Thai Dragons - Everything you need to know
In Thailand, dragons embody both natural power and supernatural powers. They also represent maturity and longevity.
Indeed, like the other Asian dragons, they can make rain, and thus ensure good harvests to the farmers.
Thai dragons are also the protectors of the temples.
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In Thai art and literature, dragons are the most common mythical creatures. The dragon mythology of Thailand has a huge influence on Indian, Chinese and Japanese legends.
It should be noted that in Thailand, about 94% of the population is Buddhist. Thus, Buddhism has had an influence on Thai dragons. Moreover, Thai culture and history have a common past with Laos and Cambodia.
When you put all these elements together, it explains why Thai dragons are so special.
2. Physical characteristics
A dragon in Thailand is a hybrid of several animals:
- Chameleon head,
- Scales of carp (fish),
- Horns of giant deer (roe deer),
- Eyes of hare (rabbit),
- Ears of water buffalo,
- Neck of snake,
- Belly of clam,
- Tiger's paws,
- Eagle's claws.
The Thai dragon nests in :
- Sacred ponds,
4. The Phaya Naga
A. Semi-Divine Serpents
In Thai mythology, the Phaya Nāga (Nāga lord) are mythical beings from Hinduism. They have the physical appearance of snakes and are often associated with water.
According to Buddhist and Hindu cosmology, Phaya Nāga are semi-divine, and have supernatural abilities.
B. The Kamnchanod Forest
The Kamchanod forest, in the province of Udon Thani, is very popular and makes the Thais tremble immensely.
It is seen as the boundary between the human world and the underworld.
It is commonly depicted in Thai legends as the place of all fears, and as the home of the Nāga.
C. Creators of Waves?
For a large portion of the population, and especially in Isan (the northeastern region of Thailand), the Nāga create waves, which appear in nearby rivers or lakes.
Also, it is said that these snake-like demigods are responsible for marks on ordinary objects, such as car hoods or house walls.
Furthermore, a police office has revealed to be in contact with the Nāga.
D. The Response of Scientists
For their part, researchers and scientists have attributed these phenomena, a priori supernatural, to standing waves in the water.
Moreover, according to them, the myth of Phaya Nāga is similar to that of the Loch Ness Monster in Scotland, or the Ogopogo in Canada.
They also affirmed that the traces that one imputes to Phaya Nāga are surely the fact of the humans.
5. Dragons in the art and culture in Thailand
In the art and literature of Thailand, dragons are the most common fantasy beings.
Many Lakorns (Thai TV serials) are based on a Phaya Nāga legend. We can mention for example Poot Mae Nam Khong in 2008, Manisawat in 2013 or Nakee in 2016.
Thai Dragon art in the TV serial Nakee
6. The dragon temple of Wat Samphran
The Buddhist temple of Wat Samphran is rarely mentioned in tourist guides. Indeed, it is far from the traditional tourist trails.
This temple is located in Amphoe Sam Phran, in the province of Nakhon Pathom, 40 kilometers west of Bangkok.
If you are in the beautiful country of Thailand, you should not miss this architectural masterpiece.
This impressive 17-story pink cylindrical building, which is in the clutches of a giant, lavish dragon, is definitely worth seeing!
The interior of the dragon sculpture contains spiral staircases, as well as a gigantic Buddha statue and a multitude of other Buddhist statues.
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