Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Wat Maneewanaram - Temples in Ubon Ratchathani

Wat Maneewanaram is also called Wat Paa Noi, found in Muang District of Ubon Ratchathani. It's easier to locate than most other second-tier temples because it stands beside Wat Thung Si Muang. The temple ground houses another smaller, albeit simpler building - called the "wiharn" closer to the south gate. This temple ground hosts an elementary school, thus you will find school children playing around the complex. During my visit, kids dressed in boy scout uniforms could be seen. 

The "ubosot" or "ordination hall" ("sim" in Laos) is closed for visitors so we couldn't see the altar inside. The elements of a Thai temple all exist here: "Every temple must have a bot (ubosot), surrounded by eight Sema boundary stones, and will often have one or more wiharn housing an important Buddha image."

Unlike in Laos where the faithful could pray at the ordination halls, laity pray at the wiharn (also spelled "viharn").

Personally, I can pray where my feet stand. My prayers are my direct connection with my faith, but the concept of religion makes it tangible to employ houses of worships in the form of wats, temples, mosques, churches, etc. It also strengthens the concept of a unified and sanctified communion with a more Supreme Being. 

This is the Eye in the Sky!

The ubosot of Wat Maneewanaram

Detail of the temple gable's design

Intricate detail surrounding the windows

Five huge windows from each side, and two doors at the entrance.

This could be the wiharn where laymen could pray. Notice the open door. Undergoing renovation during my visit.

Wat Maneewanaram's South Temple Gate

A boy scout with pink neckerchief (and yellow slide) observes.

More boy scouts

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