Wat Poe Man Khunaram is one of the most important Mahayana Buddhist Temples in Bangkok. Established in 1959, this sacred elegant temple is home to elaborate architecture that fuses Thai, Chinese and Tibetan schools of design. Wat Pho Man Khunaram is also the center of the Chinese Order of Buddhist Monks, an important place in Buddhist education and priesthood.
The temple was designed by a Chinese spiritual master and constructed in accordance with Feng Shui, with the temple acting as the vehicle and the Buddha as the leader. Feng Shui is a Chinese pseudoscience that uses energy forces to harmonize individuals with their surrounding environment. It is also believed to protect the temple from malign influences.
The entrance to the temple is through a large Chinese style archway. The roof of the arch is adorned with some small animal statues including what looks like a pigeon being ridden by a gnome-like figure. Beyond the archway is a plaza with a driveway leading to the outer wall of the temple complex. In the garden area on the left-hand side, is a mini-pagoda, adorned with small Buddha images residing in nooks all the way to the top. Next to this is a monument featuring a tiered umbrella. In 1970, HM King Bhumibol came to perform the raising of a tiered umbrella which was placed on the top of the main building of the temple. He also granted the placement of his royal initials above the entrance to the temple.
On the right-hand is a gazebo featuring a trio of Hindu deities. The four-faced Lord Brahma, the elephant-headed Ganesh & “the destroyer” the four-armed Shiva with her trident. Nearby is an altar before a statue of a pink face Chinese or Tibetan deity.
The Temple Walls
The outer temple walls are designed in a classic Chinese/Tibetan style with a central arched doorway flanked by another on both the left and right sides. The lower half of the walls have beautiful murals depicting a variety of animals. The upper walls are decorated with Chinese script. Another classic Chinese feature is the circular windows fitted with metal geometric grills. In front of the entrance are two guardian stone lions (Shishi). The lions are thought to have magical powers to repel evil spirits. If you look up to the roof of the temple you will see the tiered umbrella at the very top of the roof.