Tag Archives: Hindu

I had no trouble getting to Sala Kaew Ku

Sala Kaew Ku is a garden of enormous bizarre and fantastic sculptures of a spiritual nature.

Huge Naga Buddha towers over the park's other sculptures
Huge Naga Buddha towers over the park’s other sculptures

Buddhist and Hindu imagery are represented, with multi-headed, multi-armed deities, human-animal hybrids, Buddhas, and Phaya Naga towering over visitors.

Huge Buddhas in a variety of poses
Huge Buddhas in a variety of poses

Both sculptures and park were built by mystic, myth-maker, spiritual cult leader and sculpture artist Luang Pu Bunleua Sulilat.

Sala Kaew Ku
Sala Kaew Ku

Legend says that as a young man, Bunleua Sulilat fell into a cave, and in that cave met hermit Kaew Ku.  Kaew Ku became his spiritual mentor. Sala Kaew Ku means “Hall of Kaew Ku”.

Phra Rahu
Phra Rahu

Phra Rahu, above, swallows the sun, causing eclipses.

Below is the only depiction I’ve seen of Phra Mae Thorani in which she is not wringing water from her hair to protect the Buddha. In this sculpture she is coming to the aid of humans in a boat.

Phra Mae Thorani
Phra Mae Thorani

Bunleua Sulilat built his first sculpture garden, Buddha Park, near Vientiane, Laos , in 1958. He fled across the Mekong River into Thailand in fear of the political climate of Laos after the 1975 communist revolution, and in 1978 began work on “The Hall of Kaew Ku”, which would be more extravagant and feature larger statues than his earlier park. The newer park is located near Nong Khai, Thailand.

It is good luck to enter through this gate
It is good luck to enter through this gate

Pics above and below show the gate to a sort of small courtyard filled with mostly more life-sized statues.

Below is a look inside the courtyard.

Sulilat’s personality and sculpture and his blend of Buddhism and Hinduism attracted followers, and the sculpture park became the center of a religious sect. Followers gave him the title Luang Pu, usually reserved for monks.

Phra Phikanet (Ganesha) riding a rat
Phra Phikanet (Ganesha) riding a rat

Both sculpture parks were built by untrained volunteers working for free. Sulilat was wildly popular among his followers, but the locals thought he was insane.

First floor shrine
First floor shrine

The Sala Kaew Ku pavilion building has shrines/temples on 3 floors, and it seems appropriate that they in the “collection of Buddhas and other effigies” style. Among them are many pictures of Luang Pu Bunleua Sulilat.

Second floor shrine
Second floor shrine

Sulilat fell from one of his huge sculptures and his health deteriorated until his death in 1996. His mummified body is enshrined on the 3rd floor.

Third floor shrine
Third floor shrine

Large windows on the 3rd floor offer a nice view over the park.

View from the 3rd floor
View from the 3rd floor

Please enjoy the full gallery of 40 pictures below.