Monday, January 6, 2014

#730 Xieng Khuan Buddha Park, Vientiane, Laos

This quirky Buddha Park on the outskirts of Vientiane in Laos (25km southeast)

is a bizarre collection of 200 Buddhist and Hindu statues created out of concrete. The sculptures are the work of the unconventional sculptor Luang Phu (Venerable Grandfather) Boon Lua (Bunleua) Sulilat whose name for the park translates to 'Spirit City'. The park was begun in 1958, and attempted to integrate Hinduism and Buddhism due to the artist being influenced by a Hindu rishi in Vietnam.

Sculptures include depictions of humans, gods, animals, demons, Buddha, Shiva, Vishnu and Arjuna. The 120m long reclining Buddha is also significant.

After the 1975 revolution, Boon Lua fled to Thailand where he built another sculpture park (Sala Keoku) just miles from this one in Nong Khai, on the other side of the Mekong River.
The very large giant pumpkin-like castle is a main feature of the park, with fables and stories of  the underworld carved into the rooms leading up to a platform on the roof with impressive views over the park with the Mekong River behind. Enter through a 'hell mouth' at the bottom.
Source: Lonely Planet Southeast Asia on a Shoestring, 12th Edition, 2004 p348

No comments:

Post a Comment