Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Public gets rare glimpse at spectacularly lavish temple

Feb 19. 2017
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By The Nation

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THE CONTROVERSIAL Wat Dhammakaya and its surrounding areas in Pathum Thani have been declared a controlled area under an order issued by junta chief General Prayut Chan-o-cha through Article 44 of the post-coup interim charter.

The order became effective on Thursday. 

The Department of Special Investigation and police searched the temple last week looking for its fugitive former abbot Phra Dhammakaya.

This was the first time that most people have seen the opulent temple’s interior.

The ultra-rich temple is well known for its large and lavish buildings and structures. 

It covers over 2,100 rai (336 hectares) and the total cost of construction is estimated at about Bt350 billion. 

Here is a list of some of its main structures and their estimated costs:

BT189 BILLION: THE ROOF OF THE GRAND MEDITATION STADIUM

The buildings around the Dhammakaya Cetiya are offices for various temple projects and can hold up to 1 million people. There are 32 office blocks contained in the perimeter buildings. The moat is used to lessen the heat and beautify the surrounds.

BT75 BILLION: THE GREAT DHAMMAKAYA CETIYA

The outer shell of the dome-shaped cetiya (stupa) is decorated with 300,000 Buddha statues on its hemispherical dome and spherical terrace. 

Another 700,000 Buddha statues decorate the interior. Titanium gold ion plating gives the statues a golden sheen.

BT370 MILLION: THE DHAMMAKAYA CHAPEL

The chapel was built with clean lines and in a simple style. It can hold 200 monks.

BT5.8 BILLION: THE MEMORIAL HALL OF PHRA MONGKOL THEPMUNEE

The dome-shaped shrine was built on a circular base, symbolising a sphere that spreads the Dhamma teachings of Lord Buddha.

BT175 MILLION: A SCULPTURE FOR 

WORSHIPPING THE GREAT DHAMMAKAYA CETIYA

A place of worship for followers.

BT17.4 BILLION: THE SAPHA DHAMMAKAYA 

Located opposite the Dhammakaya Cetiya, the assembly hall has a multi-functional design. The two-storey building is also used as accommodation for followers, holding up to 200,000 people.

BT550 MILLION: THE GRANDMA CHAN KHONNOKYOONG GREAT HALL

This 29-metre-tall and hexagonal pyramid-shaped chapel was built as a memorial place for the Master Nun, the founder of Dhammakaya Temple.

BT3 BILLION: THE MASTER NUN CHANDRA CENTENNIAL BUILDING

The 15-storey, circle-shaped building with a blue peacock symbol represents the Master Nun Chandra of the temple’s former abbot Phra Dhammachayo. Part of the construction budget – Bt714 million – is allegedly linked the Klongchan Credit Union embezzlement.

BT970 MILLION: THE MASTER GRANDMA DINING HALL

This is where all the monks, novices, and followers come together to have meals and remember the devotion of the Master Nun in establishing the temple. They also meditate there. The hall can seat up to 6,000 monks.

BT45.5 BILLION: THE PHAWANA 60 YEARS BUILDING

The dome-shaped shrine building is similar to the Great Dhammakaya Cetiya. It was built as meditation retreat for VIP followers.

BT340 MILLION: THE TEMPLE WALL

BT850 MILLION: THE DMC CHANNEL STATION BUILDING

BT2.2 BILLION: THE PARIYATTI DHAMMA SCHOOL

BT100 MILLION: OUTDOOR PARKING LOTS

BT11.8 BILLION: A HUGE INDOOR CARPARK

BT1.4 BILLION: MEDICAL CENTRE

BT650 MILLION: KITCHEN

 

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