And I am proud to say that this 40 meter long and 11 meter high sculpture is in Tumpat, Kelantan, my loverrly hometown. We locals addressed this temple as Wat Jambu ( well, the temple is located in Kampung Jambu) rather than the official name of Wat Phothivihan. So, if you ask for directions, please mention Wat Jambu. Kampong Jambu used to be known as Kampung Beruk ( beruk = monkey), I am not sure were the people in the village happy with the name change, would you prefer to be from a fruity village or a monkey village ? hehehe.
The sculpture was constructed in 1973 and completed in 1979. I remember that the sculpture wasn’t painted until sometime later, and it took a bit of getting used to, seeing a coloured version of the sculpture rather than have it in the colour of nude cement. ( although I have to say that I find the grey version to be more impressive) , and in the earlier days, the statue was in the open and not under a roof.
Extract from http://www.buddhanet.net/e-learning/dharmadata/fdd35.htm : It is often said that Buddhists worship statues, in the sense that they believe that Buddha statues actually are the Buddha or that they have some inherent power. But such ideas are quite incorrect. Buddhists do not ‘worship’ Buddha statues , the Buddha statue is seen as a symbol that can be seen as helpful in creating devotion, uplifting the mind and focusing attention.
Please come visit Wat Phothivihan !! The temple is about 7km from either Tumpat town center or from Kota Baru.
Chief Abbot: Ven. Phrakhru Prasart Prachakorn
Address: Kampung Jambu, 16200 Tumpat, Kelantan
Telephone: 09-7193019, 019-9586322