Photo Moment in Taiwan: Wacky Buddhist Abode

Buddhist Abode at Basian Caves

Our motorcycle excursions brought us to this wacky little dwelling at Basian Caves, which is located along Taiwan’s Eastern Coastline on Highway 11.

Note: Please see my comment below in reference to the Buddhist swastika on the front gate.

Post Author: Carrie Kellenberger

I'm a chronically ill Canadian expat who has been living abroad in Asia since 2003. I moved from China to Taiwan in 2006. My husband and I have owned our own business in Taiwan since 2012. In addition to my own work, I've been writing professionally about Asia, travel and health advocacy since 2007, providing regular content to several publishing companies and travel publications in Asia and North America. Follow Carrie on on Twitter @globetrotteri or on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/carriekellenberger/.

12 thoughts on “Photo Moment in Taiwan: Wacky Buddhist Abode

    cfimages

    (March 2, 2008 - 6:30 pm)

    Technically, if it faces left, like the one in your photo, it’s called a sauwastika. Outside India, Buddhists have generally stopped using the right-facing swastika because of it’s connotations with WW2. If you see a right-facing swastika on a Buddhist temple, it means the temple predates WW2, if it’s left facing only, the temple was built/rebuilt in the past 60 years.

    In Kathmandu, Nepal, there’s a school that has a swastika and Star of David on its outside walls. The swastika to represent good fortune and the Star of David to represent knowledge. You can often see groups of young Israeli tourists there taking photos of the two together.

    RogerHardy

    (March 2, 2008 - 3:42 pm)

    Hi!
    Came across your blogg by the WordPress site and nice photo. What a home, would like to meet the owner, but didn’t quite fancy the svastika on the gate. That’s a sad reminder of a dreadful part of European history. I am a part time photographer myself and just came back from the Philippines. Check it out!
    regards
    Roger Hardy

    globetrotteri

    (March 2, 2008 - 6:11 pm)

    Hi Roger,

    Actually, the swastika is first and foremost a sacred and ancient symbol of Buddhism and Hinduism. It’s commonly seen throughout Eastern Asia, especially in India. It is also seen in the art of Romans, Greeks, Celts, Egyptians and Native Americans as well as Hindus and Buddhists.

    “In Buddhism, the swastika signifies auspiciousness and good fortune as well as the Buddha’s footprints and the Buddha’s heart. The swastika is said to contain the whole mind of the Buddha and can often be found imprinted on the chest, feet or palms of Buddha images. It is also the first of the 65 auspicious symbols on the footprint of the Buddha.”

    Source: http://www.religionfacts.com/buddhism/symbols/swastika.htm

    It’s terrible that this symbol is recognized as a symbol of racism, hatred and ignorance throughout the rest of the world.

    Jeffrey

    (March 3, 2008 - 9:33 pm)

    Another cool posting and photo!

    Hope you are feeling better these days.

    globetrotteri

    (March 3, 2008 - 6:51 pm)

    Hi Craig,

    Thanks for the addition information. Do you have some photos on your site of the school in Kathmandu? I’d love to see them.

    cfimages

    (March 4, 2008 - 7:47 am)

    I don’t have any photos of the school. I always went past it going somewhere else and saw it from bus and taxi windows.

    oceanofstupidity

    (March 6, 2008 - 9:53 pm)

    Generation of my grandfathers and parrents who remember the II World War always will associate the swastika with events of those years. It is inevitable. But I think new generations will have different relation to this symbol. Today a lot of people know that Buddhism and Hinduism have connection with the swastika.
    ***
    I like your pictures. You have nice shots.

    filination

    (March 6, 2008 - 10:20 pm)

    Oh wow, that’s a special one :O

    antithesisphotography

    (March 7, 2008 - 6:40 am)

    i remember the first time i saw a non nazi swastika. i was about 6 and watching a sweet kung fu flick. everything seemed normal until the last fight scene. they all got down and did their thing in front of a 10ft golden swastika. i was confused because indiana jones and the raiders of the last ark had taught me this was a symbol with naughty connotations. oh to be 6 again.

    ps. i have come back to your blog three days in a row to check this pic. i want to climb those stairs and see what characters call it home.

    m.

    globetrotteri

    (March 8, 2008 - 11:15 am)

    K,

    Thanks for your comments. I’m always glad to see you here! I hope you’re right. Not as many people know as you would think though. Most people assume negative connotations with the swastika.

    globetrotteri

    (March 8, 2008 - 11:16 am)

    Thanks Fili!

    globetrotteri

    (March 8, 2008 - 11:18 am)

    M!

    Your first comment for me! I’m so excited about your new photography blog. What a way to start out! We weren’t allowed to climb up. I was dying to. Maybe when you and Sarah come over, we’ll take you there and we can do some sort of ninja by night kinda deal. 😉

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *