Wat Chayamangkalaram (Chaiya Mangala-ram Thai Buddhist Temple )
'Wat Chayamangkalaram' or 'Chaiya Mangala-ram', is a
Thai Buddhist temple built in 1845. This temple is located in Lorong
city. The temple is also facing the 'Dhammikarama'
Burmese Temple within the same road. The temple was built with
a mix of Chinese, Thai and Burmese architectural design of the 19th
It has one of the largest Reclining Buddha statue in the World,
measuring 33 metres in length. Standing behind the gold-foil wrapped
reclining Buddha stands 12 animal statues related to the zodiac symbols
of the Chinese calendar.
Every year during the 'Songkran Festival', also well known as Water
Festival, thousands gathered in Lorong Burma outside the 2 temples for
celebration in conjunction with the 1st day of the Thai New Year. During
the festival anyone within vicinity of this road would be drenched with
water coming from buckers, bottles, water pistols, water hose or other
possible sources. Everyone is drenched completely wet from head to toe,
and still smiling.
In Thailand, New Year celebration last for at least 3 days, but only the
first day was significantly celebrated by Thais staying in Penang. Monks
at the Thai Buddhist Temple will offer special prayers to usher in their
New Year. The symbolic act of spraying water during the festival is a
Thai cultural practice to wash away whatever is bad or unlucky.
Blessings will be marked with smearing of yellow and white chalk powder.
Majority of the large crowd at the Songkran Festival are Thailand and
Myanmar migrant workers, but local Penangites also joined in the fun of
celebration as well. There was full participation from all races and
everyone was smiling happily despite being soaked wet.
Visiting tourists were also not spared from the splashes of water. They
also joined in the fun and were amazed at spirit of participation from
all walks of life in Penang, bring home with them unforgettable memories
of their visit to the Thai temple.
Bus Route Numbers : 10 ; 101 ; 103 ; 104 ;