Wat Po Chai Semaram is situated in Ban Sema about 20 km south of the capital of Kalasin Province. It is sited within the heart of an ancient city known as Muang Fadaet Songyang. Archeological evidence suggests that thgere was an urbanised community here in prehistoric times; there is plenty of visible evidence that the city was prospering in the Dvaravati period about a thousand years ago.
The wat compound is right in the heart of the village, as this map shows:
Wat Po Chai Semaram, KalasinThe wat serves as a depository for some impressive sandstone boundary makers, or sema. Some of them have bas reliefs illustrating the jataka stories of the Buddha’s life and previous lives. These are kept under cover in a special building. The blue rectangles had explanatory texts attached to them at one time. You can see one such text on the ground in front of the stone on the left. This display is undoubtedly valuable and of considerable interest but is more than somewhat neglected.
The wat also serves as a museum for artefacts of a secular nature. One exhibit I was pleased to see was this krok, or rice pounder, which used to be a ubiquitous feature of village homes in Isan.
This unusual sala serves as a place where some exhibits are kept as well as serving its more usual function as a space where monks and lay people come together.
You can see more images of this wat in the slideshow below.
You can find Wat Po Chai Semaram by leaving Kalasin on Route 214 towards Roi Et. After 13 km you reach the district town of Kamalasai. Turn right and travel along Route 2367 for 6 km until you reach the village of Ban Sema.
You can read more about Wat Po Chai Semaram on my other site, Life in Phana: