Wat Phra Kaeo

Situated at Mu 10, Tambon Phraek Si Racha, which is about 23 kilometres off the provincial town of Chai Nat, Wat Phra Kaeo is another ancient temple housing a beautiful square-based stupa. Within the temple ground also houses a high stupa in a harmonious blend of the Lawo and late Dvaravati styles, as well as a relic chamber with a recessed base in the Sukhothai and Sri Vijaya styles.

In front of the stupa stands a Buddha image hall known as Wihan Luangpho Chai, where a delicately carved sandstone lintel was found at the back of the image. This lintel depicts an image of the God Indra riding the elephant named Erawan inside a stylized shelter in a distinctive Khmer style, which dates back to more than 1,000 years ago. It is believed that at the decline of the Khmer empire, someone must have taken this artefact from somewhere and carved the Buddha image out of it. However, the head of the elephant is overturned, its trunk pointing upward, as a riddle that in order to be enlightened like the Lord Buddha “one must overcome greed, hatred, and ignorance to find true happiness.”

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