Sights & Attractions
DailyOperating time: 06.00 - 18.00
Mu 5, Ban Tha Khrai, Tambon Bueng Kan, Amphoe Mueang, Bueng Kan
Category : Temple
Attraction Details :
Situated in Ban Tha Krai, Bueng Kan sub-district, Amphoe Mueang Bueng Kan, Buengkan province, Wat Photharam is an important temple where Luang Pho Phra Yai (literally means big Buddha statue), the spiritual center of Bueng Kan people, is enshrined. Luang Po Phra Yai is a Lan Xang style Buddha statue of 5’4” width and 7’00” height in attitude of subduing Mara. According to a story, 200 years ago, the local people moved from Mueang Yot (currently Yasothon province) to settle and cultivate crops here. At that time, this area was a jungle covered up with vines so the people clear-cut this area and found a Buddha statue. They named it “Luang Pho Phra Yai” due to the huge size of the statue.
Annual festival to pay homage to Luang Pho Phra Yai (Tham Boon Luang Pho ceremony)
In the old times, people usually asked Luang Pho for a blessing and protection against all dangers and their wishes have always been fulfilled until present. Since then, the festival has always been held twice a year to express the gratitude to Luang Pho’s kindness. The first ceremony of the year is held on the full-moon day in the 3rd lunar month. Local people make merit by offering roast glutinous rice and two bee castles to monks in order to pay homage to Luang Pho. The second ceremony is held on Songkran day. People sprinkle water onto Luang Pho Phra Yai. It is a big annual celebration, in which people from everywhere come to join. The celebration is usually held on Saturday or Sunday, one week after April 13th.
Miracles of Luang Pho
1. During the Indochina war, a blaze, brighter than the light from storm lantern, appeared from a “Bot” (a building in the temple used as ordination hall or praying room) of Ban Tha Khrai temple crossing to Pak Bueng area in Laos and then crossed back and disappeared at the starting point.
2. In about 1947, the debris of Bot were removed for a re-construction. All artisans and workers are Vietnamese. During the excavation for the installation of pile foundation, they found thousands of small Buddha statues. They considered them as antique items, so they secretly took many of them away. In that night, some of them lost their mind, some got severe diarrhea or acute febrile illness. Finally, they had to return those statues to where they found and they recovered from the illness as if it had never happened to them.
3. In 1953, a girl from Ban Tha Khrai stayed with her relative in Chonburi province. One day, she was crashed by a truck while she went out for shopping and she was thrown to the opposite side of the road. Unbelievably, she was safe and got no any injuries, although her bicycle was completely broken and the truck bursted into flame. This girl only wore a plastic neck locket with a photo of Luang Pho inside.
4. In 1968, a girl and her younger sister from Ban Tha Khrai went to Ban Mak Yang Sak. They were robbed of their 45.7g weight golden necklace at night fall. They had to run back home breathlessly to tell this to their parents. Their parents told them to ask for Luang Pho’s help. They could not believe their eyes when they saw the necklace which was robbed 3 days ago on the balcony in front of their house with no any scratches.
5. In 1969-1970, before the current Bot was constructed, there was a light appeared from a Bodhi tree next to the Bot crossing to Ban Pak Bueng area in Laos. This occurred every couple of months in the Buddhist day of observance and was often seen by many people.
6. Capt. Kam Mao Chanthawong living in Ban Pak Bueng, Laos, opposite Moo Ban Tha Khrai, always asked Luang Pho for his safety every time before he went to the war service. He had three plane accidents, but he was always safe. Hence, he had a deep faith in Luang Pho and donated 20,000THB to build the current Bot.
7. In 1985, I (the author of this story) experienced a miracle of Luang Pho with my eyes. After meeting with local people, we agreed to hire a photographer to take a photo of Luang Pho and keep it in plastic locket for sale. Before taking a photo, the photographer offered Luang Pho a rice bowl decorated with flowers to ask for his forgiveness for any mistakes. They took many photos of Luang Pho in more than ten different poses. After photographic processing, the photos were all blank. Moreover, the films were all dark and the shutter could not be pressed as if there were blocked by something.