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Temples and stupas in Laos - Dhamma Wheel

Temples and stupas in Laos

Pictures of revered teachers, places, rupas, temples, bhikkhus, shrine rooms etc. that bring inspiration to our members. Pilgrimage advice etc.
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Kim OHara
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Temples and stupas in Laos

Postby Kim OHara » Sat Oct 20, 2012 12:46 am

I have started to post on Flickr pictures of temples, stupas and other religious locations that I saw in Laos.
The first group are all from Vientiane, the capital.
1. The Golden Stupa
It is a symbol of both the religion and the nation, but it has had a difficult history. Originally constructed on the site in the 16th century when Vientiane became the capital, it has been destroyed and rebuilt a few times. The current is due to the French, who dismantled ruins and rebuilt them in the 1930s. Two large wats are beside it, one of which is the base of the 'Supreme Patriarch of Lao Buddhism' (quoting Lonely Planet here).
2. Wat Sisaket claims to be the only wat in Vientiane surviving in its original form, all the others having been destroyed in one war or another. It was built in the 1820s and partially restored in the 1930s. Hall ; cloister ; Buddha statues in the cloister ; monks' quarters (I think) .
3. Black Stupa, not so significant but I sort of liked it

More to come ...

:namaste:
Kim

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mikenz66
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Re: Temples and stupas in Laos

Postby mikenz66 » Sat Oct 20, 2012 1:32 am

Thanks for the pictures, Kim. It brings back some nice memories. We visited Vientiane back in April 2007 when visiting friends in the Nong Kai area of Thailand. As I recall we got drenched by a thunderstorm, and, it being Songkran, also by the usual water throwing...

Vientiane was to me like one of those science-fiction parallel universe places. The writing is similar to Thai, but obviously different if you have any familiarity with Thai script. And you see a lot of Chinese signs and products... The language is similar but different, and they drive on the other side of the road...

:anjali:
Mike

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Ben
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Re: Temples and stupas in Laos

Postby Ben » Sat Oct 20, 2012 1:43 am

Thanks Kim!
It brings back memories of Myanmar, though the pagodas there are of a different design.
with metta,

Ben
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

(Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • •

e: [email protected]..

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Re: Temples and stupas in Laos

Postby David N. Snyder » Sat Oct 20, 2012 1:59 am

Image




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mikenz66
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Re: Temples and stupas in Laos

Postby mikenz66 » Sat Oct 20, 2012 2:02 am


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tiltbillings
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Re: Temples and stupas in Laos

Postby tiltbillings » Sat Oct 20, 2012 3:28 am

http://www.directpictures.com/dharma_director.html

The video advertised here is quite lovely, looking at Thai, Burmese and Laotian Buddhist temples along the major rivers. The Lao style is different from both the more familiar Burmese and Thai. It is really quite wonderful.

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Kim OHara
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Re: Temples and stupas in Laos

Postby Kim OHara » Sat Oct 20, 2012 4:51 am


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yawares
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Re: Temples and stupas in Laos

Postby yawares » Mon Oct 22, 2012 3:13 pm


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GraemeR
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Temples and stupas in Laos

Postby GraemeR » Tue Oct 23, 2012 1:03 am


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yawares
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Re: Temples and stupas in Laos

Postby yawares » Tue Oct 23, 2012 1:45 am


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yawares
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Re: Temples and stupas in Laos

Postby yawares » Tue Oct 23, 2012 5:50 pm

Dear Kim,

Laos is so close..borderline with Thailand, but I've never been there..even Thai Inter Airways didn't fly to Laos when I worked...after seeing your pictures...I searched and found beautiful Laos ladies with national costumes:

http://images.search.yahoo.com/search/i ... gac&sado=1

Miss Laos (I'm so surprised I can understand Laos language !!!)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eonbv4Op_cY

Boat Festival
http://images.search.yahoo.com/search/i ... gac&sado=1

yawares :smile:

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GraemeR
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Temples and stupas in Laos

