The construction of Wat Rong Khun, which is also known as the ‘White Temple’, began in 1997 and is featured in my post published on May 11th. At the time of publication the extent of the damage, to Wat Rong Khun, caused by the earthquake the week before had not been reported. Now people are asking – will Wat Rong Khun survive the earthquake?
Ajarn Chalermchai, the famous artist and the Temple’s creator, is now 60 and he and his dedicated team were devastated by the amount of damage caused on Monday May 5th when an earthquake measuring 6.3 in magnitude hit Chiang Rai province in Northern Thailand.
Ajarn Chalermchai is such a remarkable man of skill, vision and tenacity that he is deserving of a dedicated post to his life and much more . In the meantime I have written this post in support of his unwavering determination to do everything in his power to restore Wat Rong Khun back to its original state and then continue his amazing construction.
It has been estimated that the damage to Wat Rong Khun caused by hundreds of aftershocks could cost more than 150 million Baht to repair. Ajarn is a very proud man who will not accept government funding as he does not want to attract outside influence or control. Visitors are not charged an entrance fee and the rebuilding costs will have to be found through private donations as they have been so far since 1997.
Such was the shock to the community that he initially announced that the Temple was damaged beyond his restoration capabilities. But those who know the man were not surprised when he joked later, saying he wanted to test how much the world valued his creation. If that is true he has got the response he needed and has been re-motivated to tackle the onerous task of rebuilding his dream. I have absolutely no doubt that he will. So the answer to the question – will Wat Rong Khun survive the earthquake – seems to have been answered.
“I was shocked by the thunderous morale support they gave to me and encourage me not to give up to bring this world’s treasure back to all people in this world,” Ajarn Cherlemchai.