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Wat Mahathat Wachiramongkon (วัดมหาธาตุวชิรมงคล)

Thai. Name of a Mahanikaai Buddhist temple complex in Krabi, located amidst the rubber (fig.) and oil palm (fig.) plantations in the amphur Ao Leuk (อ่าวลึก), and previously known as Wat Bang Thong. The site has an area of 117 rai, 2 ngan, and 31 square wah, i.e. a little under 19 hectare or a bit over 46 acres. Construction initially started in ca. 2483 BE, i.e. 1940 AD. The central feature is a 95 meter high pagoda built in the style of the Maha Bodhi Pagoda at Bodh Gaya in India, the place where the Buddha attained bodh, i.e. Enlightenment. Underneath the pagoda is a hall that houses the Phra prathaan, i.e. the principal Buddha image. The hall is richly decorated with murals of scenes and characters from both Buddhist and Hindu religion and mythology, as well as with bas-reliefs and statues of mythical and religious figures, such as thevada. Amongst others, there is a niche decorated with mythical snakes called naga (fig.) and sheltering a crowned Buddha (fig.). Adjacent to the main temple with its central tower, which can seen for hundreds of meters in all directions, there is a tall statue of the immortal monk Luang Poo Thuad, said to be 9 meter high, seated on the king cobra of which it is believed that it spat out a magical crystal ball on him when he was a baby (fig.). Besides this, the complex features several large statues of Hindu deities and mythological creatures, such as Vishnu seated on the snake Ananta (fig.) resting on a pedestal and encircled by images of the demon Rahu (fig.); a shrine with an effigy of Indra (fig.); the three-headed white elephant Airavata (fig.), which is also known as Erawan and the vahana of the former (fig.); several naga (fig.), etc. See also TRAVEL PHOTOS (1), (2), (3), (4), (5), (6) and (7), as well as PANORAMA PICTURE, and MAP.