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        ءѹȡŵɨչ ǨչѧԹҧҡҺҡ


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        ӹҹͧз͹繶֧͹ʴ繶֧͹ʴѹҧا¸ҡѺاչҧ
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: ظ Discovering Ayutthaya ˹ 66-71
     ҭԷ ɵ óҸԡ

        : www.watphananchoeng.com



Wat Phanan Choeng


Wat Phanan Choeng (was once called Wat Phanaeng Choeng) is located outside the city island in the south, on the east of the Chao Phraya River. It is on the big estuary that the Chao Phraya River and the Lob Buri River connect to each other. In Ayutthaya period, there were many communities of people with many races in this area, for example, Chinese, Japanese and Portuguese.


It is believed that Wat Phanan Choeng and the communities around the temple existed 26 years before Ayutthaya became the capital in 1350. The most important thing in the temple is a big Buddha image in meditation posture. A width measuring form the right knee to the left knee is 20 meters 17 centimeters and the image is 19 meters high. Formerly, the image was in an open space, and people have called him Luangpho Toh. Later, the Chinese-Thais called him Sam Por Kong. Finally, King Mongkut gave the name Phra Buddha Tri Rattananayok to him. According to the legend, it was said that before Krung Si Ayutthaya was completely destroyed, tears flew profusely down from his eyes to his stomach. Due to a conflagration in 1901, the temple and the image were damaged. King Chulalongkorn commissioned renovating them to the conditions that we can still see nowadays.


Inside the chapel (the Ubosot), there are three big Buddha images situated from left to right:


A golden Buddha image in the posture of subduing the devils from Sukhothai period; the width measuring form the right knee to the left knee is 1.5 meters 7.5 centimeters. The image height measuring from the base to the top of his head is 2 meters 7.5 centimeters.
A Buddha image modeling from mortar in the posture of subduing the devils from Ayutthaya period; the width measuring form the right knee to the left knee is 2 meters. The image height measuring from the base to the top of his head is 2.5 meters 27.5 centimeters.
A Buddha image made of nak (mixture of gold and copper) in the posture of subduing the devils from Sukhothai period; the width measuring form the right knee to the left knee is 1.5 meters 32.5 centimeters. The image height measuring from the base to the top of his head is 2.5 meters.
Regarding the golden Buddha image and the Buddha image made of nak, they were assumed to be built in the late Sukhthai period around 1357. Formerly, they were covered with mortar, painted black and covered with gold leaves. It is assumed to be covered with mortar before Ayutthaya was completely destroyedin 1767. Later, in 1956, the cleaning by the temple made the mortar broken, and the images were seen in real gold and nak as we can see them nowadays.


Phra Wihan Noi (The small hall) is located in palallel with the main chapel (the Ubosot). They might have been like this since the former time. It is located in front of the big Buddha image. Inside the wihan, there are modern paintings on the walls painted in Chinese altars. Below them are patterns of cones like the ends of Khmer fabric seen in many temples.


Phra Wihan Yai (The main hall) is the place where the big Buddha image is situated. His name is Phra Phanan Choeng or the Chinese-Thais called him Sam Por Kong which refers to a Chinese eunuch, Choeng Hoe, who was the leader of the Chinese fleets in Ming Dinasty. When he died, he was praised and promoted to be a god according to Chinese tradition. His story has been told as a legend.


It is believed that Choeng Hoe had been to Krung Sri Ayutthaya, and used to collaborate in renovating Phra Phanan Choeng, the big Buddha image situated in the Chinese village. Because of this, he was named Sam Por Kong. Therefore, paying homage to Phra Phanan Choeng is like paying homage to Choeng Hoe at the same time. It was also written in an ancient Chinese document that Wat Phanan Choeng is a place to pay homage in memory of Cheong Hoe.
Nowadays, on Chinese New Year Day, a lot of Chinese people always come to pay homage to Sam Por Kong.


Geng Jeen (a Chinese-patterned small house) in a small size is located on one side of Phra Wihan Yai. People called this building San Chaomae Soydorkmark (A shrine for a princess named Soydorkmark). The building was built in Chinese architecture with a yard in the middle. In the back, there is a two-storey house. An image of Chaomae Soydorkmark is situated on the second floor. People call her Chaomae Soydorkmark according a legend they heard.
Chaomae Soydorkmarks legend is referred to the north chronicle which said that she was a daughter of a Chinese king who presented her as a wife to an Ayutthaya king, Phrachao Sainampheung (King Sainampheung). She came to Ayutthaya with a big procession of fleet coming in honor to her on waters. She was not received expected honor from Phrachao Sainampheung. Esteaming her personal rank as the princess of China, she was in sorrow and killed herself by holding her breath. Phrachao Sainampheung arranged an honorable cremation for her at the place her shrine is located.

 


The legend has reflected the good relationship between Krung Si Ayutthaya and China.

Reference
Kasetsiri, Chanwit, editor. (n.d.). Discovering Ayutthaya, pp. 66-71.
Kasetsiri, Chanwit. Retrieved from www.watphananchoeng.com