Sunday, January 25, 2009

Wat Pattanaram, Surat Thani

The city of Surat Thani itself has no real touristic attractions, especially when it comes to historical places. But as I come to that town almost every time I am in Thailand, I have looked around in the town a lot already. And temples are one of my favorite places to visit.

One of the temples located close to the center of the city is Wat Pattanaram (วัดพัฒนาราม) - just 500 meter away from the site of the night market. As it's also one of the temples closest to where we stay in Surat Thani, I have been there several times. However the most impressive visit there was when some years ago my brother in law spend a week as monk in there, and I was honored to attend the ceremony. Though I did not understand much of what was happening, it is a special memory related to this temple.

While the temple has its charm, it is not really impressive, and I did not know about it even having some historical significance - I wish my Thai would be better and I could read websites like the one of the Wildlife club of Surat Thani and learn more about it.

So it was just a coincidence I noticed about the significance. As part of my project to process the announcements in the Royal Gazette, I also downloaded the announcements on historical sites (เขตที่ดินโบราณสถาน) quite some time ago. But just now I started to take a look into it, and noticed that in December 2001 one of the buildings within Wat Pattanaram was declared such a protected historical site by the Fine Arts Department (Gazette). The building protected is not the largest, but the giants next to the entrance are something I haven't seen like that in other temples yet. And it was this building where the ordination of my brother in law took place.

That historical building clearly looks a bit weathered, much unlike the larger newer one next to it with the standard colorful pediment. Not sure which one is the Bot and which one the Viharn however. In between the two is a small roofed shrine, which is always busy with people praying and lighting incense or candles. But again I am sadly ignorant of what is the object of worship there.

Now I know more a little bit more about this temple, the next time I will be around I will take more photos and trying to find out more about it.

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