Bangkok: Construction of a 69-meter-tall (230-foot) Buddha monument, that would be visible across Bangkok is nearly complete but, owing to delays caused by the coronavirus pandemic, the inauguration date may be pushed back to 2022.
The Royal Wat Paknam Phasi Charoen temple on the outskirts of Bangkok dates back to 1610 and is located on an island near the Chao Phraya river. According to a temple spokesperson, Pisan Sangkapinij, the monument, which stands as tall as a 20-storey building, began construction in 2017 and is expected to be finished this year, but owing to Covid-19, the formal inauguration may be postponed until 2022.
The Phra Buddha Dhammakya Thepmongkhon statue, constructed of copper and painted gold. Parts were manufactured in China and shipped to Thailand to be assembled.
The monastery chose to create the monument using $16 million in contributions to honour Buddhism and as a homage to former abbot Luang Pu Sodh Candasaro, who helped grow the temple as a renowned meditation centre, he added.
The statue has attracted twice as many visitors to the temple as normal, and the temple expects even more, once Thailand’s borders, which were closed due to Covid, reopen to tourists, said Pisan.