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Wat Rong Khun, Chiang Rai, Thailand

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Wat Rong Khun

Wat Rong Khun (Thai: วัดร่องขุ่น), more well-known among foreigners as the White Temple, is a contemporary unconventional Buddhist temple in Chiang Rai Province, Thailand. It was designed by Chalermchai Kositpipat in 1997.

On 5 May 2014 at 18:08 (local time), the temple was heavily damaged by the earthquake in Mae Lao that struck the province. It was closed indefinitely. Chalermchai said on 6 May that he would demolish the whole temple and would not rebuild it.

On May 7 morning after an engineering expert team inspected and confirmed that all building structures in the temple were unharmed by the quake, Chalermchai announced that he would rebuild the temple back to its original beauty in two years and promised to devote his life for the work. He also announced that the temple area will be open to visitors on May 8 afternoon. The gallery building will be open in a few days. But for some buildings, visitors will be allowed only to take pictures from outside.


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Sacred architecture

Sacred architecture (also known as religious architecture) is a religious architectural practice concerned with the design and construction of places of worship and/or sacred or intentional space, such as churches, mosques, stupas, synagogues, and temples. Many cultures devoted considerable resources to their sacred architecture and places of worship. Religious and sacred spaces are amongst the most impressive and permanent monolithic buildings created by humanity. Conversely, sacred architecture as a locale for meta-intimacy may also be non-monolithic, ephemeral and intensely private, personal and non-public.

Sacred, religious and holy structures often evolved over centuries and were the largest buildings in the world, prior to the modern skyscraper. While the various styles employed in sacred architecture sometimes reflected trends in other structures, these styles also remained unique from the contemporary architecture used in other structures. With the rise of Abrahamic monotheisms (particularly Christianity and Islam), religious buildings increasingly became centres of worship, prayer and meditation.

The Western scholarly discipline of the history of architecture itself closely follows the history of religious architecture from ancient times until the Baroque period, at least. Sacred geometry, iconography and the use of sophisticated semiotics such as signs, symbols and religious motifs are endemic to sacred architecture.


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Thai temple art and architecture

Buddhist temples in Thailand are known as "wats", from the Pāḷi vāṭa, meaning an enclosure. A temple has an enclosing wall that divides it from the secular world.


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Chiang Rai Province

Chiang Rai (Thai: เชียงราย; Northern Thai: , Northern Thai pronunciation: [tɕiaŋ.haaj]; Burmese: )) is the northernmost province of Thailand. It is bordered by Shan State of Myanmar to the north, Bokeo Province of Laos to the east, Phayao to the south, Lampang to the southwest and Chiang Mai to the west.


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Southeast Asia

Southeast Asia or Southeastern Asia is a subregion of Asia, consisting of the countries that are geographically south of China, east of India, west of New Guinea and north of Australia. The region lies near the intersection of geological plates, with heavy seismic and volcanic activity. Southeast Asia consists of two geographic regions:

The major religions are Islam, and Buddhism, followed by Christianity. However, a wide variety of religions are found throughout the region, including Hinduism and many animist-influenced practices.


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Travel photography

Travel photography is a subcategory of photography involving the documentation of an area's landscape, people, cultures, customs and history. The Photographic Society of America defines a travel photo as an image that expresses the feeling of a time and place, portrays a land, its people, or a culture in its natural state, and has no geographical limitations.

Travel photography can either be created by professionals or amateurs. Examples of professional travel photography can be found in the National Geographic magazine and on Luminous Journeys. Travel photography is often shared through sites like Flickr or travel photography websites such as TrekEarth.

Travel photography, unlike other genres like fashion, product, or food photography, is still an underestimated and relatively less monetized genre, though the challenges faced by travel photographers are lot greater than some of the genres where the light an other shooting conditions may be controllable.

This genre of photography entails shooting a wide variety of subjects under varied available conditions, e.g. low light photography indoors, available ambient light photography for exteriors of buildings and monuments, shooting on the streets where sometimes conditions may be hostile, capturing moments which rarely recur, capturing the magic of light while shooting landscapes, etc.


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Buddhist architecture

Buddhist religious architecture developed in South Asia in the 3rd century BCE.

Three types of structures are associated with the religious architecture of early Buddhism: monasteries (viharas), stupas, and temples (Chaitya grihas).

Viharas initially were only temporary shelters used by wandering monks during the rainy season, but later were developed to accommodate the growing and increasingly formalised Buddhist monasticism. An existing example is at Nalanda (Bihar). A distinctive type of fortress architecture found in the former and present Buddhist kingdoms of the Himalayas are dzongs.

The initial function of a stupa was the veneration and safe-guarding of the relics of the Buddha. The earliest surviving example of a stupa is in Sanchi (Madhya Pradesh).

In accordance with changes in religious practice, stupas were gradually incorporated into chaitya-grihas (temple halls). These reached their high point in the 1st century BC, exemplified by the cave complexes of Ajanta and Ellora (Maharashtra). The Mahabodhi Temple at Bodh Gaya in Bihar is another well known example.


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Chiang Rai (city)

Mueang Chiang Rai (Thai: เมืองเชียงราย, pronounced [mɯəŋ tɕʰiəŋ raːj]; Northern Thai: ᩮᨾᩥᩬᨦᨩᩭᨦᩁᩣᩭ: Mueang Chiang Hai; Lao: Mueang Xieng Hai) is a city in Amphoe Mueang Chiang Rai, Changwat Chiang Rai. Chiang Rai is the northernmost large city in Thailand. It was established as a capital city in the reign of King Mangrai, in the year 1262 AD.