Wat Chalong – the main temple of Phuket
One of the most famous Buddhist temples on the island of Phuket is located on the road from the Central Festival shopping center to the south. His official name Wat Chaiyatararam (Temple Chayatararam) was given by the Royal Decree in 1846, and since then he is under the royal patronage. Local residents and guests of the island of Phuket Temple is known as Wat Chalong (Chalong Temple) by the name of the area in which it is located, which is reflected in road signs leading to sights. The exact time of the building of the temple is unknown, however, the first historical mention dates back to 1837, when the temple was rebuilt and changed its location for the current.
The history of the temple and legend
Among Thai tourists there is a saying: if you were not in Chalong Temple, you were not on Phuket. Many legends and stories surround this attraction. Church of Chalong and his abbot of Luang Pho than played an important role in the history of Phuket during Chinese rebounds in 1876.
At the beginning of the XIX century, Phuket Island became the most important industrial center due to tin production, many Chinese workers flocked here on earnings. Some of them subsequently began to own mines and organized clan communities, triads and cartels. In the 1870s, the Thai government raised taxes on the extraction of tin, despite the fact that the world prices for it began to fall. People from the triad Ang yi were unhappy with such a situation and learned the mass riots in Phuket Town.
The rebels burst into houses, killed and robbed residents. Those who managed to escape were hidden in the Chalong Temple, where they received provisions and first help. When the rebels approached the temple, the locals turned to the abbot of Luang Pho what, calling him to escape from the monastery, to which Abbot answered very wisely. He stated that he had grown, he was educated in Chalong Temple and is not going to leave here. This answer inspired local residents and monks to fight the rebels. Luang Pho than made white bandages on the head as a talisman, where the letters of the Thai alphabet wrote to raise the moral spirit of troops and distinguish the attackers from defending. Attack on the temple was reflected. The victory inspired the inhabitants of the neighboring villages that were given to the Chinese rebel, and the riot was depressed.
To date, Luang Monk Pho than is one of the most famous religious figures in Thailand. Many mysterious stories associated with it. He was not only the abbot of the temple, but also. His legendary cane, which, as they say, has healing properties, is still kept in Chalong Temple. Luang Pho than died on the 81st year of life in 1908. On his funeral, people were traveled not only from Phuket, but from other Thai provinces and neighboring Malaysia.
There are several buildings on the territory of the temple complex.
Pagoda with Pork Buddha
Three-storey Chedi Phara Mahathat 61 meter high was built in 2001 for storing the relic – fragment of the Buddha’s shoulder bone, which was presented by the Government of Sri Lanka King Rama IX in 1999 in honor of his 72nd birthday. The cost of the building is estimated at 66 million baht, and at the consecration ceremony, his royal majesty was present by the Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongcon. The decoration of the Chedi is truly impressive: the railing in the form of the snipes of Nagov, painted by scenes from the life of the Buddha walls and all sorts of statues donated by parishioners. Be sure to climb on the third floor, from the terrace of which offers a delightful view of the entire temple complex. Immediately in a glass bowl is the dust of the Buddha.
Buddha’s dust in a glass bowl
Crematorium and mourning hall
On the right side of the holder there are crematoriums and a mourning hall where the coffin is put with the body, until the monks hold the farewell ceremony. Temple Chalong is a pretty famous place for cremation. You can often see the approaching SongTEO, outdoor buses, with people, dressed either in black, or in white. All the way from the house in the temple, the participants of the funeral knocking in the drums, Honeys, Tsimbaly, trying to make as much noise as possible to scare the evil spirits. Thais will not mind if you want to take a picture of the ceremony, but please respect their feelings.
Crematorium and farewell
Gazebo with souvenirs and tree
Next to Cheda is a sala – a gazebo where you can buy religious souvenirs, Buddha and Monks figures, Buddhist literature, Petardes and donation set. Leaving 20-40 baht in a special box, Thais take the lotus flower, candle, aromatic sticks and a slice of gravestone gold. Under the shadow of a huge tree near the arbor, you can sit down and relax on a hot day. It is bound by multi-colored ribbons, it is believed that the spirit lives there, so Thais brings various figures and figurines in the form of donations.
