18 September 2009

Got Buddha? Stockton Does

The Wat Dharmararam Buddhist Temple here in Stockton has got something you'll not find anywhere in California and perhaps not even in the entire United States.

Resident artist and Buddhist Master Kong Tith says that Buddha comes to him in his dreams and tells him to create giant sculptures. Beginning in 2003, Tith and his fellow monks created over 90 colorful and larger than life jewel encrusted statues to celebrate the life and story of Siddhartha Gautama, who would become Buddha.

While most all of the statues are 10 to 15 feet tall, the main attraction is 50 foot long, 12 foot high reclining Buddha.

This exhibit represents the faith and culture of a Cambodian refugee community whose religion was battered under communist rule. It is also a perfect example of how to keep and preserve cultural heritage alive for generations to come. The Temple, located at 3732 Carpenter Road in southeast Stockton, is open 7 days a week during daylight hours and is free of charge.

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