Category Archives: The Golden Lands Book

Architectural Diagrams of Buddhist Temples from The Golden Lands Book

The most novel, and technically challenging aspect of the several years of research for The Golden Lands has been the surveying of these scores of Buddhist architectural sites, and CAD-illustration into accurate 3D rendered computer models. This has been an incredibly detailed and demanding process, pioneered by the author Vikram Lall.

On this page you can see just a few examples of the architectural diagrams produced in this book, and please sign up to the book newsletter or contact us for more resources related to the surveying and diagrams of Buddhist architecture as we continue the series.

Borobudur Temple, Indonesia - Diagram from The Golden Lands book
Borobudur Temple, Indonesia – Diagram from The Golden Lands book
Bayon Temple at Angkor, Cambodia - Diagram from The Golden Lands book
Bayon Temple at Angkor, Cambodia – Diagram from The Golden Lands book
Comparison of plans of temples at Ayutthaya - Diagram from The Golden Lands book
Comparison of plans of temples at Ayutthaya – Diagram from The Golden Lands book
Wat Phra Ram, Ayutthaya - Diagram from The Golden Lands book
Wat Phra Ram, Ayutthaya – Diagram from The Golden Lands book
The development of the Prasat in to the Face Tower - Diagram from The Golden Lands book
The development of the Prasat in to the Face Tower – Diagram from The Golden Lands book
Manuha Temple near Bagan, Myanmar - Diagram from The Golden Lands book
Manuha Temple near Bagan, Myanmar – Diagram from The Golden Lands book
Ein Yar Kyaung pentagonal pagoda, Bagan, Myanmar  - Diagram from The Golden Lands book
Ein Yar Kyaung pentagonal pagoda, Bagan, Myanmar – Diagram from The Golden Lands book

List of Buddhist Temples and Sites in The Golden Lands Book

white wave-shaped steps of the Hsinbyume Pagoda
Hsinbyume Pagoda, Mingun, Mandalay

The Golden Lands is a groundbreaking study of Buddhist Architecture in terms of detail and rigour, but also in breadth: this first book in the 6-book “Architecture of the Buddhist World” series is over 280 pages and 95 different sites are shown in illustrations or photographs, including 24 selected sites covered in depth.

On this page we list all of the places mentioned in the book, indicating which sites are illustrated with our original photos and architectural diagrams, and which are the subject of in-depth coverage.

Southeast Asia Buddhist Sites, Monuments, and Temples from The Golden Lands

Names are site names or names sans the various words for temples, e.g. “Shwezigon” = “Shwezigon Pagoda” = “Shwezigon Stupa” = “Shwezigon Paya” (also ~Temple ~Wat / ~Vat and for Indonesia: ~Candi)

(Town / location names in brackets)

In the case of nonstandard alphabetic characters in Vietnamese places we have put a simplified spelling in square brackets, e.g. Mỹ Sơn [My Son]

Within each country list, the list of sites is grouped by major complexes / historical areas, and otherwise is in no special order apart from the order in which sites are mentioned in the book.

Some of these temples/sites are originally or entirely Hindu but included in the list because covered in the architectural discussions of The Golden Lands book.


  • Pagan / Bagan (and environs)
    – Ananda
    – Shwezigon (nr Nyaung-U)
    – Leimyethna / Lei-Myet-Hna (Minnanthu)
    – Manuha (Myinkaba)
    – Nan Hpaya
    – Somingyi Monastery
    – Ngakywendaung / Nga-kywe-nadaung
    – Bupaya
    – Shwesandaw /  Shwe-san-daw
    – Pahto Thamya
    – Nagayon Temple
    – Upali Thein
    – Shin Bo Me Ok Kyaung / Shin-bo-me-kyaung (nr Nyaung-U)
    – Sulamani temple (Minnanthu)
    – Kyanzittha Umin (cave complex)
    – Ein-yar Kyaung / Nga Myet Hna
    – Hsin-byu-shin Monastic Complex
    – Mahabodhi temple (of Bagan)
  • Beikthano / Peikthano (nr present-day Taungdwingyi)
    – Peikthano’s Necropolis
  • Sri Ksetra / Thaye Khittaya / Thayekhettaya (nr Pyay)
    – Shwedaga (Golden Gate) in Sri Ksetra
    – Payagyi
    – Payama
    – Bawbawgyi
    – Yahandugu
    – Bèbè
    – Lei-Myet-Hna
    – Mathigyagon
    – East and West Zegu
    – Shwenyaungbingon
    – Pyataung
  • Pitaka Taik (Mrauk U)
  • Mandalay
    – Shwe-in-bin (monastery)
    – Shwenandaw / Shwe-nan-daw (monastery)
    – Kuthodaw
    – Mandalay Royal Palace
  • Mingun Pahtodawgyi (Mingun)
  • Hsinbyume Pagoda (Mingun)


