Wat Buddharangsi is a Theraveda Buddhist temple, in the Thai tradition, located in Homestead, just south of Miami. It was built in 1982 to house a congregation that has been around since 1979, and it continues to expand with the South Florida Thai-American community and with an increasing number of non-Thai visitors. Visitors from many backgrounds have described the area as a peaceful and beautiful oasis in the fast-paced Miami metro, a place to meditate or just appreciate the unique grounds. The temple welcomes anyone with an interest in Buddhism and also offers a variety of religious and non-religious events.
The centerpiece of the temple is a 5-ton, 23-foot tall Buddha statue. It’s made mostly of brass but also contains copper, silver, and gold. Visitors can place a gold leaf on the Buddha’s head as a prayer for wisdom, or on the heart as a prayer for love or good health. The statue is named “PHRABUDDHADHAMMACHINARAJ” and is based on a statue with the same name in Phitsanulok, Thailand. It was created for Miami’s Thai Buddhist community in 1997 before the temple was built.
The complex also includes modest apartments for about six monks who live there at a given time. Visitors can ask them for blessings, and they perform marriages and other religious ceremonies for the community.
It was designed by Nopporn Poochareon, a Thai-American general contractor and owner of Thai restaurants in Miami. Man of the materials, as well as some of the workers, were sourced from Thailand to keep the temple true to the Thai tradition.
Cover image: Javierfv1212, CC BY-SA 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons.