Khon Kaen Temples, Temples in Khon Kaen with their History

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Khon Kaen Temples

Temples
Phra That Kham Kaen
Location : Mueang District
Phra That Kham Kaen
Phra That Kham Kaen
Pra That Kham Khan is important religious sites of local people in Khon Khan and which the celebration is held annually on the full moon day of the 6th lunar month. Phrathat Kham Kaen is located in the area of Wat Chetiyaphum. According to the local myth, it was told that King of the Mori town in Khmer Kingdom 9 senior monks to bring relics of the Lord Buddha to be placed in Phrathat Phanom. On the way, the caravan spent a night camping here by the heartwood of a dead tamarind tree. The caravan reached Nakhon Phanom on the next day just to learn that Phrathat Phanom had already been completed, so they returned on the same route with a wish to place the relics at their hometown instead. On the way back, they were surprised to find the dead tamarind tree were blooming once again. So, they decided to build a Phrathat here and placed the relics and Buddha images inside, naming Phrathat Kham Kaen which means the stupa of tamarind heartwood.

How to get there: Phrathat Kham Kaen is 12 kilometers away from Khon Kaen downtown. Visitors can take Highway 209 (Khon Kaen-Kalasin route) and turn left after crossing the Nam Phong River then keep straight for another 14 kilometers.
Opening Hours : Daily from 08.30 am. - 04.00 pm.
Contact : Tel. 0 3242 5600
Wat Chai Si
Location : Mueang District
The highlight is the beautiful murals paintings both inside and outside of ordination hall - Sim or Ubosot of Wat Chai Si by a folk artisan from Maha Sarakham known as Thong Thipcha. The walls are built of brick and plastered with lime, but every available surface covered by an eclectic series of murals depicting the past lives of the Buddha, punishments in various Buddhist hells, and a variety of local traditions. In 1993, the Fine Arts Department had the roof extended to provide the murals shelter from sunlight and rain, as well as the surrounding landscape improved. There is also a folk museum nearby where rare folk equipment and utensils of the Northeast are collected.

How to get there: The temple is located at Ban Sawathi, Sawathi Sub-district.
Opening Hours : Daily from 08:00 am. - 05:00 pm.
Wat Nong Waeng (Phra Mahathat Kaen Nakhon)
Location : Mueang District
Wat Nong Waeng
Wat Nong Waeng
The interesting thing in this temple is Phra Mahathat Kaen Nakhon, also known as “The nine storey chedi”, was built to commemorate the 50 years anniversary of King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s accession to the throne and the 200th anniversary of the founding of Khon Kaen town. Phra Mahathat Kaen Nakorn, a royal temple on Klang Mueang Road, where the relics of Lord Buddha and important Buddhist scriptures are located. Doors and windows of the 9-storey Stupa are beautifully craved the former reincarnations of the Lord Buddha, 16 classes of visible deities in the Brahmas world, and Buddhist rites while the history of the town are painted on the wall. On the top floor, where the Lord Buddha’s relics are located, is where the visitors can also enjoy the beautiful panoramic view of the city.
Opening Hours : Daily from 08:00 am. - 05:00 pm.
Hotels : Hotels in Khon Kaen Area
Wat Pa Saeng Arun
Location : Mueang District
Wat Pa Saeng Arun has the Sim Isan’s outstanding features are its typical shape and style and solidity the beauty of its murals. In addition to being a significant tourist attraction, this revered place has been intended for later generations to learn, treasure and conserve local architecture. The Sim or Ubosot of Wat Pa Saeng Arun is a mixture of northern Isan and central region architectural styles. Facing towards the east, the hall is 15 meters wide and 34 meters long. The peak of the hall was made from pure gold and stands 60 meters above ground. The building consists of 52 posts, 14 windows and 3 doors. The roof is covered with traditional Thai style tiles in orangey red color. It has 4 bell towers located at each corner of the hall’s wall. The construction of Sim Isan took 9 years and used approximately 49 million baht.