Postby GraemeR » Wed Oct 24, 2012 7:09 am


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Kim OHara
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Re: Temples and stupas in Laos

Postby Kim OHara » Wed Oct 24, 2012 10:41 am

Thanks for nudging me to look up the history of the Emerald Buddha. I seemed to come across 'Emerald Buddha' temples everywhere I went, but I never quite got the history straight. These three sites filled in the gaps:
short and simple
more detailed
long and a bit academic

They all agree on some basics: that the statue was first reliably recorded in what is now northern Thailand (Chiang Rai and Chiang Mai) about 1436, was taken to Luang Prabang about 1550 by a king who ruled both countries, and then to Vientiane where it stayed for a couple of centuries. Then a Thai general seized it in 1778 and took it to Thonburi. He became King Rama I soon afterwards and built its present temple in Bangkok a few years later.

I saw Pha Kaeo in Vientiane, very close to Wat Sisaket. It was built specifically to house the Emerald Buddha but it is now a museum of Buddhist art. Quite a beautiful building but I didn't take many photos.
I went to Luang Prabang a few days later. I didn't see where the Emerald Buddha had been housed but I knew it had been in the city. Then the last long stop on my holiday was Chiang Mai, and I did visit Wat Chedi Luang where the statue had been housed early in its Thai history. And of course I flew out through Bangkok, where I had seen the Emerald Buddha on a previous trip. No wonder I thought I was coming across it everywhere!

:namaste:
Kim

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yawares
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Re: Temples and stupas in Laos

Postby yawares » Wed Oct 24, 2012 12:22 pm


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Kim OHara
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Re: Temples and stupas in Laos

Postby Kim OHara » Fri Oct 26, 2012 12:11 am

Part three of the series ... I started with national monuments in Vientiane, continued with an artistically and historically significant wat in Luang Prabang. But how and where do ordinary people worship? This set shows two local wats in a smallish country town. They are well supported by the local community but don't have the resources of the temples in my earlier photos.
I was a bit surprised to find a spirit house in the grounds of one of them because I expected a bigger separation between Buddhism and animism, at least in the temples.
Most temples I saw in Laos, and many in Northern Thailand, have a group of seven or eight Buddha statues as in my second photo here. Each is in a different pose, and each pose is associated with a particular day of the week. I don't know where the tradition comes from.
These two temples both had many murals depicting episodes from the Buddha's life and teachings. They obviously continue a tradition which began centuries ago and are a way of teaching lay people the stories. These two temples, however, have been built (or rebuilt and redecorated) quite recently (probably as anti-Buddhist policies of the Lao government relaxed in the 1980s and beyond) and the artwork is quite crude and garish to my eyes. Both temples were open on three sides and these murals were on the walls either side of the main altar.
The last two photos in the set show local people at the wat for full-moon day observances. There were far too many people to sit inside so they sat on mats on the ground around the front of the temple. Most of them were there for the whole morning, listening to the monks' chanting and dhamma talks, and giving food to the monks. The atmosphere was lovely - happy, relaxed and calm - and I didn't like to interrupt by playing tourist with my camera. They told me I was welcome to take pictures but I still tried to keep out of the way while doing so.

I spoke to a novice at one of the wats and he told me that there were four monks and seven novices at his temple. He either didn't know how many there were at the other three temples in town, or his English wasn't good enough to tell me. (I'm not blaming him, of course - his English was far better than my Lao!!)

:namaste:
Kim

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Re: Temples and stupas in Laos

Postby mikenz66 » Fri Oct 26, 2012 12:40 am


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Re: Temples and stupas in Laos

Postby Kim OHara » Fri Oct 26, 2012 2:30 am


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Re: Temples and stupas in Laos

Postby GraemeR » Fri Oct 26, 2012 7:56 am


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Re: Temples and stupas in Laos

Postby Kim OHara » Fri Oct 26, 2012 11:56 am


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Re: Temples and stupas in Laos

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