Your "Sanctuary of Truth" in Pattaya
Ever wondered that you can experience Buddha's life in Pattaya city? Pattaya is infamously known for its 'Walking Street' and cool bars because of which many tourists often miss out on the other things that the city has to offer. It has everything from cool museums, beaches, theme based water parks (Cartoon Network, Ramayana and others), ATV adventures, Bungee Jumping and what not! And then there is this amazing masterpiece made of wood that will leave you awestruck - The Sanctuary of Truth
Still under construction that started in 1981 and estimated to be completed by 2025, this wooden architecture astonishes you with the fact that it is built without any nails (barring a few that have been put now as it is still under construction). The museum or shrine or temple is all about the eternal teachings from Hinduism and Buddhism and features Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh, Buddha on various walls.
The shrine is located in North Pattaya and it is best to reach there by a Taxi, which can be easily booked through 'Grab' application. One can buy the tickets online as well which costs about INR 2000 for 2 people. The ticket price includes the guided tour which is done in groups. These are done in English, Russian and Chinese languages.
As soon as you reach towards the deck from where the structure can be seen, the sight beholds you. The vast ocean in the backdrop is like the perfect background for the wooden beauty. Evenings would add to the charm, as it becomes a little difficult to admire it in the scorching sun. Nevertheless, you can't stop looking at it.
Our English speaking group was ready to be taken by the guide who explained us each and every part of the museum. The tour starts from the area where the wood is being carved and shaped to continue building the structure and showcases how it is locked without the use of nails. Have a look at the video below:
After the demo, it was time to enter the museum.
The interiors are as amazing as it can be. The giant halls with the beautiful carvings on the walls summarises the life. The detailed carvings explain the 7 truths of life, namely:
Who are we? Where are we from?
How do we live our lives?
The End of Life
Samples of Civilization
What is a Life Goal?
Society is like a 2-sided coin
The beginning of society
These are taught through the carvings and explained by the guide. This will surely leave you in thoughts about how to approach life from hereon.
Some pictures from this trip:
The ticket allows you to stay till 6PM in the evening. So visitors can enjoy their time clicking photos or marvelling at the truths of life carved on the walls. There is a visitor's book as well where you can give your feedback and comments.
Stepping out of the museum would mean that there is a dire need of something to eat and drink. Thanks to Thailand's hot weather! Here is a glimpse of the same:
Apart from the outdoor dining area, there is one under the roof as well and is near the entrance. We enjoyed some refreshing watermelon and coconut juice there.
Visit to the Sanctuary of Truth was indeed enlightening and different. Though, being a Hindu and brought up in India, we knew about the teachings, but it is all the more beautiful when you revise that in a foreign land!
There was one takeaway from this visit - Monuments in India that have deep history behind it are often visited without a guide, reason being that there is no concept of a guided group tour. I think it would be great if the Govt. of India mandates the entry to some monuments only as a group and along with a guide. This would ensure that visitors get to know the history behind it and cherish them forever. Or else, the visit is normally lost in clicking photos.
All in all, we really loved visiting the museum in Pattaya, a place which is synonymous to the glitz and glamour of Thailand! Here is a detailed video that I recorded when the guide was explaining about the Sanctuary of Truth! Hope you like it!