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Buddhist temples in Thailand – cultural & historical heritage
Buddhist temples in Thailand are characterized by tall golden stupas, and the Buddhist architecture of Thailand is similar to that in other Southeast Asian countries, particularly Cambodia and Laos, with which Thailand shares cultural and historical heritage.
In addition to the ecclesiastical leadership of the sangha, a secular government ministry supervises Buddhist temples and monks.
According to the Office of National Buddhism, there are 41,205 Buddhist temples in Thailand of which 33,902 are active.
31,890 are of the Maha Nikaya and 1,987 are of the Dhammayuttika Nikaya orders of the Theravada school, while 12 are of the Chinese Nikaya and 13 are of the Anam Nikaya orders of the Mahayana school.
The following is a non-exhaustive list of Buddhist temples in Thailand.
A wat is a type of Buddhist temple and Hindu temple in Cambodia, Laos, East Shan State, Yunnan and Thailand.
The word wat is borrowed from Sanskrit vāṭa meaning ‘enclosure’.
Wat Pha Sorn Kaew
Wat Pha Sorn Kaew, also known as Wat Phra That Pha Son Kaeo, is a Buddhist monastery and temple in Khao Kor, Phetchabun, in north-central Thailand, about 5 hours drive north of Bangkok. The Wat is set on an 830m peak, a few hundred meters from the town of Kheam Son on the main highway 12, between Phitsanulok and Lom Sak.
Wat Phra Mahathat
Wat Phra Mahathat Woramahawihan is the main Buddhist temple (wat) of Nakhon Si Thammarat Province in southern Thailand. The main stupa of the temple, Phra Borommathat Chedi, was built by King Sri Dhammasokaraja in the early-13th century CE to establish a symbol for the Theravada Buddhism sect in the province. The temple is believed to house a tooth of Gautama Buddha.
Wat Klang Bang Kaeo
Wat Klang Bang Kaeo is a temple in Nakhon Chai Si District, Central Thailand. Located on the Tha Chin River, the temple was established during the Ayutthaya period.
Wat Pa Maha Chedi Kaew
Wat Pa Maha Chedi Kaew, also known as the Temple of a Million Bottles, is a Buddhist temple in Khun Han district of Sisaket province, Thailand. The temple is made of over 1.5 million empty Heineken bottles and Chang beer bottles. Collection of the bottles began in 1984; it took two years to build the main temple. Thereafter, the monks continued to expand the site, and by 2009 some 20 buildings had been similarly constructed.
Wat Phrathat Doi Kong Mu
Wat Phrathat Doi Kong Mu is an ancient Thai Buddhist temple in Mae Hong Son province, northern Thailand, considered as a provincial temple.
Wat Sri Chomphu Ong Tue
Wat Sri Chomphu Ong Tue, Wat Ongtue or Wat Nam Mong is a Buddhist temple in Thailand. The temple houses Luang Pho Phraehao Ongtue one of the largest Buddha representations in all of Laos which stands four meters tall and is believed to have been cast in 1562.
Wat Tha Mai
Wat Tha Mai is a Buddhist temple in Krathum Baen, Samut Sakhon, Thailand. It was known for sacred objects such as amulets and talismans. Many Thai celebrities visit this temple as part of their philanthropy and benefit from fortune telling by abbot Pra Ar Jan Uten Sirisaro. These activities have been criticized as commercialization of Buddhism. The temple is also well known in Thailand for placing its decals on rear windows of visitors’ cars, producing more than 30,000 stickers each month.