Weekly Photo Challenge: Pattern

As shown in a previous post, my family and I discovered the Buddhist Temple that was officially opened in South Africa in 2005. We had been driving along the N4 to Witbank when we saw the Temple building in the distance. My husband remembered reading about its opening in the paper and mentioned that he would like to see it one day. “What better time than the present?” I responded. So we took the time to look for our way off the highway, and to find the entrance to this religious place. The patterns we saw on the buildings were beautiful: so intricate and carefully painted.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2013
The inner courtyard. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2013

The designs looked beautiful not only near but also from afar:

The one side of the temple. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2013
The one side of the temple. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2013

We saw intricate patterns as well when we looked inside the Temple:

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2013
The altar inside the Temple. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2013

(For more pictures of this African Buddhist Temple, you can visit my previous post.)

We enjoyed our visit to the Temple for the beauty we saw in the patterns, as well as the serenity of the place.

Do you enjoy seeing patterns in architecture?

(This post was inspired by the the Weekly Photo Challenge prompt @ WordPress.com)

An African Buddhist Temple

As shown in a previous post, my family and I discovered the Buddhist Temple that was opened officially in South Africa in 2005. We had been driving along the N4 to Witbank when we saw the Temple building in the distance. My husband remembered reading about its opening in the paper and mentioned that he would like to see it one day. “What better time than the present?” I responded. So we took the time to look for our way off the highway, and to find the entrance to this religious place.

We knew we had succeeded when we saw the archway leading to Nan Hua Temple.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2013
Archway leading to Nan Hua Temple. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2013

As we approached the building, we were impressed by the architecture and the colours.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2013
Approaching Nan Hua Temple. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2013

The carvings and detail were so beautiful, we spent quite a bit of time gazing at it in wonder. And we had not even yet entered the property!

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2013
The entrance to the temple. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2013

Once inside, we were surrounded by tranquillity – a peacefulness that seemed to be reflected in the the beauty of the inner buildings.

IMG_7559
The one side of the temple. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2013

The outer courtyard was as impressive as the inner one. We kept looking around and found it difficult to focus on just one aspect of the beauty before us.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2013
The outer courtyard. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2013

The inner courtyard was as beautiful as the outer one (a picture can be seen in my previous post), only more spacious. The ramps leading to the buildings seemed to blend in harmoniously with the setting.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2013
The inner courtyard. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2013

Walking up to one of the structures, I noted the intricate detail that had been painted onto the building. Not only the painting, but the construction itself of the detail, must have taken years to create.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2013
A close up. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2013

The temple is sprinkled with stone lions: guardian lions that are traditionally believed to protect the temple.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2013
Stone lion. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2013

These stone lions are an integral part of the temple and proudly stand guard.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2013
Stone lion in the inner courtyard. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2013

The detail of the main building is mirrored even in the corner towers of the courtyard. The beauty and majesty of the towers stand out beautifully against the blue of the African sky.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2013
A tower in the courtyard. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2013

We peeked into the temple but did not enter as there were people praying and we did not want to disturb them. I snapped a quick picture of the altar.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2013
The altar inside the temple. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2013

Coming out of the temple looking down the stairs, this is the view we saw:

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2013
Looking down the stairs. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2013

We strolled along the passages of the buildings that create the courtyard. We noted that the place is well kept and well maintained.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2013
Some passageways. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2013

While walking along the corridors, we saw a different perspective of the buildings and noted upstairs rooms where he monks surely stay.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2013
A building along the courtyard. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2013

The inner courtyard is large and from the inside looking in, one can understand the depth of it.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2013
Looking in from the side of the inner courtyard. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2013

We enjoyed our trip to the Buddhist Temple. Afterwards, we walked across to the cultural centre where we ate some fare made by the monks: dumplings and a noodle soup. Simple, and yet so delicious!

Have you visited a Buddhist Temple?

Two people inspired me to share my visit with you: Jake with this week’s prompt of Focused Attention; and The Island Traveller with his prompt Places.)

Weekly Photo Challenge: Beyond

During our last visit to South Africa we saw the largest Buddhist Temple and Seminary in Africa from the road we were travelling on. We decided to drive off of the main road and visit for a while. The photo below was taken in the courtyard. My aim was to capture the beauty of the vase standing on top of the steps to the temple entrance. Looking beyond, one can see the stone statues marking the stairs, and one of the corner towers of the outside boundary.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2013
Seeing beyond. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2013

The stairs suggested in this photo can be seen in the one below. The stone sculpture was the focus of this picture. Beyond the sculpture you can see not only the stairs to the Temple, the entrance to the place of worship, but also the vase that is the focus of my first photograph.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2013
Seeing beyond (2). © Colline Kook-Chun, 2013

I do not often take pictures showing the ‘beyond’ but, on this day, the beautiful architecture of the Buddhist Temple encouraged it.

Do you often take pictures showing the surroundings of your subject?

(This post was inspired by Sara Rosso at WordPress.com.)

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2013