Sights & Attractions
Mae Hong SonOperating day:
DailyOperating time: 08.00 - 17.00
located 7 kilometres from Khun Yuam, Amphoe Khun Yuam. Mae Hong Son
Category : Temple
Attraction Details :
WatTorpae is located in the village of Torpae itself, in the District of Mae Ngao merely 7 kilometers from Khunyuam local market. Originally, WatTorpae is believed to be an abandoned temple of the Lawa civilization. Once civilization emerged to the area, a lot more people moved in and the derelict temple was found. All there was left was a stupa with a tree growing through the middle. As Thai people are quite spiritual, nobody dared investigate the temple until an abbot of a nearby temple was invited to explore the site. This abbot was invited to refurbish the temple along with support from Buddhist followers in MuangPon, Baan Khunyuam and Torpae villages. A main hall was built in 1918.
WatTorpae’s architecture was strongly influenced by Burmese architecture and the Shan. Today the temple has one of the most beautiful main halls in the district. The temple’s main hall faces the east and is built purely from teak having a measurement of 30 metres by 25 metres. The roof is tiled with carved material. At present, this spectacular construction still remains in the same polished state. PhrakanaPisith-Promakun, WatTorpae’s abbot has constantly maintained the temple.
There are numerous valuables kept in WatTorpae such as a curtain adorned with colourful precious stones, two dhamma cupboards thatwas brought from the lands of Malamang and various Buddha images. Besides, the temple also features ancient architectures such as jongson or a sala for Buddhist ceremonies, an ancient chapel and chedi built in the 1920s. The temple has a rather odd, yet beautiful attraction that is an ancient Buddha toilet built in an extravagant form with multiple roofs and carved wood as ornaments. Today, this toilet is still useable.
Moreover, the chapel and the chedi of WatTorpae are located to the north and south, accordingly. These two constructions have been with the temple since its first discovery. Villagers take precautions when approaching these two ancient items for they believe in supernatural present in the area. Not one person dares to cut trees in nearby areas or bring their elephants for food. Later on, after the temple’s main hall was built, on a regular cycle was a glowing light on top of the chedi. Not until one day, did a yound monk notice this unnatural phenomena, he then investigated and found a little silver casket filled with sparkling relics, each having a size of a rice grain. The news of discovering relics spread to Burma and many towns surrounding resulting in large sums of donations for the temple to build a new chedi protecting the old one. This desire to built a new chedi never succeeded for nobody was able to cut the tree growing inside the old chedi. No matter how many times people tried to chop down the tree, there would be an unexplainable miracle making it unsuccessful. One night, the abbot of WatTorpae had a dream that the spirits residing in the old chedi demanded a bridge to be built before a new construction could start. Because of this dream, the temple received large sums of money and help from the villagers. Soon after, a bridge crossing YuamRiver leading to DoiKhuwiang was built and the spirits shifted to another abandoned temple up in the mountains. The mission of building a new chedi to protect the original structure accomplished; this particular chedi is what visitors would see nowadays. The chedi is built with strong influence of Burmese and Shan architectural style with a base of 12 metres by 12 metres. Each side being approximately 20 metres in height with a high arch and a Buddha image. The very peak of the chedi hangs a golden bell. Every time the bell blows in the wind, its ring is heard from far distances. As of the chapel, the temple later on built a new one with similar features to the one at WatLampangLuang in the province of Lampang. It has round pillars and a beautiful mural spread across the sealing. These 2 most significant constructions of the temple are highly sacred among local villagers throughout the years. As of their beauty, it could be said that the chedi and chapel of WatTorpae are the most appealing in Maehongsorn.