Sunday, December 16, 2007

251206 Ban Sop Houn temple - 02

Paintings above the main door:


Decoration above the door, called the 'soom bpra dtoo' (ซุ้มประตู arched entrance?), has a seated Buddha:


First time the cat has seen one with a Buddha, & one that is not gold-coloured. Most are gold stucco, with elaborate designs of plants & animals. Cute how the 'rays' of the flame at the top are drawn with stick-like lines.

What happens to the unfaithful in hell:


The adulterous will end up climbing 'dton ngiw' (ต้นงิ้ว), a type of cotton/kapok tree with thorn-covered trunks. If they don't climb high enough they get bitten by savage dogs & speared, but as they climb higher they get attacked by crows & fall down again to the dogs & spears, & the cycle repeats. This type of punishment was featured in the Thai movie 'Hell'.

In the background, people are thrown into 'kratha thongdaeng' (กระทะทองแดง), a cauldron of molten copper:


Something less violent:


A 'hongsa' (หงษ์ or หงส์? hong, usually translated as swan):


More on hongsa here & here - they often appear in temple decorations & Lanna Tai weavings.

One of the two well-fed 'blind' naga at the main entrance:


This was the cat's first encounter with the Lao practice of 'feeding' naga sculptures. Here & in Luang Prabang it would see naga being fed sticky rice, but in Vientiane they get all sorts of stuff including flowers & chocolate wafers!

No comments: