Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya
Wat Phananchoeng was constructed 26 years before the beginning of the Ayutthaya Period. Legend has it that Phrachao Sainamphueng, King of Ayodhaya, commissioned the construction and named the temple Wat Phrachao Nangchoeng. The principal Buddha image in the Wihan, called Luangpho To, was built in the open at the same time.
King Mongkut (Rama IV) renamed Luangpho To as Phra Phuttha Trai Rattanayok, and it also has the Chinese name of Sam Po Kong. Luangpho To is an U Thong image in the attitude of subduing Mara. The image is made of stucco, covered with lacquer and gold leaf, is 14.20 meters in width and 19.20 meters in height. Both Thais and Chinese travel to worship Luangpho To throughout the year, especially during the Chinese New Year.
Faith in the magical power of Luangpho To has traveled far. People believe that praying to Luangpho helps make their trade flourish and brings about achievement in their career. Parents whose child falls ill frequently offer their child to be Luangpho’s godchild, or make an offering with a candle and incense sticks and pray for Luangpho’s power to ward oft the ailment. The Chinese pray for wealth and happiness, and they often bring Luangpho To a robe, fruits, food or dessert as offerings. In practice, not just praying, people should follow the Dhamma offering respect to Samma-ajiva and Sammavayama which means having the right career and right effort, respectively. Those who practice the Dhamma shall be loved by others, receive compassion and succeed in business.
How to get there
Wat Phananchoeng is located in Khlong Suan Phlu Sub-district, on the southern bank of the Pa Sak River, opposite Ayutthaya’s Heritage Island. The temple is approximately 5 kilometers from the city center From Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon, turn tell and drive for about 1 kilometer before reaching Wat Phananchoeng which is located on the right hand side. For further details, please contact Tel. 0 3524 3867-8 or at “www.walphananchoeng.com/”