Buddha Mountain as it is commonly called or Khao Chi Chan as it is officially named, is a short drive south of Pattaya near the Silverlake Vineyards.
The original mountain was quarried for stone that was used on the construction of U’tapao Airport and for construction of local roads. This left a sloping face on the side of the mountain which then became the site of the largest (or one of the largest) outline drawings of Buddha in the world.
Drawing on the Buddha Mountain.
Although the image was created in 1996 and therefore is not all that old, there seems to be a lot of “legendary” stories about how it was actually done. Shown below are two signs near the mountain which read as follows:
Carved Buddha image of Khao Chee Chan, Amphoe Sattahip. Officially named “Phra Buddha Maha Wachira Uttamopas Satsada”, the image in seated meditation posture of Sukhothai cum Lanna style measures 130 metres high and measures 30 metres across the laps. It was built in 1966 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of His Majesty the King ascending to the throne, and is now under the care of the Royal Navy. The cost of construction totaled 161.7 million baht.
Phra Phuttha Maha Wachira Uttamopat Satsada (a laser – carved image of the Lord Buddha on the cliff of Khao Chee Chan) and the meditation of Wat Yannasangwararam in the area of Khao Chee Chan, Sattahip district, Chon Buri Province, is a royalty – initiated project, constructed under the unity of Thais from all over the country to commemorate the auspicious occasion of the 50th Anniversary of His Majesty the King’s Accession to the Throne.
Both these signs us the word “carved” so one would be forgiven if they believed a huge laser was used to “carve” the image into the solid rock face of the mountain.
There is not a lot of accurate information available. Some of the “stories” are:
- The carving was completed in two days.
- The laser was only used to cast a template of the Buddha. Thai craftsmen then carved the image with hammer and chisel.
- After the image of Buddha was carved into the side of the mountain the gold was inlaid.
Although I have no doubt that a laser was used to aid in the drawing on Buddha Mountain, I think it unlikely that the laser was used to “carve” the image. There are protective fences around the base so it is difficult to get close enough to be sure but it certainly appears to be a “raised” image and not “carved”
Having been constructed in 1996, I would have expected to find somewhere on the internet video footage of such an advanced technological accomplishment such as “laser carving Buddha Mountain” in a matter of days. Although I have sourced several blogs that make such a claim none of them link to a reliable source.
Regardless of how it was done, Buddha Mountain definitely is impressive and worth a visit if you are in the area.
It makes a nice morning or afternoon to also visit Sliverlake Vineyards, Wat Yansangwararam and Viharnra Sien. In fact if you take it easy and stop for lunch, and you enjoy Viharnra Sien, you could easily spend the entire day in the area.
Buddha Mountain Pattaya Image Gallery
Below are a few photos from our visits to Buddha Mountain in Pattaya. Click on any image to open a cascading light-box and to see a description of the image.