Tag Archives: Kalasin

Phra That Yakhu, Kalasin

Only a kilometer or two from Wat Po Chai Semaram is a large open space dominated by this chedi known as Phra That Yakhu. When the ancient city of Muang Dafaet Songyang was destroyed, this chedi was left standing, suggesting that it was particularly revered. The assumption is that it contains the ashes of an important monk or perhaps of more than one person.

As the Tourist Authority suggests in the notice pictured above, the chedi displays evidence of being built in three quite distinct periods.

There are the remains of other chedi in the area around, all of them within the boundary walls of the ancient city.

This shrine is of a much more recent date. It is quite typical of the sort of ‘clutter’ that accumulates at popular shrines.

But this old tree is also revered.  Ancient trees such as this, or the remains of such a tree, are often decorated like this and people come to pay respect to the spirit that is thought to reside here.

There are visitors here on any day, mostly families who have driven here. The large open space in front of the chedi is also used for certain ceremonies, and the annual rocket festival in May is held here by the villagers, attracting visitors from nearby towns and provinces.

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Wat Po Chai Semaram, Fadaet Songyang, Kalasin

Wat Po Chai Semaram, Kalasin

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:

Ban Sema, Nong-Paeng, Kalasin

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.

Wat Po Chai Semaram, Kalasin

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.

Wat Po Chai Semaram, Kalasin

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.

Wat Po Chai Semaram, Kalasin

You can see more images of this wat in the slideshow below.

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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:

http://phanathailife.typepad.com/thai-life-phana/2011/07/more-than-one-way-to-make-merit.html