The building of Old Vihana
Old building Vihana
Another building in front of the Chedi is old Vikhan, where Luang Po seed, the ancient Buddha statue, called Pho Thhan Chao Wat or Pho Thhan Nok. Tao Nonsey – a giant that protects and supports religious rules, and that Khi Lek – grandfather Khi Lek, who won in the lottery after a prayer statue of Pho Thhan Chao Wat. If the Tapet wants such good luck, he lights a candle and aromatic sticks in front of the statue, leaves the lotus in a vase, sticks a piece of graval gold and asks him winning numbers. Some leave both a cigarette, as the grandfather was a lover to smoke, and even in his hands he holds a cup with a betel, the leaves and nuts of which give a light narcotic effect.
Basic Vikhan Temple Chalong
Vikhan – Main Building
The central place in the complex is occupied by the main structures of the temple – the main Vikhan, Bell Tower and Mondop, the hall for prayers. In the last Thais come to offer monks, there are various ceremonies there, for example, a wedding in Thai style. Entrance to the Vikhan is easy to find in front of the elephants in front of the entrance. They say, if you lose the belly of an elephant, it will bring good luck. In Vikhan, you can see the bronze statues of three monks, the most revered abboots of the temple: Luang Photo Sea, Luang Poo Chuang and Luang Pho Cloms. All of them were known as healers and specialists of herbal medicine. Until now, local residents come to bowed them.
Bronze statues of monks
Rituals and ceremonies in the temple
Thais spend in Vikhan Tambun ceremony – Offering and get merit into their karma. Before entering, they light a candle and aromatic sticks, already inside the building lay a lotus flower into the bowl and glue a piece of graval gold to one of the statues. You too can take part in this ritual, leaving a donation to the temple, take a set to offer it in the gazebo, which I wrote about above.
Divination in the Thai temple
In Vihan, you can see another interesting tradition – divination. In front of the statues is a red cup with chopsticks. Each wand has a number. You need to shake a glass in such a way that only one wand falls out. By number on it, you need to take prediction that are in special cells. Unfortunately, texts are written only in Thai and Chinese. If the prediction is unsuccessful, Thais tie them on a tree next to Vikhan and leave donations, it is believed that the monks will take care of their well-being. Good predictions need to pick up.
In addition to fortune telling, Thai often come to the temple to find out the answer to the concern. To do this, in Vihans are red trees, very reminiscent halves of beans. Thais mentally pronounce the question and throw halves. If they fell the same parties, the answer is yes.
From time to time you can hear the loud explosions of Petard in a brick furnace opposite Vihana. This is another tradition of getting merit. If the prayers were heard, Thais buy the Petardes and explode them as a sign of gratitude. Opposite Vihana is accustomed to the Sanctuary of Monks, where the entrances are prohibited. It is surrounded by eight stones and fence. Here are the ceremonies on holidays and other holy days, the rest of the time is closed.
Wooden Museum with Wax Figures
Behind Vikhana is located a wooden house – Kuti, where he used to live the abbot of Luang Po. Unfortunately, this building has not reached us in primeval form. She was restored for old photos. The entire temple complex was reconstructed in the last century, when Phara Maha Poang Sukanonat became the abbot. In Kuti, you will see the wax statues of Luang Phods of Luang Phod, Luang Pho Chuang and Luang Pho Clavma, as well as samples of ancient furniture, dishes used at the time. The building closest to the main entrance to the temple is Kuti’s current rector of Chalong Temple, where the office is located. Luang Phod stored here.
Kuti Luang Phod
Walking through the territory of the temple you can not only admire the colorful buildings, but also to see the real story of Phuket Island. During the Chinese New Year in the Temple, Chalong arrange a huge fair with an abundance of food, Thai games, selling various things. On the usual days, the shops on the territory of the complex will offer you cool drinks, unpaired Thai snacks and souvenirs.
Wax Figure Luang Phod
To visit the Chalong Temple, capture cameras with you, get lost to your shoulders, neckline and knees are closed or capture a cape, do not forget to shoot shoes when entering each building, and enjoy the magnificent architecture, history and beautiful Thai traditions. Enjoy your excursions!