Witness the enormous wooden castle in the world, the Sanctuary of Truth, Pattaya
A stunning architecture, the Sanctuary of Truth, is the most massive wood structure in Thailand and also the most extensive wood sanctuary in the world. Undoubtedly, the place is another must-visit sightseeing that is not too far from the heart of Pattaya.
As the most massive structure made from wood in the country, the Sanctuary of Truth covered the land of 128,000 sqm in the estimate. The location is well-known among the local as “Wang Boran” (the Old Palace) while some call it followed to the material of the structure is “Prasart Mai” (the wooden castle). Well, the Sanctuary of Truth constructed by Khun Lek Viriyaphan, the founder of the famous “Ancient City” and “Erawan Elephant Museum” in Samutprakarn region.
Knowing the Place
The Sanctuary of Truth located at the property on the Rajavej Cape, Na Klue sub-district, bang Lamoong district in Chonburi. The site was established by Khun Lek Virayaphan, a businessman who devotes his passion to the Thai architectural of the art and Buddhism religious. Acceptably, he is well-known as the owner of the remarkable Erawan Elephant Museum and Ancient City which both are top of the list tourist attractions near Bangkok metropolis that any tourist especially the foreigners should not miss visiting upon the trip.
Inside this exotic and exquisite sanctuary concealed with many notable philosophies and cultural knowledge that are the precious heritage of the humankind, reflecting the importance of the religious in term of the tool to make the world goes around. The idea focuses on “Seven Foundation of Life” and “the Moral Principle of Life“.
The Sanctuary of Truth awarded as the Best Tourist Attraction of Thailand’s Tourism Industry Award in 2008.
The Magnificent Wood Sanctuary
The Sanctuary of Truth started the construction process in 1981 and has continued it until the site has not yet completed, currently. It is a wood in the whole building with no metal or concrete involved in the construction but the concrete foundation. The classic Thai cogging participated in the building, as well as bolting which following the ancient wisdom. The tetrahedron design with about 100 meters high and 100 meters in its width, engraved with the delicate and exquisite art both interior and exterior. So, it could say that the Sanctuary of Truth is so-called the celestial sphere with an excellent presentation of the eastern religions and belief.
The four gable ends structure stands with up to 170 columns made from solid woods, such as teakwood, Ironwood, and Xylia xylocarpa. The engaging style of the roof, also the artistic wood sculpture enhanced the presence of the sanctuary to be even more beautiful.
Meaning of the Architecture and Interior Design of the Sanctuary of Truth
Western Hall (W)
The part projected the four essential elements as the vital factor of the creation of the earth, namely wind, fire, water, and soil followed to the Brahmanism, Buddhism, and Hindu. The woodcarving describes the deities who are the creator, the destroyer, and the preserver, which reflects the equity of human, animal, and things are born, settle, and perish. All of those, although it is a different factor of life, they share the same source of physical birth.
Southern Hall (S)
The section which presented the story of Vishnu was reincarnated to be Krishna that called “the 8th posture of Krishna”. The symbolic presentation reflected how the human can live with respect in right and duty appropriately, as well as do not harm the environment which influenced by the planets which means all living things and human society can live together in peace as same as the Krishna Avatar noted in “the Bhagavad Gita”, a part of the Hindu epic Mahabharata.
Northern Hall (N)
It mentioned about the story of Bodhisattvas – Manjushri, Amida, Avalokitesvara, Guan Yin, Pa-hsien (Eight Genies), and other Chinese immortal according to the belief of Mahayana Buddhism. It proposes to teach the human in sharing happiness without any reward as same as the Bodhisattvas. Mercy among the humankind and learn to live with intelligence in the advanced society that is developing to the liberation.
Eastern Hall (E)
Construction symbolized the family institute. Representing love and sympathy, which must start among the family in order to remain the humankind to live meaningful along with the sharing of pure love and mercy abidingly.
