An Enormous Elephant Temple in Thailand (WAT BAN RAI)

By: iamAldonLopez | January 12, 2019

I will do it for the people who give me food and water every day.” – Luang Phor Koon. He was the person behind this stunning huge elephant temple in Thailand also known as Wat Ban Rai. I been around to a few countries in Asia and visited temples. However, I have never seen a temple like Wat Ban Rai. This miraculous temple was made from over 20 million pieces of ceramic and it took them 3 years before it opened to the public.

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Hor Thep Wittayakom is the elephant-liked ceramic shrine in the center of the water.”

Wat Ban Rai is located at Kut Phiman, Dan Khun Thot District, Nakhon Ratchasima Province, Thailand. It may take 3-4 hours by bus/car from Bangkok. In our case, it only took us 15mins since we are situated in Dakhuntot District. From Dankhuntot, we rented a ‘Tuktok’ which only cost 250 Baht and it was already back n’ fort. We just added 250 Baht since we were 5 persons.

This temple is considered as one of the most important temples in Isan Region because of the tons of worshippers visits here to pay their respect to Luang Phor Koon, a well-known monk in Thailand. It is also Asia’s largest ceramic mosaic shrine with more than 20 million pieces mosaic. Inside the temple, you will see the exhibits of Luang Phor Koon about his background and life. On the first floor are six huge paintings that depict the Buddha’s life from birth to enlightenment. From there a carpeted, wheel-chair assessable, ramp winds upward four stories through hundreds of mixed media artworks depicting the history of the teaching of Buddhism.

On the rooftop are the statue of walking Buddha and the statue of Luang Pho Khun.  You are also greeted with an open-air patio that gives spectacular views of the countryside. You will see that Wat Ban Rai is surrounded by water and when you enter inside the temple you will be welcomed by the 19 headed nagas who guarded the temple.  Around the building depicts Buddhism’s sacred texts.

Wat Ban Rai is always one of the tourist’s destinations in Nakhon Ratchasima. Thus, I recommend you visit here and witness how beautiful this temple was.

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Whilst we were on our way up, we saw our students working there as a part-time crew in Wat Ban Rai. They assisted some tourists if they have some questions about the temple. I felt proud because, at that young age, they already know how to earn money on their own.

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Before you enter the temple, you will see this 7 headed Nagas in the river.”

How to get there?

  • From Bangkok – 3rd floor Mo Chit Terminal, take ‘SUN BUS‘ at booth 1 going to Chaiyapum and inform them to drop you off at Dankhuntod.
  • From Dakhuntod, Take a ‘Tuktok’ to ‘Wat Ban Rai’.
  • Admission Fee: Free 
  • Bus: 218 Baht
  • Tuktok: 250 Baht (it depends on your bargaining/bidding skills)

This place is recommended if you are planning to visit Korat (Northeast of Thailand). You can also check out the cheapest hotels here.

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