  • Ho Chi Minh  – Cholon (section of the city)
    -Chùa Ông / Nghĩa An Hội Quán [Chua Ong/ Nghia An Hoi Quan]
  • Dâu Pagoda Complex incl. Hoa Phong brick tower
  • Bút Tháp Temple [But Thap]
  • Mỹ Sơn [My Son]
  • Hanoi and environs
    – Trấn Quốc [Tran Quoc]
    – Chùa Một Cột [Chua Mot Cot] / the One Pillar Pagoda
    – Quán Sứ [Quan Su]
    – Thầy [Thay]
  • Huế [Hue]
    – Thiên Mụ [Thien Mu], including the Phước Duyên tower [Phuoc Duyen]
  • Keo Temple (Thai Binh)
  • Tram Gian / Tien Lu, including Bell Tower


  • Bajang Ratu
  • Lumbung
  • Pringapus
  • Dieng (Plateau) Temples Comple
    – Gedong Songo / Gedongsanga
    – Arjuna
  • Sukuh
  • Kedu Plain sites
    – Borobudur
    – Banon
    – Pawon
    – Mendut
    – Ngawen
    – Canggal / Gunung Wukir
  • Kedu Plain / Prambanan Plain sites
    – Prambanan (Temple)
    – Kalasan
    – Sambisari
    – Sari
    – Plaosan
    – Sewu
    – Sajiwan / Sojiwan
    – Banyunibo
  • Ratu Boko
  • Bajang Ratu (Trowulan)


Angkor / Siem Reap area:

  • Angkor Thom
    – Bayon
  • Preah Khan
  • Angkor Wat
  • Banteay Kdei
  • Ta Prohm
  • Neak Pean
  • East Mebon
  • Pre Rup
  • Ta Som

Rest of Cambodia:

  • Angkor Borei, ancient Funan city
    and Phnom Da
  • Banteay Chhmar


  • Ayutthaya*
    – Wat Phra Si Sanphet, Ayutthaya
    – Wang Luang
    – Wat Phra Ram
    – Wat Mahathat, Ayutthaya
    – Wat Ratchaburana
    – Chandra Kasem / Chandrakasem Palace
    – Phanam Choeng
    – Phutthai Sawan / Phuttaisawan (and monastery)
    – Chai Watthanaram / Wathanaram
    – Chedi Sri Suriyothai
    – Phu Khao Thong

Refers mainly to Ayutthaya Historical Park (i.e. the area of the ruins of the old city of Ayutthaya, part of which is the UNESCO World Heritage Site). Amphoe Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya is the district covering the capital city (Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya) of modern-day Ayutthaya Province (also spelled Ayudhya).  The ancient Ayutthaya Kingdom existed 1350 to 1767.

  • Bangkok
    – Wat Phra Si Sanphet, in Grand Palace compound
    – City Pillar Shrine / San Lak Muang
    – Wat Phra Kaew / Wat Phra Kaeo / Temple of the Emerald  Buddha / Wat Phra Si Rattana Satsadaram
    – Wat Arun Ratchawararam Ratchawaramahawihan
    – Wat Suthat Thep Wararam
    – Wat Hong Ratanaram Rajaworawithan
  • Kukut (Lamphun)
  • Phra Pathommachedi / Pathom Chedi, within the temple of Wat Phra Pathommachedi Ratcha Wora Maha Wihan (Nakhon Pathom)
  • Phra Boromathat Chaiya
  • Sukhothai*
    – Wat Mahathat, Sukhothai
    – Chang Lom
    – Traphang Thong Lang
    – Pratu Kamphaeng Hak (i.e. the Eastern gate)
    – Royal palace of Sukhothai
    – Pratu Na Mok
    – Si Sawai
    – Traphang Ngoen
    – Sra Si
    – Chana Songkhram
    – Tra Kuan / Trakuan
    – San Ta Pha Daeng
    – Sorasak
    – Wat Phra Phai Luang
    – Si Chum
    – Pa Mamuang
    – Thewalai Mahakaset
    – Saphan Hin
    – Chedi Ngam
    – Tam Hip
    – Saritphong Dam  / Thamnop Phra Ruang
    – Phra Chetuphon / “Wat Pho”
    – Chedi Si Hong
    – Chedi Ched Thaeo

Refers mainly to the Sukhothai Historical Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site, which is in modern-day Sukhothai City (“Old Sukhothai”), not the same town as New Sukhothai (Sukhothai Thani), which is the capital of Sukhothai province. The historic Sukhothai Kingdom existed from 1238 until 1438. The UNESCO sites include “associated historic towns” of Kamphaeng Phet and Si Satchanalai (sites in which are listed under Sukhothai above).