Wat Pa Saeng Arun
Wat Pa Saeng Arun
The first part of Sim Isan is the stairway which represents the first step of behaving along the Buddhist code of conduct, just like the first element of the Noble Eightfold Path which is the right perspective. Isan people often build statues of Naga (a mythical serpent) to guard the stairway on both sides. Statues of Singha (a mythical lion) or Mom, unique to the region, are also used as a guardian of the stairway up to the hall. These animal statues, such as a Gajasiha (an elephant lion), lion, elephant and tiger, are made from sandstone; therefore they are durable to weather of northeastern region. The ground floor of Sim Isan is an area for “Pradakshina” (circumambulation.) and has stairways at all four sides. The murals inside the Sim are painted in Mudmi patterns and pictures of angels sitting inside elaborate pavilions. The windows’ frames are carved in story of Maha Wetsandon Chadok.

At the base of Sim Isan in the east, there are two statues of Gajasiha, guarding the hall. It is a mixed creature which has a body of a lion and has trunk and ivory. It is a mythical creature living in the Himmavanta Forest. This creature reflects the concept of power, of elephant and lion combined. Standing towards the east facing the direction of Lord Buddha, they are the power of Ajnata Kaundinya, who assisted Lord Buddha and who will also protect Sim Isan which is the heart of a Buddhist temple.

How to get there: Wat Pa Saeng Arun is located in Phra Lap Sub-district, Mueang District, approximately 3 kilometers away from Khon Kaen City Hall on the Khon Kaen–Kalasin route.
Wat Machim Wittayaram
Location : Ban Phai District
Wat Machim Wittayaram also known as Wat Ban Lan is located in Ban Lan Sub-district. This temple has well preserved paintings exhibit a unique style that includes clearly outlined figures colored primarily in indigo and gold. The murals on the outside was painted for Triple Gems adoration according to the old Thai tradition art to be handed down for ancestors in Thai-Esan style. The execution individual expression of these Sim mural painting was painted by the native painter; named SuwanPivasan and his group in 1927.
Wat Sanuan Wari Phatthanaram
Location : Ban Phai District
Wat Sanuan Wari Phatthanaram
Wat Sanuan Wari Phatthanaram
Wat Sanuan Wari Patthanaram has perfect of murals on both the outside and inside of the Sim like those at Wat Chaisi and Wat Sa Bua Kaeo. The exterior walls are covered primarily with scenes from the Sinsai epic, which begin on the south wall and move clockwise around the building, interrupted by a panel of hell scenes on the west wall. The interior walls are devoted exclusively to the Vessantara Jataka, like those at Wat Ban Lan. The murals on the interior walls of Wat Sanuan Wari depict scenes from the 13 chapters of the Vessantara Jataka, known in Lao as Pha Wetsandon Chadok or Pha Wet. Like those on the outside, the interior figures are simply and expressively presented. The paintings are organized into two horizontal registers of panels separated by vertical decorative borders, reflecting the compositional scheme of pha phra wet (transcription of Thai, not Lao), the horizontal cloth scrolls used in Bun Pha Wet or Vessantara Jataka festivals that take place annually in virtually every wat in Isan. The narrative begins on the side wall to the left of the back wall, in the upper right corner (hence, adjacent to the back wall), and proceeds counter-clockwise. Each register is divided into panels, as with cloth scrolls, for a total of 13 panels; each of the 13 panels corresponds to one of the 13 jataka chapters.

How to get there: Wat Sanuan Wari Phatthanaram located in Ban Nong Ngeo, Ban Phai Sub-district, Ban Phai District.
Opening Hours : Daily from 08:00 am. - 05:00 pm.
Contact : Tel. 0 4324 4498-9
Wat Phra Phutthabat Phu Phan Kham
Location : Ubolratana District
Wat Phra Phutthabat Phu Phan Khamis enshrines the Lord Buddha's Footprint and a white gigantic Buddha image called Luangpho Yai or Luangpho Khao, of 14 meters in height. The temple located on the hillside of Phu Phan Kham Mountain. There are 1,049 stairs leads the way up to the temple’s front. The temple overlooks beautiful views.
Wat Sa Thong Ban Bua
Location : Mancha Khiri District
Wat Sa Thong Ban Bua
Wat Sa Thong Ban Bua
Wat Sa Thong Ban Bua is the only Sim (ordination hall) that is decorated with beautiful and original stucco designs while Sim of other temples are mostly decorated with paintings. “Sim” means a small ancient Ubosot. Unique at its exterior design, Sim is often decorated with simply low-relief sculptures and only 2-3 colors are used.

