Singha Statues of Thailand

All the Legends, Myths and Mysteries

Guarding the Temple 

Half-Man Half-Lion

The Singha figurehead is a type of temple guardian accredited to one of the mythical creatures known throughout Thailand. They are depicted as half-man and half-lion. Some sit atop gateposts while many others tend to guard temple entrances.

You'll find that the marble temple of Wat Benchamabophit in Bangkok city has a number of these large beasts gracing the compound. Smaller specimens can be seen on the grounds of the Grand Palace including Wat Phra Kaew.

The name is believed to have originated from the Hindu word Singh which in turn is derived from the Sanskrit word Simhawhich means lion. In western astrology, it can be viewed in the same context as the zodiac sign of Leo.

The final syllable is marked as silent. Sanskrit is a historical Indo-Aryan form of communication as well as being the primary liturgical language of both Hinduism and Buddhism.

Singha is also the name used for a popular local brand of beer. It's often used as place names and for the name of the solar calendar month of August. The latter for which the "ha" is pronounced.

Temple Guardians at Wat Phra Kaew

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Singha Guards at Wat Phra Kaew 

Other Mythical Creatures from Thailand

When you next arrive at Subvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok, pause for a while and marvel at some of the giant grimacing images known as Yaksha. They grace the departure hall and simply cannot be missed. They are just so in your face due to their brightly coloured faces and attire. Other examples can be found at Wat Phra Kaew on the grounds of the Grand Palace.

Naga Serpent at Subvarnabhumi Airport

Ancient Hindu Mythology 

Another interesting mythical creature is the Makara. According to ancient Hindu Mythology, is seen as a marvelous sea creature depicted as half-fish and half-animal. In Thailand they are seen as aquatic monsters made up either as part serpent, part crocodile and part elephant. Go and check them all out. Read More...

Makara Serpent

 Amazing Mythology you may also like to try

Naga is a serpent-like protector of Buddha 

Garuda is a mythical birdlike creature in Hindu and Buddhist mythology. Read More...

Kinnari appears in the form of a half-woman and half-bird. Read More...

Apsonsi appears in the form of a half-woman and half-lion Read More...

Erawan is a three-headed mythical elephant of Hindu origin. The elephant statue seen in the photo is located in the province of Samut Prakan just outside Bangkok. Read More...

Hongsa is often seen as a glittering five metre tall swan-like figure gracing the prow of a royal barge or perched high on the apex of temple roofs. Read More...

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