  • Phra Bat Yai
  • Wat Pichit Kitti Kalanyaram
  • Wat Chumphon Nikayaram Rajaworaviharn
  • Chedi Liam / Liem (Chiang Mai)
  • Sam Yot (Lopburi)


  • Luang Prabang / Louangphrabang
    – Mai Suwannaphumaham (Vat/Wat Mai / Wat May)
    – Xieng Thong
    – Mahathat (/Wat That / Wat Pha Mahathat / Wat Si Mahatat)
    – Thakmo / That Makmo / Watermelon Stupa / That Pathum
    – Visoun
    – Aham
    – Manorom
    – Pakkhan
    – Si Boun Houang
  • Vientiane
    – Pha That Luang
    – Si Saket / Sisaket
    – Haw Phra Kaew / Kaeo

Look Inside: Preview pages from The Golden Lands

The Golden Lands features gorgeous colour spreads for each chapter

Check out the gallery of sample page spreads from The Golden Lands below. Click on the thumbnails to view full size. Please respect copyright and don’t reproduce without authorization. Media / Publishers please contact us for full press pack.

(See also the Book Contents list )

The Dhamma and the Caitya-Griha: Worship of a symbolic image and creation of the Buddha image
…more from the introduction about Buddhist imagery
The contents of the Myanmar chapter
Architectural characteristics in Myanmar, mainly the Pagan period
Detailed section on the Shwezigon Pagoda
The history of Buddhism in Vietnam
Detailed section on the Dau Pagoda
Introduction to architectural characteristics of Indonesian Buddhist sites
Mandalic planning at Borobudur and Candi Sewu
The Cambodia chapter contents
The transformation of Prasat into Face-Tower
The temple of Ta Prohm
Comparing Khmer and Thai Buddhist architectural styles
Architecture of Wat Arun
Explanation of the Buddhist architecture of Laos
Detailed section on Vat Mai
Architectural and historical glossary

The above sample pages are available to view here as a one-page screen  PDF

Please sign up to the Golden Lands newsletter to receive higher resolution previews and other exclusive materials from the book and related Buddhist Architecture research.

The Golden Lands: Book Contents list

The Golden Lands: Book Contents list
First inner page of the Golden Lands book, showing seated Buddha in Pahto-thamya temple, Bagan

Here are the main sections of The Golden Lands as laid out in the book contents page:

  • A Chronology Of Selected Buddhist Monuments
  • The Theoretical Framework
    [of Buddhist Architecture and modern study of it]
  • Myanmar
  • Vietnam
  • Indonesia
  • Cambodia
  • Thailand
  • Laos
Preview of the timeline of the Buddhist sites covered in The Golden Lands

The chapter for each country is split into three distinct sections:
i. Architectural History
ii. Architectural Characteristics
iii. Selected Examples

Preview of book pages about Vat Mai
For more preview pages from the book, please visit the gallery on this site.

The sites featured as “Selected Examples” include all-new on-site photography, architectural diagrams, and commentary about the architecture’s history, methods, and meanings.

The following is a list of the sites featured for the six countries in The Golden Lands:

  • Myanmar
    • Manuha
    • Pitaka Taik
    • Nan Hpaya
    • Ananda
    • Shwezigon Stupa
    • Somingyi Monastery
  • Vietnam
    • Dau Pagoda
    • But Thap Temple
    • Chua Mot Cot
    • Thay Temple
  • Indonesia
    • Borobudur
    • Candi Mendut
    • Candi Kalasan
    • Candi Sewu
  • Cambodia
    • Preah Khan
    • Ta Prohm
    • Neak Pean
  • Thailand
    • Wat Phra Si Sanphet, Ayutthaya
    • Wat Mahathat, Sukothai
    • Wat Arun
    • Wat Suthat Complex
  • Laos
    • Vat Mai
    • Vat Xieng Thong
    • Tat Luang

The book also has a full glossary, bibliography, and index.

Preview of the first page of the Buddhist architecture Glossary from the book

See also the full list of Southeast Asian Buddhist sites and temples covered in The Golden Lands

The Golden Lands title page