Historical Thursday: Solid Gold Buddha

Shared by Mystech

If I ever spontaneously master the art of mixing electronic music or making mash ups, I’m totally naming myself “Solid Gold Buddha”.

Good Thursday Fixers! If you haven’t been under a rock for the last couple of years, you’ve been bombarded by the incessant ‘SELL YOUR GOLD NOW’ commercials that have invaded not only our televisions but our movie theaters and Internets; replacing the sacred acai berry. But desiring money for gold, even if it means sacrificing a precious family heirloom, is nothing new. Take this bling for example:

Epic Kludge Photo - Bling

Say hello to Golden Buddha, the world’s largest solid gold statue. He lives in Thailand, is approximately 700 years old, stands 10 feet tall and 12 feet wide and weighs somewhere around five and a half tons…or the weight of one fully grown Asian elephant. I’ll give you a minute to process that.


Yes, that’s right. Somehow this Buddha, who is currently worth about two hundred million dollars (US) survived war, greed and religious intolerance when so many other relics were melted down and refurbished. How does this happen? With another human trait; short memory. Apparently the same trait that keeps me from finding my car keys every time I leave the house can also work on entire populations.

In the 17th century the Burmese invaded Thailand. The Thai king knew if there is one thing invading armies love more than burning, it’s pillaging. So he ordered Buddha to be covered in plaster and had it moved to a remote temple so it wouldn’t look like anything worth stealing.

Artistic representation of what Ms. Fix-It thinks a plaster covered gold Buddha looks like.
Epic Kludge Photo - Nothing To See Here
Image Credit: Indigo Goat

Whew. The only problem was, a mere year later when Thailand repelled the Burmese occupation, they’d already forgotten about the giant statue made of gold. And we say goldfish have bad memories. So it sat in the temple until the 1950s when it was finally decided that this giant ugly statue had to go. Oddly enough, it was REALLY heavy and the crane lifting it broke, revealing the gold underneath the plaster and reminding us all that when you hide something, don’t hide it so well that even YOU can’t find it.

Today, Golden Buddha has been restored to a place of honor and you can visit him at Wat Traimit.

Information Courtesy Of: Thai Ways Magazine and Wikipedia

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