The Buddha Statue with Diamond Eyes – Luang Pho Petch

by Dave from The Longest Way Home ~ March 18th, 2015. Filed under: Thailand.
Diamond eyed Buddha chamber inside Luang Pho Petch

Inside Luang Pho Petch is a chamber which contains the Buddha statue with Diamond Eyes

A Diamond Eyed Buddha in Sukhothai

It’s always nice to discover something not in a guidebook or map (until now). A little place called Luang Pho Petch (Luang Po Ta Petch) is one of those places. It’s located just south of the impressive Wat Si Chum along the main road. The shrine/building/temple itself is hidden behind some trees on the corner of a courtyard with a few monks sitting around.

Luang Pho Pho Petch

Luang Pho Pho Petch is quite small and obscured behind some trees

There’s a reason why everything is off the map and hidden well. Inside the “hidden” temple is a gold leaf statue of the Buddha which has eyes made from diamonds.

It’s not always easy to enter the chamber where the buddha statue with diamond eyes sits but bear with me as I’ll write down how you can visit it.

Luang Pho Petch & the Diamond Eyes Buddha History

There’s quite a lot lost in Thai / English translation when it comes to the Luang Pho Petch and diamond eyed Buddha statue. The term “luang pho phet” refers to a type of Buddha statue found in Thailand which depicts the Buddha in a diamond seated position.

Buddha with Diamond Eyes Statue

The Buddha with Diamond Eyes Statue is over 1000 years old

There have been three known attempts at stealing the Diamond Eyed Buddha Statue of Sukhothai. Whether this is to steal the actual statue or the diamonds is unknown. However, given the value of diamonds over the bronze and gold leaf statue one must assume it’s the formers value.

It is unknown how old the temple at Luang Pho Petch is. However it’s clear the temple has been restored on several occasions due to the different brick work patterns. This may have been caused due to the break ins.

The Diamond Eyed Buddha statue itself is said to be over 1000 years old.

Today, inside Luang Pho Petch, the statue is protected by a couple of very narrow corridors. One would have to destroy the building in order to remove the statue which is in a chamber behind a heavy doorway.

Narrow corridors help protect the statue from being removed

Narrow corridors help protect the statue from being removed

There is one more crux in any thieves plans to steal the diamond eyes. In 1941 the original statue was removed and moved to Wat Si Chum’s ordination hall.

It’s now said the original statue is back inside Luang Pho Petch but the diamond eyes have been exchanged with glass ones for security purposes. One can only presume the original diamond eyes are locked away somewhere safe and off site.

The Diamond Eyed Buddha Statue

The Buddha statue itself sits in a diamond seated position. It measures 29 inches at its widest. The statue is bronze but painted in gold leaf. The statue is also not affixed to the pedestal on which it sits.

The diamond eyes of the Buddha statue

The diamond eyes of the Buddha statue

The eyes themselves hang slightly and are glass. Around the chamber are several other diamond or gem eyed Buddha statues.

The statue holds a lot of reverence and has been visited by Thai royalty on many an occasion.

How to get into Luang Pho Petch to see the Diamond Eyed Buddha statue

Find a monk with the keys! It’s that simple. Otherwise the doors to the Luang Pho Petch temple will be locked. If not, then the rear chamber door will most certainly be locked.

Do be warned it’s claustrophobic inside Luang Pho Petch

The monk, usually friendly but lacking in English, will open the doors and take you to the dark rear chamber where the Buddha with Diamond Eyes sits.

A jade buddha statue

A jade buddha statue is among many more inside the chamber

It’s a musty place with poor lighting. The monk may or may not (usually will) ask for a donation before you leave. Anything from 20 baht to 100 is given depending on your experience in Thailand.

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Inside Luang Pho Petch

When you enter the temple you’ll immediately feel how narrow and small it all is. There are statues everywhere in the outer chamber in little alcoves and shelves surrounding a center column. It’s worth taking a look around this area as some of the statues are unique.

Inside Luang Pho Petch

Artistic alcoves and small buddha statues decorate the inside of the shrine

Someone has also shown a little artistic flare in decorating parts of this area which is nice.  The red and white triangular alcoves are not something you would ordinarily see elsewhere in Thailand.

Artifacts inside Luang Pho Petch

Dusty but well kept artifacts are found throughout the inside of Luang Pho Petch

At the rear is a large locked door which the monk will open. Inside is a chamber filled with Buddha statues ranging from stone to jade and gold leaf. At the rear of the chamber up high sits the Statue of the Buddha with Diamond Eyes. You are free to photograph it.

Pay Homage to the Buddha at Wat Si Chum

There’s one last snippet to take from Luang Pho Petch. It’s said that that if you pay homage to Luang Pho Petch at Wat Si Chum then you will have security, undisturbed happiness, a trouble free life and successful career.

You can see more of Wat Si Chum here.

Luang Pho Petch Compound

After visiting the shrine you can walk around the compound at Luang Pho Petch. There’s not much other than some exterior Buddha statues but the place is somewhat unique in Sukhothai as monks are in residence here most of the time.

Buddha with Diamond Eyes Statue

The Buddha with Diamond Eyes is worth the short trip to visit it

While the Buddha with Diamond Eyes might not be the highlight of Sukhothai, its history and the building in which it now resides is certainly noteworthy. Not only that but it’s relatively easy to find yet still off most of the maps and guidebooks.

That alone means it’s worth a quick visit on your way to/from Wat Si Chum!

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28 Great responses to The Buddha Statue with Diamond Eyes – Luang Pho Petch

  1. Dan says:

    Those red triangular alcoves are really unusual. I wonder if they are purpose built or just meant to be artistic?

  2. Anna's World says:

    Such a unique and interesting place. I’ve never heard of a Buddha with diamond eyes. Shame they can’t display them. But still, it looks like a little adventurous place to visit.

  3. Tony says:

    Never heard of this place. Sounds interesting. Better than stone statues at least!

  4. Maria says:

    I was waiting to read about a hidden passage! At least they were narrow. Interesting place though. I wonder why it’s not in the guidebooks?

  5. Claire says:

    So where are the real diamonds? These are just glass?

  6. Monique D V says:

    Perfect. Just found those photos to be so nice. I would love to discover this place myself and am writing it all down as we speak. Do you have a map to show?

  7. Ram says:

    I like this from Thailand. They always have temples that look so empty. Is it always like this?

  8. Dennis says:

    Nice one. I’m marking it down as a place to visit. 100% trying to find places off the beaten path in SEA next year. Cheers.

  9. George D says:

    It seems like there’s a new discovery every year in Thailand. I just wonder how much is out there we don’t know about!

  10. Malcom says:

    Nice one. He looks a bit creepy though. Maybe shove the eyes in a bit more ;) Good find though.

  11. Ellen says:

    Due to work I’m often in Thailand. I’ve a few days next month. Been reading your Sukhothai posts with interest. Looking forward to this little temple.

  12. Ivy says:

    Always very interesting. Thanks for sharing.

  13. Dean says:

    Just looked up the Lonely Planet. Couldn’t see this diamond eyed Buddha, so nice find mate ;)

  14. De'Jav says:

    This is looks like an amazing place off the beaten path or non touristic is usually better.