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Flag of ThailandGreat Sage Buddha Temple
大圣佛祖庙

chinatownology thailandIn Bangkok Chinatown, there is a Great Sage Buddha Temple dedicated to the Monkey God.

This temple is located along a row of shops but as you approach it, you can see a big sign board declaring “Great Sage Buddha Temple” , 大圣佛祖庙. Even if you miss this sign board, you will also notice it’s distinctively architecture style indicating a Chinese temple.

The main shrine has various sculptures of the Monkey God while an extended table sits another two sculptures of the Monkey God with offerings and an incense holder. The Monkey God sculptures in the altars and enclosed in glass casings show the Monkey as a Buddha while those outside shows him as the Great Sage Equal to Heaven”.

Devotees pray to the Monkey God for help or assistance. The temple seemed to have quite a long history with various renovations. A stele on the wall indicates a renovation in 1947 while another records dates the temple to 1973 and maybe even earlier to 1913. Accordingly to a temple keeper, this temple has been in existence for 300 years.

Monkey God stories

Perhaps to most visitors and especially tourists, the most interesting part of the temple is the doorway with dioramas depicting famous stories of the Monkey God.

Arranged around the main door and the wall next to it, they tell famous adventures of the Monkey God such as Monkey God creating havoc in Heaven, Monkey god paying respect to Guan Yin, Monkey God with fellow disciples and their teacher Xuan Zang on their way to India, Monkey attacking Princess Iron Fan….

The Monkey God temple is situation at the edge of Bangkok Chinatown and most visitors are likely to have passed by it. If you do, stop for a few moments to admire the dioramas or to pay respects to the Monkey God.

 

 

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