Sights & Attractions
Mae Hong SonOperating day:
DailyOperating time: 08.00 - 16.30
This temple at the foot of Doi Kong Mu, Amphoe Mueang, Mae Hong Son
Category : Temple
Attraction Details :
Wat Phra Non
Wat Phra Non is located on address 22, Padung Muay Tor Road, Tambon Jong Kham, Amphoe Muang, Mae Hong Son 58000 (Tel. 053-611221, Fax. 053-620681). The temple is located at the foothill of Wat Phra That Doi Kong Mu, with its front attached to Padung Muay Tor road, opposite to Wat Tham Gor, Tambon Jong Kham, Amphoe Muang, Mae Hong Son. The temple has its back adjoining to the foothill of Doi Kong Mu, while its north is adjacent to Wat Muay Tor. As for the south, the temple is located next to the Provincial Stadium of Mae Hong Son.
Wat Phra Non was built on Thursday 17th March, 1875 by Phaya Singhanat Racha (a Thai Yai, known as “Chan Ka Le” in his previous name). He was the first governor of Mae Hong Son (exactly during the reign of King Rama V). There are two reasons for Wat Phra Non construction as the followings;
1.To commemorate Phaya Singhanat Racha’s honour when he was appointed as the governor of Mae Hong Son. He was bestowed such name in 1874. Moreover, the temple was built to celebrate the elevation of Mae Hong Son village to be a city.
2.To build a Reclining Buddha statue assigned to birthday (Tuesday) of Phaya Singhanat Racha as the respectable Buddha image for Mae Hong Son people. However, the statue wasn’t completely constructed at first due to the turmoil around the border area. In 1884, he passed away. Therefore, his wife, Chao Nang Mier then succeeded to the throne as the 2nd governor of the city, and built a 11-meter 90 centimeter long Reclining Buddha statue successfully. She then held a great celebration of success in completing 3 things; Phra Non (the reclining Buddha), Phra Pang Harm Yat (the Buddha image in Pacifying Relative posture), and 9-room pavilion (nowadays dilapidated) on day of the full moon (4th lunar month)—March 15th 1887. A number of monks from 50 temples were invited to receive alms offering in this cerebration. The abbot from each temple was the representative to acquire the offering. She donated 50 Rupee (Indian currency), and 2 Saleung of gold (equal to 100,000 Baht nowadays) to each temple. Around 1,500 Buddhist citizens in Mae Hong Son were invited to join the ceremony, each was given a prayer book in Burmese language. In the same year during May, on Visakha Bucha Day, local people came together to build sand chedi “Ming Muang” to beg for the rain to fall accurately according to the season. In 1998, the first year after the sand chedi event, the 2nd governor of Mae Hong Son invited Khru Ba Chompu from Wat Muay Tor, Amphoe Mok Mai, Loi Laem province in Chan state, Myanmar to be the first abbot of Wat Phra Non.
Wat Phra Non is famous for its supernatural happening. In 1934, Viharn Phra Non (the viharn enshrining the Reclining Buddha image) was roofed with quite old zinc. Therefore, when it rained, the roof leaked. The water seeped in under the roof, and soaked the Reclining Buddha statue. At that time, a famine broke out, so local people didn’t take much interest in the temple, since they concerned only earning their living. The Viharn was then the shelter and the playing space for the ploughboy. One day, those ploughboys fell asleep in the Viharn. While they were in a half-asleep state, they saw the Reclining Buddha about to get up and escape since he couldn’t withstand the rain water anymore. The boys therefore ran into the village, and told others to hurriedly come and see Phra Non bend his leg up about to running away. Having heard of the story, the villagers came to prove with their eyes. To their surprise, the two feet of Phra Non were really bent up, not in the same level anymore. The left foot pressed on his right foot was shorter. From asking the elder who lived here for so long, the two feet used to be in the same level unlike nowadays. Accordingly, people from the city flock in to see Phra Non, and worship the statue. Small donation of each donator made a big total amount. The temple committee then accumulated all the money to replace the old Viharn’s roof with the new one. The story told above was the miraculous occurrence of Phra Non. Moreover, in 1938, a number of Buddhists from inside and outside the municipal area came to pay respect to Phra Non. There were drops of water dripping from his eyes, as if he was crying. The incident had been continuously happened for 6 months. A few years later, the WW II occurred, bringing trouble to many parts of the world. The supernatural event of Phra Non reminded us not to live lives carelessly.
In 1943, at one late midnight in September, after world war broke out, a group of burglars broke into the Viharn. Knowing from the treasure trove, they drilled into the back of the Buddha statue, aiming to take precious items (jewelry, rings, silver, and gold) that the first governor “Phaya Singhanat Racha” kept in the statue’s chest. Hence, all the valuable stuff was stolen. Later, local people loaded the valuable items back into the statue’s chest, and covered the hole. However, there was still a fracture left at the back of the statue. 1 year after that, all the burglars and their families had encountered unfortunate circumstances.
Wat Phra Non has a blended architecture between Burmese style and Thai Yai culture. The roof of the temple is in “Song Khor Sam Chai style” (which means a building with 2 more superimposed roofs totaling 3 roofs, and 3 gables). It has a “Pan Soi” shape, similar to Wat Phra That Doi Kong Mu. Inside enshrined the 11-meter 90 centimeter long Reclining Buddha statue. Also, there are Buddha image in meditative posture, and appareled Buddha statues such as Phra Khem, Phra Siwalee, and Guan Yin Goddess as well. Inside the ancient vault, Buddhist scriptures (Tipitaka), small Buddha images, antique objects like old porcelain, and some items dating from the Japanese in WWII are kept. The temple was laid with wooden floor, and covered with zinc roof. Surrounding the temple area are pavilions, and a small pool located at the front of the temple. Beside Wat Phra Non is a lotus pond. The pool at the front of the temple was beautifully decorated with flowerpots like orchids, and herbal plants. The back of the temple is guarded by two huge Statues of Leos standing side by side. They are believed to be built by ‘Chan Ka Le’, and ‘Chao Nang Mier’. On the opposite side stand two stupas in Burmese style. The first chedi houses one Buddha image. The second chedi enshrines 4 Burmese-style Buddha statues. Outside the latter chedi is a gigantic Buddha image in a meditative posture located in the front of the stupa.