Thursday, July 5, 2012

Wat Si Ubon Rattanaram - Temples in Ubon Ratchathani

Of all the central temples in Ubon Ratchathani, Wat Si Ubon Rattanaram took me smetime to find mostly because I had the wrong orientations, and all the helpful locals who pointed me towards the direction of this temple had misleading sense of instruction. I was also to blame because I was too lazy to look at the map.

Wat Si Ubon Rattanaram, aka Wat Si Thong, is located beside south of the City Hall and west of Thung Si Muang Park, on Uparat Road. It was built in 1855 with its architecture inspired by Bangkok's Wat Benchamabophit (the Marble Temple). It houses a sacred Buddha image known as "Phra Kaeo Butsarakham". This image is carved from Topaz into the Chiang Saen style.

Legend has the city founders, Phra Woraratchaphakdi, Thao Kham Phong, Thao Thit Phrom, and Thao Kam carrying the image all the way from Vientiane (Laos). It was first kept at Ban Don Mot Daeng (in Suphan Buri), then moved later to Wat Si Ubon.

Kings used to swear their Oaths of Allegiance after this particular image (in subduing mara/demon posture), thus highlighting the historical and cultural significance of this Buddha. These days, the Buddha - made of topaz, if I may repeat - is considered an icon of the city of Ubon. During Songkran Festival (the water-splashing festivities during summer), this Buddha image is paraded around the city for people to pay their respects for and bathe.

Temple is open earlier than most other temples at 4:40 AM and closes later at 10 PM.

Upon crossing the busy Uparat Road, there is an entrance gate to the south western side of Thung Si Muang Park.

This is the Eye in the Sky!

Entrance of the ubosot.

Side of the ubosot.

Temple gable at the back of the ubosot.

Phra Kaew Butsarakham, the topaz Buddha, found in the temple ubosot (ordination hall)

Topaz Buddha in subduing Mara (demon) posture.

Stained glass windows remind me of Catholic churches.

Dramatic exit

Several Buddhas lined up at the wiharn.

Detail on the offerings

A temple mondop


Ramakrishnan said...

Thai temple architecture and the Golden Buddha's fascinate me.

eye in the sky said...

@ Ram:

I like the Buddha too although I am wondering where the topaz is. That's one question I have been asking but never got an answer to. :)