The Pearl of Phuket: Wat Chalong
Wat Chalong is the largest and most famous temple complex in Phuket, the southern province of Thailand.
The temple was officially named as Wat Chaiyathararam in 1846 by the decree of the king, but the locals and tourists call the religious shrine Wat Chalong, named after the area where the landmark is located.
The exact date when the Buddhist temple was built is still unknown, but the first mention of it dates to 1837.
The most beautiful structure of the Wat Chalong temple is a luxurious three-level pagoda, richly decorated with gold with an esteemed worth of $2 million.
In the photo: the upper tier of the pagoda is decorated with a high golden spire.
The pagoda, built in 2001, is intended for the storage of the ashes of Shakyamuni Buddha (Gautama Buddha). In 1999, the government of Sri Lanka presented a sacred relic as a gift to the King of Thailand, Rama IX.
In the photo: there are several statues of Buddha in different poses at the first and second levels of the pagoda. The golden deities adorn the niches of the building.
In the photo: the interior of the pagoda is especially luxurious: numerous golden statues and refined mosaics adorn the pillars.
Visitors are not allowed to enter the main temple of the monastery Phra Ubosot. Only monks can enter it during memorial services and ordinations. Meditations, reading of sacred books and religious ceremonies are usually held there. The rest of the time the temple remains closed for public.
There is a pavilion on the territory of the temple complex, where the statues of the three most revered monks of Wat Chalong are kept.
In the photo: Buddhist teachers’ sculptures are made of bronze and covered with gold leaf.
An interesting fact: from time to time loud explosions of firecrackers can be heard on the territory of the shrine. Believers buy them at a kiosk near the temple and blow up as a sign of gratitude for the prayers heard.
Every year a religious complex is visited by over 150000 people. The locals have a saying: if you didn’t visit the Wat Chalong temple, then you never were in Phuket.