Monday, June 29, 2015

Wat Yai Chai Mongkol Thailand

February 2015 - Ayutthaya Thailand

For the recap version of our day click here.

Wat Phra Chao Phya-thai, populary known as Wat Yai Chai Mongkol, is situated to the southeast of the city. The large chedi can be seen from a great distance.

Experts believe the stupa was built even before Ayutthaya was founded. King Naresuan the Great had it restored and built some additions to commemorate his great victory in battle over the Burmese. He named it "Chai Mongkol" or "Auspicious Victory".

The main Chedi of the temple is 62.10 meters in height and was built with 28,144 tons of brick. Even though the location was prepared to bear a lot of weight, the pressure from the Chedi was enormous and it pushed away underground water until the ground underneath the Chedi became hollow. As time passed, the Chedi started to sink.

The Ubosatha Hall is the main entrance to the monastery. When Thai Buddhists visit the temple they will normally make an offering. This act is known as wai phra; wai being the traditional greeting with palms pressed together and raised towards the face and phra being the word for a Buddha image, monk or priest.

The usual offering made consists of a candle, some flowers (often a lotus), a small square of gold leaf and three incense sticks. The three incense sticks represent the Buddha, his teachings and the monastic order.

  Sitting in the position of respect  with feet tucked behind in order that they face away from the Buddha.  After  the person has offered some prayers they will often make another recital in their mind which could be a wish for good health or even good luck for selecting the lottery numbers! The incense sticks are then planted into a container of sand and the small square of gold leaf is pressed onto the Buddha image.

Visitors will apply gold leaf to the Reclining Buddha's hands and feet.

The chedi is 60 metres tall and allows visitors to climb the weathered steps and take in a magnificent view from above.

John did the climb and captured some great photos along with a selfie or two.

The view is panoramic with rows upon rows of saffron draped Buddhas. do not despair, there will be many close up photos of these!

He spotted Tom and me strolling among those Buddhas.

There's a ladder on the back!

While John had his head in the clouds, Tom and I wandered the peaceful gardens.

After one of my favourites above, I spotted this nun doing some cooking. In Thailand women cannot be monks but nuns. They wear white robes and their head is also shaved. Being a female novice is less valued than being a monk. They are often treated as temple maids doing the cooking and cleaning for monks.


It is Canada Day on July 1 so this week I am featuring Canadian inspired posts.

It just so happens that Leonard Cohen is my favourite musician ever. His music and voice give me chills. He is world-renown.
We've got his CDs, his books.

Click here for an article about him written in The Guardian.

Now the problem is - what song to choose? His most famous song by a fellow Canadian K. D. Lang.

Hallelujah - K.D. Lang 

Celine Dion & The Canadian Tenors - Hallelujah

AND the man himself! In Toronto at a concert we attended.

The man is iconic. When we were in Greece in 2010 we visited the Epidaurus. The theater, dating to the 4th century B.C. and arranged in 55 semi-circular rows, remains the great masterwork of Polykleitos the Younger. Audiences of up to an estimated 14,000 have long been able to hear actors and musicians--unamplified--from even the back row of the architectural masterpiece.

There was a school tour and one of the students stood and sang Hallelujah.

April 2015 - Nashville TN Leonard Cohen featured at the Country Music Hall of Fame.

Sweet shot tuesday blog badge

Song-ography is hosted by You'll Shoot Your Eye Out, a fantastic photographer and funny lady.
Also posting at Sweet Shot Tuesday.