Mythical Creatures are found all around Thailand, but in many cases, foreigners to the country simply walk right past them in their sheer excitement as they gingerly make their way through the vast crowds at all the most popular places. Hopefully, you are not one of them. Below is a list of all the most important ones.
It may be of tremendous interest to you to pause for a while before entering any of the Thai temples to observe these beautifully crafted creatures. Many of the exceptionally fine examples found here, represent fearsome beasts which act as temple guardians. Most of these beings originate from the legendary Himaphan forest, a kind of Buddhist Shangri-La somewhere in the Himalayan mountains.
The Naga is a serpent-like protector of Buddha and often act as guardians against bad spirits. They almost always flank the walls of temples or the staircases that leads up to them. Many can be seen carved on roofs, doors, gables and windows. In some cases, they are multi-headed as seen in the photo above.
is a large mythical bird-like creature which appears in both Hindu and
Buddhist mythology. Its shape is usually that of half-man and
half-bird. The story of Garuda's origins, accomplishments and exploits
are told in the first book of the great epic Mahabharata. Examples of these ferocious figureheads can be seen on the brow
of the gun barge at the
Royal Barge Museum
in Bangkok as well as other fine specimens at various temple complexes around the country.
The Kinnari appears in the form of a half-woman and half-bird. You will find some of these mythological figurines in small coves on the second level of the central prang at Wat Arun located beside the Chao Phraya River in Bangkok.
The Hongsa is a swan-like figure of which a fine example can be viewed at the Royal Barge Museum in Nonthaburi in Bangkok. Not only is there a Hongsa figure perched proudly on the brow of the king's barge, but these mythical creatures can also be seen perched on the apexes of temple roofs in various other parts of the kingdom.
The Yaksha takes the shape of a grimacing giant statue often sporting brightly coloured faces. These spectacularly crafted figures tower above the entrances to a great many of the temple compounds in Thailand, of which some superb examples can be seen at the Grand Palace Complex and at Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok.
The Makara is an aquatic monster made up of part crocodile, part elephant and part serpent. Symbolising rainfall, temples depict these creatures on balustrades.
The Erawan is a three-headed elephant of which one of biblical proportions can be found in the almost fifty metre tall Erawan Museum in the town of Samut Prakan south of Bangkok. Other fine examples of these mythical creatures can be seen at the Sanctuary of Truth in Pattaya. Another example can be viewed on the central tower of Wat Arun in Bangkok and also in Chiang Mai in northern Thailand.
The Singha takes on the appearance of a lion-like figure whose primary function is to guard temples. Larger ones grace temple entrances while other smaller ones sit atop gateposts. The marble temple at Wat Benchamabophit in Bangkok has a number of these giant mythical creatures gracing the compound.
I would really appreciate anyone who was kind enough to read this
article and who may have any other additional information regarding the
details described here, to contact me so that I may improve the subject
for other visitors to enjoy including myself.
Please note that this post contains some affiliate links which means I earn a small commission at no extra cost to you if you should purchase after clicking through my blog. Also remember that I never promote any products or services here unless I've used and loved them myself.
Your host Grahame (Yep! that's me) from Luxury Thailand Travel says he'd really appreciate your kind support. Simply take your next tour by selecting any one of the many excursions listed on the left side of this page. Here's wishing you a safe trip and a happy and exciting holiday.
Mar 18, 17 04:17 AM
Doi Inthanon National Park in Northern Thailand affords you the opportunity to explore some of the best hiking trails, hill tribe villages, cascading waterfalls, mountain peaks and so much more.
Mar 17, 17 07:01 AM
Khao Yai National Park in Central Thailand is not only the oldest wildlife sanctuary in the country but also the most visited. It is a vast evergreen forest and home to several endangered species.
Mar 16, 17 09:06 AM
The Similan Islands in southern Thailand located in the Andaman Sea off the coast of Phang Nga Province, is an archipelago of nine islands forming part of the national park of the same name.