The road to hell & more - bizarre Buddhist temple hell gardens.

DavidFL

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Staff member
Jan 16, 2003
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Chiang Khong
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Cruising round the top north the last few months ( & years) and I've come across a few Buddhist Hell gardens at temples.
Some of them seem to be quite hard core & extreme, if you've never visited one before.
Representations of life in hell should you commit misdemeanors in your life, karma will get you when you the next time round.
The statues are often horrific, with blood and guts, lots of red paint plus terrible distorted bodies.

I have picked up on a couple of new ones recently & thought it maybe an idea to have a "GTR directory of life in Buddhist hell."

Statues can show punishment for a variety of sins
Adultery
Gambling
Lying / Deceitfulness
Drunkenness
Jealousy
Theft or Robbery
Corruption
Abortion
Nymphomania
the list goes on........

Wat Chairat Samran
Located on R1232 in Wiang Chai, 9.5 kms east of Chiang Rai.
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Ughetto

Ol'Timer
Mar 29, 2021
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Thank you I never been there at this temple also if I pass many time from wiang chai because in Chiang rai I live intersection stadium
and the street go exactly in this direction.
Now they are building new road
Two days ago I was going to phaya meng rai and I choise new street for play watching the mountain and also if I know the area I loose my self I make wrong and I go first to Chiang khong.I stop in phaya meng rai at the way of the return after walking a little in Chiang khong.
This temple is at one sharp 90 degree same km before wiang chai coming from Ching rai?
From the map look like more close to the town and with mobile telefhone the Thai write I cannot understand too much I need to watch at computer for understand better
When get old Is a little like this....
Asking help to Thai girl friend she say I am correct is the temple where the sharp is 90 degree 1 month and samething ago may be 2 month ago have like a party and market inside
 
Last edited:

DavidFL

Administrator
Staff member
Jan 16, 2003
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Chiang Khong
www.thegtrider.com
Thank you I never been there at this temple also if I pass many time from wiang chai because in Chiang rai I live intersection stadium
and the street go exactly in this direction.
Now they are building new road
Two days ago I was going to phaya meng rai and I choise new street for play watching the mountain and also if I know the area I loose my self I make wrong and I go first to Chiang khong.I stop in phaya meng rai at the way of the return after walking a little in Chiang khong.
This temple is at one sharp 90 degree same km before wiang chai coming from Ching rai?
From the map look like more close to the town and with mobile telefhone the Thai write I cannot understand too much I need to watch at computer for understand better
When get old Is a little like this....
Asking help to Thai girl friend she say I am correct is the temple where the sharp is 90 degree 1 month and samething ago may be 2 month ago have like a party and market inside

Yes you turn on the corner. Click on the Google Maps link & you can find it.

 

Dodraugen

Ol'Timer
Aug 19, 2012
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Lampang
You experienced Thai expats probably already know about this but I will allow myself to mention it still....

Wat Mae Thakrai in Mae Thakrai, amphur Mae On straight east (as the crow flies) out of Chiang Mai has a significant «Hell» department. It lies along the R1230 and you cannot miss it as the main temple buildings are painted pink!

Wat Mae Ta Khrai

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Heineken

Ol'Timer
Mar 2, 2019
222
319
63
You experienced Thai expats probably already know about this but I will allow myself to mention it still....

Wat Mae Thakrai in Mae Thakrai, amphur Mae On straight east (as the crow flies) out of Chiang Mai has a significant «Hell» department. It lies along the R1230 and you cannot miss it as the main temple buildings are painted pink!



Thanks for sharing, I havent seen that one, added to the list when we can travel again
 

DavidFL

Administrator
Staff member
Jan 16, 2003
12,599
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Chiang Khong
www.thegtrider.com
You experienced Thai expats probably already know about this but I will allow myself to mention it still....

Wat Mae Thakrai in Mae Thakrai, amphur Mae On straight east (as the crow flies) out of Chiang Mai has a significant «Hell» department. It lies along the R1230 and you cannot miss it as the main temple buildings are painted pink!

Wat Mae Ta Khrai

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Fantastic. That's a new one on me too.
 

Heineken

Ol'Timer
Mar 2, 2019
222
319
63
Here is another one that I went and visited only a few days ago, its called "Wat Tham Phajarui" located off the R1128 in the Pa Daet District of Chiang Rai ;)


The grounds are quite big and there are a few Temples, caves, a small lake and the Zombie display :eek:


Wat Tham Phajarui - Google Search


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If you keep walking past all the Zombies there is a cave in the side of the rock hill, it does have a door, which was open when I visited, very dark inside so I turned on my camera flash and next thing you know ive got hundreds of bats flying past me, scared the shit out of me :laughing:........................if you look closely you can see some bats in my photos.


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Also on the side of the rocky hill are some stairs and walkways, there are also more smaller caves to see, I dont think you are allowed to enter the caves, not that I wanted to, lots of bee hives, or they might be wasp nests above, beside them it is a nice view out over the grounds :cool:


