and Thai styles in it’s various compositional elements. At the back of the Temple are the cave complexes, which have a mixture of statues, and other elements.

In this album I present photographs of the reliefs found on the outside walls of the Temple, with some photographs from inside the caves. There are around 100 reliefs in all, and many different postures.

I am not sure I have correctly identified them all, and I am open to corrections which I will incorporate as I get them. Later I will publish another album showing the 84 life size statues of Guan Yin which surround the Temple.

For now if you go to the Wat Khao Rup Chang page on the Photo Dharma website, you will find nearly 200 photographs in 3 different sizes: thumbnail, medium and high-definition, and there are two slideshows available also.

The photographs are free to use (even commercially), and may be modified, as is the case with all the photos on the site, with only attribution required.


Fearless Posture


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