Saturday, February 21, 2009

Wat Chalong in Phuket

Wat Chalong is the most well-known Buddhist temple in Phuket, and deserves to be included in any itinerary to Phuket. The temple is the largest and the most beautifully carved of Buddhist monasteries in Phuket. The temple is the specimen of the typical Thai arcuitecture. The wat is believed to be built during the reign of King Rama II (1809-1842). However, it was relocated later.

A chedi in the temple complex houses a part of a bone of Lord Buddha. Constructed with the cost of 66 million baht, the chedi is more than 60 meters high. The bone was brought from Sri Lanka in 1999 and was consecrated here ceremoniously.

Revered monks like Luang Pho Chaem and Luang Pho Chuang have been associated with Wat Chalong. The monks were highly regarded for there work in herbal medicine and care for the sick. The monks gave medical help to the injured during the rebellion of 1876. They played a role in resolving the dispute and ending the rebellion. Statues of these monks have been set up in the sermon hall where the Thais seek their blessings.

Once a week, the monks chant Buddhist scriptures in the morning. If you visit the temple at this time, you will have a distinct experience. The weekly days are based on lunar calendar and the monks are final authority in this regard. For finding out the day when the days would be observed, you should check with the monks.

Be mindful of your dress and behaviour while going to Wat Chalong. Remove your footwear before entering the temple complex. Show regard to Buddhist idols and monks when in the temple.

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