Iconic Buddha head in a tree | Ayutthaya, Thailand

The Buddha in tree roots at Wat Mahathat in Ayutthaya, which has attained a celebrity status, is one of the most photographed spot in Thailand. Hindus believe God is present in each and every object; even in the tiniest particle. According to Hindu mythology, Narasimha, Vishnu’s fourth avatar appeared from an ordinary pillar and killed a demon. So finding Buddha entwined in tree roots seems to be in line with eastern religious philosophy.

Burmese army ransacked Ayutthaya in 1767. Ayutthaya was then the capital of Siem kingdom and it was abandoned after the attack until around 1950. But how this Buddha head ended up in the roots at the 14th century temple is puzzling. Either the vegetation could have outgrown when the site was in ruins or some raider could have hidden it there hoping to take it later, which never happened. Buddhists pay huge reverence to Buddha images even if it’s in ruins so the tree have been cordoned off using a rope to prevent visitors getting too close to the Buddha head.

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Author: Sreejith Vijayakumar

Have a great liking for travelling and learning about different cultures and communities. Strongly believe that world is a wonderful place to live in.

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