Asian art

Buddhist arts and Architecture of Temples in Thailand

wat phra buddhist temple

View our Buddha Statues in our gallery

As other south Asian countries, Thailand was also under influence of India's Gupta tradition. This influences can be seen in their art and culture. The earlier antique Buddhist arts were constructed according to this form of art. As time passed by, the Mon Kingdom of Myanmar expanded and influenced nearby areas.

If we look at the history of Mon kingdom, it is recorded that Mon Kingdom was converted to Buddhism at around 200 BCE. Along with the conversion, the arts and culture were also transferred and acculturation was observed. Hence, there were lots of Buddhist arts constructed in Myanmar and later they localized the art form according to their culture and community. The new form of art was established.

buddha statues

While the Mon Kingdom was expanding, their art and culture were also influencing nearby areas. These influences were seen in Thailand also. The antique Buddhist arts - statues, murals, architectures, etc.- based on Gupta tradition and the Mon Kingdom were constructed during 1st to 7th centuries.

In the 9th century, the influence of Gupta tradition and the Mon Kingdom were diminished and rose the influence of Cambodian Khmer art and Sri Vijaya art in the north and south respectively. These both form of art was based on Mahayana Buddhism. The unique feature of this art can be distinguished by the clear fluidness in the expression. The theme focuses on the characteristic of the Mahayana pantheon with multiple creations of Bodhisattvas.

In the 13th century, Theravada Buddhism was introduced in Thailand from Sri Lanka. King Ramkhamhaeng of Sukhothai played a great role to spread Theravada ideology of Buddhism. He requested senior monks from Sri Lanka to teach their views of Buddhism in Thailand. During this time, the ethnic Thai kingdom helped to form new Buddhist art that was highly stylized images in Thai Buddhism. Apart from the regular style, the images and arts were created in geometrical and almost abstract figures as well.

In the 14th - 18th centuries, during the Ayutthaya period, a new style of art was evolved. In this form of art, Buddha statues were represented in more stylistic manner. They were added with luxurious garments and jeweled ornamentations. Therefore, we can observe that many of the Thai Buddha statues and temples were gilded and on occasions, they are enriched with inlays.

The Thai Buddhist art was further developed during the reign of Thonburi and Rattanakosin Kingdom. As Bangkok was established as the royal center of the kingdom of Siam, the Thailand was filled with numerous Buddhist monuments - temples, large Buddha statues. These structures were constructed with the objective to demonstrate their devotion and as well as to showcase their authority.

View our collections of statues and arts in our gallery

Architecture of Wats- Buddhist temples.

The Buddhist temples in Thailand has other buildings for specific purposes and is built according to two styles of architecture - Phutthawat and Sangkhawat architecture.

In Phutthawat architecture, there consists of several buildings with unique designs like-

ayutthaya temple in thailand
  • Chedi- stupa in the form of a bell-shaped tower and includes relic chamber.
  • Prang - the Thai version of Khmer temple towers
  • Ubosot - the hall which is considered most sacred area of wat
  • Wihan - a shrine hall that contains Buddha Statues. This hall is also use as assembly hall where people prays
  • Mondop - a shrine with spired roof within a temple compound.
  • Ho trai - the Buddhist library
  • Sala - an open pavilion providing shade and a place to rest.
  • Sala kan parian - a large hall meant for studying and saying afternoon prayers
  • Ho rakhang - the bell tower
  • In Sangkhawat architecture, the temple compound also consists of living quarters for the monks along with other buildings - Ho rakhang, bell tower; Sala Kan Parian, hall; etc. In the earlier period, living quarters of the monks used to be a small structure built on stilts but in present times, there is a modern apartment building with small rooms for the monks.

    In present context, Thailand is better known for the Theravada Buddhism and also the best pilgrimage site for the Buddhism since they are preserving the antique Buddhist art and at the same time they are constructing new statues of Buddha as well.

Share this page

Our collections of Buddha statues and arts

Old bronze Nepali Buddha statue

Old bronze Nepali Buddha statue

275 euro
Very early Jain statue with inscriptions

Very early Jain statue with inscriptions

600 euro
Bronze Nepali Medicine Buddha statue

Bronze Nepali Medicine Buddha statue

175 euro
Very special bronze Burmese Buddha statue

Very special bronze Burmese Buddha statue

47,500 euro
Old bronze Nepali Ganesha statue

Old bronze Nepali Ganesha statue

350 euro
Old wooden Burmese Mandalay Buddha

Old wooden Burmese Mandalay Buddha

800 euro
Old bronze Nepali Buddha statue

Old bronze Nepali Buddha statue

500 euro
Old bronze Nepali Green Tara

Old bronze Nepali Green Tara

1,350 euro
Special antique marble Jain statue

Special antique marble Jain statue

2,750 euro
Old red Burmese offering vessel

Old red Burmese offering vessel

750 euro
Special antique bronze Shan Buddha statue

Special antique bronze Shan Buddha statue

7,500 euro
Old marble Hanuman statue

Old marble Hanuman statue

650 euro
Old bronze Burmese Buddha statue

Old bronze Burmese Buddha statue

500 euro
Antique wooden Burmese Mandalay Buddha statue

Antique wooden Burmese Mandalay Buddha statue

1,850 euro
Old bronze Manjushri statue

Old bronze Manjushri statue

550 euro
Old bronze nepali Ganesha statue

Old bronze nepali Ganesha statue

250 euro
Old bronze Nepali Lokeshwor statue

Old bronze Nepali Lokeshwor statue

1,750 euro
Old bronze Parvati statue

Old bronze Parvati statue

900 euro
Old bronze Nepali White Tara statue

Old bronze Nepali White Tara statue

325 euro
Antique marble Ganesha statue

Antique marble Ganesha statue

2,850 euro
Old marble Burmese Buddha statue

Old marble Burmese Buddha statue

900 euro
Old Burmese Buddha statue

Old Burmese Buddha statue

1,600 euro
Pair of old marble lion statues

Pair of old marble lion statues

700 euro
Old bronze Nepali Buddha statue

Old bronze Nepali Buddha statue

600 euro
Special antique Ivory Japanese Zushi shrine

Special antique Ivory Japanese Zushi shrine

14,500 euro
Antique bronze Thai Sukhothai Buddha statue

Antique bronze Thai Sukhothai Buddha statue

1,600 euro
Antique ivory Japanese figure

Antique ivory Japanese figure

1,500 euro
Old wooden Burmese Monk statue

Old wooden Burmese Monk statue

300 euro
Old wooden Burmese Throne

Old wooden Burmese Throne

1,250 euro
Old bronze Nepali Buddha statue

Old bronze Nepali Buddha statue

600 euro
arrow-right keyboard_arrow_right arrow-down chevron-down keyboard_arrow_down chevron-up arrow-left keyboard_arrow_left close menu search twitter facebook youtube-play linkedin envelope instagram google-plus pinterest whatsapp heart-o Wishlist share file-pdf-o printer trash