Wat Buddhapadipa or the Buddhapadipa Temple (Thai: วัดพุทธปทีป; RTGS: Wat Phutthapathip; IPA:[wát.pʰút.tʰá.pà.tʰîːp]) is a Thai Buddhist temple (wat) in Wimbledon, London. It was the first such temple to be built in the United Kingdom. It is home to monks and nuns, but welcomes visitors of any faith to view the grounds and temple as long as they are respectful.Use our London trip itinerary planning website to add Buddhapadipa Temple and other attractions to your London vacation plans.
Its white exterior walls are put into contrast by the red and gold colours of the roof and decorations of the frames of the windows and doors.
Inside the temple hall, the walls are covered with paintings showing the life of the Buddha—from his birth to his death. There are pictures of his birth in Lumbini (Nepal), his renunciation, his enlightenment, and finally his death. The murals were painted by artists Chalermchai Kositpipat and Panya Vijinthanasarn in a surreal style using brilliant colors that, at first glance, seems very unlike classical Thai painting. However, they revive the tendency found in traditional Thai mural paintings to situate episodes from Buddhist myth in scenes populated with figures and objects from contemporary life. The murals were started in the 1980s, and among the many figures in the scenes are portraits of Mother Theresa and Margaret Thatcher, as well as the temple's patrons and the artists themselves.
The main doorway leading out from the shrine room has a grand painting of the Buddha meditating to reach enlightenment, directly above it. On the right side of the Buddha are the angry figures of Mara's army, trying to disrupt the Buddha, and distract him from reaching enlightenment. The name 'Mara' means delusion. On the left side of the Buddha is the army of Mara looking more subdued and respectful. They are like this because the Buddha has reached enlightenment, and they could not distract him. Just above the doorway is the figure of Nang Thoranee, the earth goddess. During the climax of Mara's assault, the Buddha touches the earth with his hand. The earth goddess appears to bear witness to the merit the Buddha has accumulated in his many lives, and the water she squeezes from her hair washes away the armies of Mara. The episode is known as Maravijaya Attitude.
Also in the room is a great shrine built for the Buddha. There are three statues of the Buddha in it; the back one is black, the middle statue is gold, and the front statue is green and smaller than the other two. These statues are surrounded by candles and other decorations.
Also within the grounds are a house, pond, and several bridges. In the gardens signs are posted, each sign giving a message of wisdom to those who stop to read them.
Buddhapadipa Temple Reviews
Beautifully nested in a tuckaway road near Wimbledon Village, Wat Buddhapadipa is a true gem of Thai Buddhism architecture and traditions right here in London. The temple was just recently... more »
The only Thai Temple outside Thailand. The golden Buddha sitting Inside the temple The painting done in beautiful Thai style. The monk lived in the large house next door. Most day the visitors... more »
Absolutely stunning temple tucked away in Wimbledon. Open to visitors, although I have only visited as part of school groups. Both times I have been, we have had one of the monks give us a talk. The monk this year was very interesting. The monks have a strict schedule so it is important to be on time for any talks. The grounds are also lovely to walk around.
Beautiful building & grounds. Too many of us on Multi-Faith Pilgrimage for Peace to fit comfortably for talk & meditation in Temple but great setting for lunch provided by Sikh group. Was pleasantly surprised to see a Heron land on roof of the house while Mallards quacked on pond.
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Duration:1 h 30 min
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