The Kingdom of Sukhothai had important contacts with Sri Lanka. Thai monks travelled to Sri Lanka for further religious instruction, and Sri Lankan monks settled in Sukhothai. Sukhothai religious art was thus influenced by Sri Lankan art. The Buddha images of the Sukhothai era gained important disdinguishing characteristics from the images during the Khmer and Mon era.
A flame appeared on top of the head of the Buddha. The head is covered with fine curled hair. The face is oval, with high curving eyebrows, a hooked nose, a downward gaze, and overall displays a gentle smiling expression.
The body of the Buddha images displays broad shoulders and a small waist.
Overall it can be said that the Buddha Images do not appear human, but display idealistic or superhuman characteristics.
During the Sukhothai era, the four postures of the Buddha (sitting, standing, walking, reclining) were created.
Buddha images of the Sukhothai era are subdivided in several groups.
The image right below here displays Phra Phuttha Chinnarat image in Phitsanulok. It belongs to the Phra Phuttha Chinnarat group of images. Notice that the face is more rounded with a flame shaped aureole. The fingers on each hand are of equal lenght.
Sitting Buddha images of the Sukhothai period most often display meditation posture, or the gesture of Subduing Mara. Walking Buddhas display the gesture of dispelling fear (Abhaya Mudra), or giving instruction (Vitarka Mudra).
Characteristics and Postures of the Buddha
Seven Days of the Buddha
Hand Gestures :
The Six Main Mudras
Historical Periods :
Chiang Saen - Lanna
Historical Notes :
Temples in Thailand :
Buddha Images at :
Buddha Images at Wat Phra Pathom Chedi
Introduction to Buddhism in Thailand
The 10 Jatakas (lives of the Buddha) as depicted in Thai mural Temple paintings
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Content by Guido Vanhaleweyk, Bangkok.