Phutthamonthon -‘Buddha’s Sphere’ in Nakhon Pathom Province
The Phutthamonthon (in Thai: พุทธมณฑล) is also referred to as Buddha Monthon. This name is derived from the Sanskrit term ‘Buddha Mandala’ which means ‘Buddha’s Sphere’. This Buddha image is accordingly situated in the centre of the Buddhist park of the same name in Nakhon Pathom Province, about 40km west of Bangkok. This park was inaugurated in 1957 on 13th May, which is the Vaisakh Bucha Day.
Officially, the statue has the name Phra Si Sakkaya Thotsaphonlayan Prathan Phutthamonthon Suthat. Literally translated this means ‘the Graceful Statue of the Shakyamuni who was of the Tenfold Power, the Presiding Buddha of the Beautiful Phutthamonthon’.
The Buddha statue was designed by the Italian art professor Silpa Bhirasri (also known as Corrado Feroci) in 1955. However, the statue was first cast in 1981. The Buddha Monthon which is 15,87 metres high, can be considered the highest free standing Buddha image in the world. Buddha Monthon is a ‘Walking Buddha’ in the Sukhothai style.
This means that the image performs the abhaya mudra, or gesture of Reassurance and Dispelling Fear. Characteristic of the period are the broad shoulders and the pendant arm ‘like the trunk of a young elephant’. The flat feet and projecting heels are part of the anatomy characteristic of a Great Being.
The park around the Buddha statue is well maintained and filled with amazing ponds, canals, trees, and huts for resting and relaxing. In addition, surrounding the statue are sites that memorialize the four main stations in Buddha’s life which are his birth, enlightenment, his first sermon and death.
Summing up, we may say that Phutthamonthon is a stunning Buddha image located in a well ‘manicured’ park that invites people to spend a lazy and relaxed day in a green environment 🙂
(*photo credit: Siwaphong Pakdeetawan, Instagram@knack66)