My favorite temple in Ubon Ratchathani would have to be Wat Nong Bua, aka Wat Phrathat Nong Bua, for obvious reasons. The temple is simply stunning! It stands out from the coterie of temples in this border city.
It's also a bit far from the backpacker area of Muang District, located on Thammawithi Road, a few blocks from the commercial street of Chayangkun Road. But if you think that this was built because of an available space, it actually has a little more story than the rest. The pagoda was, in fact, built among lush timber forest to mark the 25th century of Buddhism in the year 1957. Giant trees have so far dwindled due to the urbanization of Ubon.
The temple (the city guide calls it "pagoda"which I find odd) is semi-pyramidal in shape, with a square-base, 17 meters wide and 56 meters high. It houses a relic of Buddha's footprint inside. The "pagoda' has 4 doors, each one has their separate golden Buddhas facing each entrance. It is also surrounded by another four smaller pagodas situated at the four corners of the boundary wall. Prior to its renovation, it used to be concrete-finish, now it gleams in white and gold. Beautiful and bright. It's said to have been patterned after the Mahabodhi stupa of Bodh Gaya, India. There is no entrance fees here.
In the temple complex, you find other temples, one of which is a beautifully designed "wiharn" with 8 peach-colored posts right in front of this prayer hall. A semi-circular glass panel stands at the top of the temple gable, making it seem more modern than most I've seen in Ubon. During my visit, another "wiharn" - a prayer hall for the laity - was being renovated. Nearby stood a colorful Bell Tower.
In this post, we only feature the exteriors found around Wat Nong Bua. The dazzling interiors are on feature next.
To get there: The temple is 3 kilometers from downtown Ubon, about 500 meters or so from Chayangkun Road (past the BKS Station). A nearby market is called Nong Bua Market as well, on your stroll to and out of the area.
This is the Eye in the Sky!
|One of the four entrances of the main temple. I don't even think that the concept of an ubosot applies here because not much room is provided inside for the ordination ceremonies.|
|This is the main temple prior to the renovation. It exuded a lot of character back then. This photo is courtesy of wikipedia's jpatokal.|
|The yellow roofed building could be the wiharn.|
|Details on the wall|
|Another hallway is being renovated.|
|Yellow green colored orchid|