The exterior is decorated with colorful mural and glass. The Sim houses a rare Isan-style sandstone Buddha image. Not more than 5 people can enter the Sim at each time. It is the only hall that is decorated with beautiful and original stucco designs while Sim of other temples are mostly decorated with paintings.

Ban Bua is an old community which its old generation had left Ban Non Khao (Wat Pa Mancha Khiri, nowadays) because of plague and drought. They moved to live by a pond filled with beautiful lotus flowers, so they named the area “Ban Bua.” They also built the first “Sim” or Ubosot and brought a heavy sandstone Buddha image of Isan style to be the principle image.

The 175-year-old Sim of Wat Sra Thong Ban Bua was made by a local craftsman. It was built by concrete and has only one entrance. When the hall started to decay, the villagers, with the help from Khon Kaen University and the Department of Fine Arts, renovated the Sim and remained the Isan style’s stucco and low-relief sculptures at the wall, including the man riding an elephant, the three-tiered gold royal umbrella, angels and elephant flowers, as well as the gable roof covered with cement tiles and the perforated wooden eaves in zigzag pattern.

In 2001, the Department of Fine Arts listed the Sim of Wat Sra Thong Ban Bua as a national ancient site. And in 2002, the Sim of Wat Sra Thong Ban Bua was awarded a precious architecture, heritage and cultural conservation of the Asia Pacific by UNESCO.

How to get there: Wat Sra Thong Ban Bua at Ban Bua, Kut Khao Sub-district, Mancha Khiri District of Khon Kaen Province.
Wat Udom Khongkha Khiri Khet
Location : Mancha Khiri District
Wat Udom Khongkha Khiri Khet was the house of Luangpu Phang, monk who famous in meditation. Today, Buddhists visit the temple and pay respect to his monument in the temple compound aside from meditation. This temple is located deep in lush forest which is the good temple for meditation.

How to get there: Visitors can go via Highway 12 (Khon Kaen-Chum Phae) for 14 kilometers then turn left to Highway 2062 (Ban Thum Mancha Khiri Road) for another 44 kilometers and get on highway 229 (Mancha Khiri-Chaiyaphum Road) for 12 kilometers and turn right into the temple, 12 kilometers away.
Wat Sa Bua Kaeo
Location : Nong Song Hong District
Wat Sa Bua Kaeo
Wat Sa Bua Kaeo
Wat Sa Bua Kaeo was established on March 10, 1916, with the temple receiving royal support in 1931. At that time, abbot Phrakhru Wibun built the ubosot (sim) with a layout similar to Wat Ban Yang in Maha Sarakham province. Wat Sa Bua Kaeo owns beautiful mural and sculptural works that are worth a visit for tourists. Crouching guardian lion replicas are on both sides of the stairway leading up to the Ubosot (Ordination Hall) with sculptures of men stretching their legs in front which the preceptor of the temple Luangpho Phui was the one who created all of these sculptures. Murals on four walls of this concrete ordination hall both inside and outside portrays people lifestyle, history of the Lord Buddha and the myth of heaven and hell. The pictures are separated by the Sinthao line, a flash-shape pattern which is widely found during Ayutthaya and Rattanakosin periods except in Isan (northeastern) region. The unique brushstroke reflects artists’ deep feeling through each picture like what can bee seen in Western impressionists. The most used colors are yellow, indigo, red ochre, green, blue and black.

How to get there: Wat Sa Bua Kaeo is located in Nong Mek Sub-district. From Khon Kaen, take Highway 2 (Mitraphap Road) and head to Phon District for 75 kilometers then turn left to Highway 207 for Nong Song Hong District for another 17 kilometers. At kilometers 27-28, turn right at Ban Wang Khun and keep straight for another kilometer.