The Buddhist religion is the largest faith in the country of Laos. With this in mind, it is quite common to see temples and statues dedicated to the faith displayed throughout the country. In the city of Vientiane, this is not an exception. With a long and rich history dedicated to the Buddhist faith there are several key temples, some which date back for over 1000 years.
The Buddhist faith is an integral part of the history and culture of the people of Laos and most specifically in the city of Vientiane, and this is probably displayed in a place known as Buddha Park. Located about 18 miles to the south of the city, this is a spectacular park area right near the Mekong River.
Also known as “XiengKhuan,” this park is not the location of a template all, but instead contains a large number of religious images that are intended to create a kind of spiritual presence within the park area. In fact, the name XiengKhuan means Spirit City, and these places considered of great spiritual significance since it was first created in 1958.
While called Buddha Park, there are over 200 statues some of which are dedicated to other faiths. In fact, the Hindu faith has a prominent place within the park itself as many statues representing Hindu gods are on display. This was the intention when Luang Pu, meaning “Venerable Grandfather,” had the park built.
Most of the statues within the Buddha Park are quite unusual and built out of concrete. Some are centuries old that have been brought to the park, and include sculptures of gods, demons, human beings, and animals. There are, of course, many sculptures of Buddha as well as images of Shiva, Vishnu, and Arjunafrom the Hindu faith. The park is built in three levels, which are intended to represent hell, heaven, and earth. In fact, at the top of the staircase heading down to hell there is a 3 m tall demon had that ominously guards the entryway.