The Central Hall (CT)
A spacious area with a great throne in the wooden stupa design with no any figure of the celestial in the arched frame in all four directions. Portraying the liberation which is the eternal truth and united in the center of the universe, including the nine planets universal system, celestials, and deities. Furthermore, the liberation from “the Cycle of Birth and Death” teaching the human to do good and avoid evil and put faith in the right thing.
The Four-Faced Spired Top
The structure projecting the great virtue of the parents, including father, mother, teacher, master, administer, nation leader, and monarch which are “the Four Brahmavihara” or “the Four Sublime States”, namely loving-kindness (Metta), compassion (Karuna), empathetic joy (Mudita), and equanimity (Upekkha). With them, it is not possible to keep the land from prosperity and auspiciousness.
Apart from that, another philosophy to show is whichever religious in the world is created by a man with the fact that no scientific mechanic can direct the human’s mind besides “adequateness” and “faith.” This because it needs to rely on the firm faith altogether with the tolerance to mental status and condition of nature remarkably resulted in knowing the real liberation from suffering.
The Great Throne
An important center of the wood craving castle, nonetheless it is vacant and straightforward as the throne is out of the space where the place is forbidden to the human who never rivals to the celestials or deities. The throne designed to be able to sit in all four directions and implied it permitted to one who performs meritorious acts continually until reaching the enlightenment, consequently the path to liberate from the cycle of life that called “the true happiness“. The four spires over the top of the sanctuary and the summit are the symbol presenting the significant mission of human which are;
The Eastern Spire (E)
The goddess holds a scripture, which means the responsibility to preserve the religious philosophies to guide humanity to live the life appropriately.
The Northern Spire (N)
The Celestial holds a lotus flower, which means the responsibility to provide the typical benefits in accordance with the teaching of the religious. It is to maintain the faithful to be last on earth.
The Western Spire (W)
The goddess holds the ear of rice, and a dove catches the arm of the figure means the responsibility to remain the abundance of things for the peace sake of humankind.
The Southern Spire (S)
The Celestial a child and senile by hands, which means the responsibility to inherit the will to maintain the clan continuously with humanity.
The Summit in the middle of the equestrian statue of celestial refers to the collective responsibility of all four spires and altogether as on, metaphors the great man who leads the humankind to the future with the potential goal are peace and tranquility of the world.
The site with the firm intention to urge the people to realize “the truth of life” by focusing the mind, living for others, maintaining and continuing the wisdom and knowledge from the great philosophers in the past, and building the eternity peace for the society that are the real goal of the great sense that the man must reach.
Nowadays, even though this magnificent and mysterious architecture has constructed for more than 20 years and it has not been finished, yet. With the building that mainly is made from wood and situated next to the seashore resulted in the erosion of the structure. Therefore, the renovation and maintenance of the Sanctuary of Truth never stop.
Info and Operating Time
Taking a tour inside the property is convenient for the tourist of both Thai and international with the staff to provide the information and guide the journey. And before starting the tour, the visitor will get the security helmet for safety during your visiting.
The Sanctuary of Truth opens to the public between 8.00am and 5.00pm every day. The entrance fee is THB500 for the adults both Thai and Foreigners and THB250 for the children with under 110 cm of the height. For more information, please visit website https://www.facebook.com/thesanctuaryoftruthpattaya/
Other activities you can enjoy at the Sanctuary of Truth
- Thai traditional culture show, two rounds daily, at 11.30am and 3.30pm.
- The activities (excluded from the entrance fee) are Riding the speed boat to sightsee the castle, Riding the horse cartridge, ATV, BB Gun, and Riding the elephant.
Traveling to the Sanctuary of Truth
The Sanctuary of Truth located at Rajavej Cape, Na Klue Road, Na Klue sub-district, Bang Lamoong district, Chonburi. To go to the location, you drive on highway number 3 (Sukhumvit Road) to Pattaya. Then, keep your ride on the Sukhumvit Road and passes the North Pattaya to Na Klue. So, you make the right turn at Na Klue 12 Alley where the destination is front to the sea.