(6) 2008 Wats Happening

 

 

Well I know that I appear to have been missing on this whole blog thing but you know it takes a lot of concentration to work  on my tan while studying permaculture, cobras and poisonous centipedes.

This six inch sucker can kill you!!

This six inch sucker can kill you!!

 See photo, luckily they are not very common.

            I have been enjoying Mary’s writings, its great to know what we’ve been up to. Any way here’s the start of my contribution and more to follow but no promises.

        

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This image taken 2002

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    There is a Wat in Changmai, actually there are about 300 of them,(that’s an uneducated guess) but there is one that caught our eye when we where here five years ago. Its called Wat Lok Molee and was being rebuilt from the ground up. They started about seven years ago. When we first saw it the Buddha statue was in place, the support pillars were set and a roof was on. Now five years later it appears to be finished except for the interior ceiling.cimg11111

            I’ll do my best to describe it. I’ll put a couple of photos on the main page but then to see more you should go to the Wat page. The whole thing occupies about just under a block, that’s about 130 squ yds. From a distance you first see the Chedi rising up to about 300ft. This is a earthen and brick structure and was built in 1540. It houses the ashes of a king and queen from that period. There is a notch in each of the four sides for a Buddha statue. The chedi is located in the NE corner of the compound.

 

Chedi with Buddha

Chedi with Buddha

 

 

 

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Chedi with offerings

Chedi with offeringsChedi with seated Buddhas

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

       The Chedi — Images of the Buddha on all four sides with many offerings all the way around. A saffron coloured tie all the way around. Some of the offerings that look shocking to our western eyes, MacDonald hamburgers, plastic dolls and trinkets but as they say it’s the thought that counts

   You enter the grounds through a spectacular gate on the south side, on  either side of the gate are a couple of gnarly looking characters set there just to make sure your reasons are pure for going in. You walk along a path to the Wat and on each side of the path there is a gold tree and a silver tree.

Gate showing the two watch dogs

Gate showing the two watch dogs

 

Silver Tree

Silver Tree

 I’m not sure of the significance of these but the leaves are shaped like Bodhi tree leaves ( that’s the tree the Buddha  sat under when he achieved Curt Cobain, I mean nirvana). These could be a gift to the Wat from somebody to gain merit ( kind of like a pac giving gifts to a politician ).

Gold Tree

Gold Tree

 

 

 

 

             As you approach the Wat there is a flight of stairs, flanked by huge Nagas (snakes or serpents). I think they are there to make sure you take your shoes off before entering the Wat. This motif appears again and again throughout many temples in Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and most of Asia.

Nagas, made and carved out of concrete

Nagas, made and carved out of concrete

 It plays an important part in Buddhism and Hinduism.

          

          

Nagas here!

Nagas here!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nagas there!

Nagas there!

 

 

Just in case you weren't paying attention

Just in case you weren't paying attention

 

 

 

 

 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  So we’ve taken off our thongs and walked up the stairs. The fascade of the temple is richly carved with images of Siddartha’s life. These are all hand carved and then highlighted with white paint.

Fascade showing Buddha's path

Fascade showing Buddha's path

 

 

 

Close up shot of carvings

Close up shot of carvings

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

      

 

Close up shot of carvings

Close up shot of carvings

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OK, just one more

OK, just one more

 

 

 

There are a few more but I'll spare you

There are a few more but I'll spare you

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

       Inside we have highly polished wood surfaces with a HUGE golden Buddha at one end. We kneel before the Buddha, pointing your feet at the Buddha or anyone is such a gross faux pa.  There are some school kids writing prayers on paper, then these would be offered up.

 

Polished floor and concrete pillars

Polished floor and concrete pillars

                                                              

The Buddha and students

The Buddha and students

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Outside by a different door there are statues of animals and on top of the roof is an amazing bit of candy ( how did they get it up there?)

                

Carved animals outside the Wat

Carved animals outside the Wat

Roof decoration

Roof decoration

      

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

        Behind the chedi are a couple of carvers, squatting cross legged and tapping away with hammer and chisel.

Carving away, still got all his fingers and toes.

Carving away, still got all his fingers and toes.

          

 

 

 

 

 

 

I didn't see him do this but you get the idea.

I didn't see him do this but you get the idea.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

   Other buildings in the enclosure are a pagoda in a beautiful garden with a fountain and another Wat.

        

A rather nice sitting area.

A rather nice sitting area.

      

Water garden leading up to the pagoda

Water garden leading up to the pagoda

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And another Wat, I didn't even go in this one.

And another Wat, I didn't even go in this one.

 

        This Wat offers Buddha chats from one till three thirty in the afternoon. These are with English (I hope) speaking monks and we hope to spend some time with them. Stayed tuned.

 

                        Sawasdee Krap and Sawasdee Pee Mai   (Happy New Year)

                                                            Peter and Mary

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