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Amongst the buildings on the Temple grounds is a giant rabbit office, not sure what it is used for, just a bit odd IMO :)


r2Z5Wbp3wLjJIZtM6KQZzuwZXEiMQm21RwIzhXWDTirw7BsDqZMQ-e4-G0JE7Zqv_1erPsjsMiAYJLihlBElNOaPcd-uBQYNpqd8X83TsXyVXx-e1Kyv5J77q7IvP071kIPDZ4fwDVkhMaIMyQU9f0e3LCwvwQDuwKTmOCkJjg9KuGOCw9LynGQ9yjDkJBt7JfVnOX6AuEAet5aEZQxO0AkJj-YcJHNxiHQGSllPfbrsk14a9IE0EI10SZh3MjA7FJy5HK9O3-Hy4R0-QyqYOVGm78QdJLKR0h21lylSlxP_ZIihUwPxNkCZjKNSfn0c8eEmSkYsXhbyZj-Ebjnm-llH2Wj9ZrvS_iYC2DNfuFJ-heMw-iXlHVCyGiNNWERvgJjvMvT_u-rJXh1qXCu3fNpFC45L3UXfyyxK-PgLgKa6QRjaFHAGWadvz16-3SV_sS_RpgheIftCI365rNDuQBSxepZ-jc8TUxe7gpafNMXX7SEo9aWh_AZgYmLoZubQsJdT5oThWgk4tzeTbtrmoku3O0pp-Wkp_EeAd1IhYpCF1ks2YcFVfG4Qzf1-hlw-Fa3qY25qApo2AAG_Afy17G8LQvPOk-nSx-aFxiDhGiYUEERLTJTqTonZWxNXgapw01W0uGSRvfRB59k3IIWiH2V_c5tb7VHFxqXrV_uGVdO12RML1nYenT1_ulrgOH6fsp_KzxET1pmlL515AU2vmbPUFA=w1678-h944-no
 

Dodraugen

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Aug 19, 2012
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ZCM

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Jun 23, 2011
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I paid a visit to Wat Mae Ta Krai at on Sunday and got a few good shots of the creepy statues. I have an album of photos here: Wat Mae Ta Krai Album
I hope it is ok to post the link to the album, rather than post the images. It is a lot to post. (If not ok, delete my reply. I totally understand!)
 

DavidFL

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I paid a visit to Wat Mae Ta Krai at on Sunday and got a few good shots of the creepy statues. I have an album of photos here: Wat Mae Ta Krai Album
I hope it is ok to post the link to the album, rather than post the images. It is a lot to post. (If not ok, delete my reply. I totally understand!)

Nice one Zed.
What are your top 6 favourite pics from that group.
 
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DKT Dave

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Sep 25, 2019
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I know that Wat Si Khom Kham has featured before on GT Rider but seeing as there is a dedicated thread to Hell Gardens I thought I might add it.

Wat Si Khom Kham is the main temple in Phayao built on the edge of the lake. It is probably most well known for housing the largest Chiang Sean era Buddhist statue in the country, standing at 17 metres. The temple itself dates back to the 12th century, and the famous statue was built sometime around 1500.

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The main entrance off Phahon Yothin Road.

After entering the temple complex into the car park, if you turn right, then go straight about 40 metres you will come to the statue garden.

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The entrance to the garden.

Walk through the main section of the garden and towards the rear you will find the entrance to the Hell Garden.

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The entrance to Hell Garden.

Albeit a smaller section the garden does contain some interestingly grotesque statues, depicting what awaits those who behave badly in this life!
A selection of photos follows below:

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Overall a smaller but nonetheless unique Thai Hell Garden. It is well worth a visit if you are in Phayao!
 
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Heineken

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I haven't been to that one for about 6 or 7 years Dave, I nearly paid a visit a few days ago to that Temple, decided to ride down to the new, or is it refurbished ? reclining Buddha down on the way to the University instead ;)
 

Ian Bungy

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So to add to these posts I went to check out another Temple of Hell not so far from where We live, on the recommendation of David Unkovich. It's full title: Wat Mae Kaet Noi Buddhist Hell in Chiang Mai Temple! So supposedly all these tortured figures are what You will suffer in Your afterlife if You commit one of the multiple listed sins! Quite amazing and directly on the other side of the road from this is a School! I wonder if it has scared any of the students into not committing any Sins!
Quite Bizarre?

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I am not sure what kind of Punishment this Guy is receiving but a few Guys I know would probably queue up for that?
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DKT Dave

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Sep 25, 2019
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Great write up Bungy....I like the attention to detail in that group statue. The artist was obviously a stickler for getting it right!
 

ZCM

Ol'Timer
Jun 23, 2011
318
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Nice one Zed.
What are your top 6 favourite pics from that group.
1st: On a dramatic photo front I love the scale of the giant statues compared to my bike.
B.jpg


2nd: On a personal level, I loved the feeling and the view at the top of the main temple:
7.jpg


3rd: ...and also the fantastic almost optical illusion effect of the stairway below:
3.jpg


4: I liked the reflections of this photo, where the area was flooded from recent rain:
D.jpg


5: ..and the strange faces
F.jpg


6: lastly, I LOVE this photo, because these little girls are instructing me what to do regarding making merit and putting my name on the tiles to go into the temple. These girls were so cute and were helping everyone. ..and they kept waving at me as I climbed up the main temple.
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@DK DAVE,

I will put the Phayao one on the "MUST-SEE" list. Thank you!



@ Ian,
Those photos are fantastic! I did make a daft video a few years back at this temple. I ended up there during a thunderstorm too. Plus the school was on a recess and I thought it was really weird that school kids could hear all the yelling and screaming! I found out later on that many parents will take their kids to these temples to show them what will happen if they are bad. On one occasion I did see a very young child with his mum at that temple. A difference in culture it seems!
 
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DavidFL

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Bungy
That Wat Mae Kaet Noi, really is a winner.
Superbly graphic. It has featured on GTR before, but you've certainly brought it back to life with those stunning pics.

For those who maybe interested, some earlier GTR reports on the amazing Wat Mae Kaet Noi




There's quite a few other amazing ones around the nation too.












Who is going to provide the next temple hell?

Thanks Sarah for some info.

And Ex Utopia
 
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