Wat Nang Nong, Bangkok province

Wat Nagnong Woraviharn - in Chom Thong district of Bangkok Province, capital of Thailand. Erected in Ayutthaya period at the eastern bank of Khlong Sanam Chai, renovated by King Rama III.

King Rama III renovated was Wat Nang Nong on Wutthakard Road, probably because it was in the neighbourhood of where his mother was in residence. Inside, the ubosot is decorated in Chinese style. The murals depict incidents from Chinese mythology. The doors are embedded with mother of pearl and 108 icons such as kirin and crane considered sacred by the Chinese.

The most remarkable feature is the huge attired Buddha statue cast in bronze. The King had it built after a wish his mother, Chao Chom Manda Riem, had made came true.

If the restoration of Wat Nang Nong was a way to express his gratitude for his mother, then he found a way to say the same on a grander scale for somebody else dear to him.

Wat Chalerm Phrakiat in Nonthaburi was the last temple he built, dedicating it to his grandparents who presided over vast tracts of orchards and farms there. But it was not completed during his reign.

Besides the grand layout and elegant architecture, what impressed me most were paintings in the ubosot whose walls were decked with patterns from tubeskirts his mother fancied.

Everything in this temple was graceful. The main chapel, vihara and pagoda were neatly built, their size huge. Nagas made from colourful Chinese tiles popped their heads from the roof top.

Renovated again recently, the temple almost looked brand new. Paintings higher up the walls still looked good, but the ones lower down looked worn, undone by the moisture seeping from the ground. Holes have been bored in the walls for better ventilation.

Wat Nang Nong is located on Wutthakad Road; tel: 02-468-6876 and 02-476-2612.


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