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WAT CHALONG

Historical records are unclear, but Wat Chalong was


probably first built during the reign of King Rama II
(r.1809–24). However, the temple has undergone many
renovations since it was first erected. The complex
features sacred imagery, including sculptures and murals
of the Buddha’s life. The holiest object is a bone fragment
of the Buddha, now set in the Grand Pagoda. The temple
is called Wat Chaitararam by royal decree, but everyone
knows it as Wat Chalong.

1.Architecture
The temple’s colorful, multitiered sloping roofs, ornate exterior, and
interior decorations are very picturesque. The Grand Pagoda’s towering
spire and glittering window frames are among its other visual highlights.

2.Fortune Telling
Fortune tellers sit inside the temple’s main hall. They shake two cans of
numbered bamboo sticks until one falls out. The number corresponds to
a paper slip inside a wooden cabinet. Take it and ask for a translation.

3.Merit-Making
Thai Buddhists visit temples and pay respect to the Buddha, and other
spiritual leaders, to accumulate merit, in the belief that such deeds will
benefit one’s position in this life and future lives.

4.Temple History
During an uprising of Chinese tin workers in the late 19th century, many
local Thais fled to Wat Chalong for protection. The temple’s then abbot,
Luang Pho Chaem, provided shelter to the people and was later
honoured for this by King Rama V (r.1868–1910).

5.Firecrackers
Devotees burst firecrackers in thanks for answered prayers. The
fireworks pop inside a beehive-shaped structure located outside, near
the sermon hall.

6.Buddha Image
Known as Poh Than Jao Wat, the main Buddha image is within Wat
Chalong’s western hall. It is flanked by two statues, one of which
supposedly depicts a local man who won several lotteries after praying to
the image.

The main Buddha image, called Poh Than Jao Wat, inside the temple

7.Wax Figures
Lifelike models of former temple abbots can be found inside a special
exhibition space. Visitors pay tribute to these spiritual leaders to make
merit.

8.Wall Paintings
Inside the Grand Pagoda, wall paintings show events from the life of
Siddhartha Gautama, who became the Buddha after gaining
enlightenment. Notable depictions include him teaching his disciples and
receiving offerings.

Wall paintings inside the Pagoda narrating Siddhartha Gautama's


journey to enlightenment

9.Gilded Statues
Cast in bronze, these depictions of former temple abbots are covered in
flecks of gold foil. Visitors offer donations and make merit by affixing
small pieces of gold-colored foil onto the statues.

10.Grand Pagoda
This 197-ft (60-m) tall golden pagoda enshrines a bone splinter of the
Buddha. Brought from Sri Lanka in 1999, it is housed inside a chedi
(stupa) on the third story of the pagoda.