The empyrean-like holy site in the mountain, Wat Phra That Pha Sorn Kaew
Showering in the green season enhancing the beauty of the mountainous landscape in Phetchabun being more impressive and attractive for one who loves to travel in the countryside, surrounding with the layered mountains, blanketed with the sea of fog, and fresh ozone. Further the famous cabbage farming site on Phu Thab Burk, spectacular viewpoint at Khao Kho Royal Palace, the sea of mist and pleasant resorts that as if the Switzerland in Thailand, Phetchabun also the remarkable colorful mosaic sacred place on the mountain with the peaceful circumstance, ideal for one who seeks for a place to heal you mind and soul called “Wat Phra That Pha Sorn Kaew”.
About the Temple
Perhaps, the paradise for pilgrimage destination, Wat Phra That Pha Sorn Kaew nestled in the layers of the mountain range where the magnificent pagoda is outstanding with the elegant ornament of colorful china and stones. Under the grand structure is storage that collects the collections of Buddhist doctrine, Dhamma puzzle, as well as the serene site for meditation practice for the Buddhist practitioners. More than that, the most awe-inspiring icon of the complex, “the Five Buddhas’ image” and the ordination hall, the Green Jade Buddha Hall, monks’ cell and isolated area for the people who preferred isolation to practice the meditation.
Background of Wat Phra That Pha Sorn Kaew
Wat Phra That Pha Sorn Kaew or also called Wat Pha Sorn Kaew located on the hill within Thang Daeng Village in Khaem Son sub-district, Khao Kho District, Phetchabun. The Buddhist monastery established in 2004 to be the place for Vipassana meditation practice (focuses on mindfulness and insight), nestled within the beautiful and tranquil natural environment. The lofty mountains cuddled the holy site and over the top of the hill is the mysterious cave that the villagers spot a crystal ball floated in the sky and vanished inside the cave over there. The locals believe that it is the Buddha’s relic and esteem the venue as the sacred space and named “Pha Sorn Kaew,” which means the secret chamber of the auspicious crystal.
Wat Phra That Pha Sorn Kaew recognized the pilgrimage venue for the Buddhist monks and those of Buddhist practitioners coming for meditation practice and find peace in mind. With the appropriate ambiance of the place that hidden in the abundant valley, quiet atmosphere, and pleasant climate. Unsurprisingly, the holy site attracts not only the Buddhists but also many tourists as another must-visit location in Phetchabun, too. The temple consists of the fabulous architectures furnished with vibrant mosaic and porcelain; certainly, it draws the visitors from all direction to the site, intermittently.
Furthermore, Wat Phra That Pha Sorn Kaew also features the fantastic scenic point that anyone who comes to the temple would definitely plan for visit here in any other time. Who would deny for the beautiful and picturesque scenery, fresh air, and tranquility, ideal paradise to clear your mind and soul, indeed?
Highlights of the Temple
The must-not-miss checkpoints at Wat Phra That Pha Sorn Kaew are;
1. Phra That Pha Sorn Kaew Chedi
The great pagoda was constructed with the initial purpose to celebrate in the occasion of HM King Bhumibol ‘s 60th Birthday Anniversary, as well as to be the symbol to maintain the Buddhism in Thailand and benefits to the humankind and the next generation. The pinnacle of the pagoda is where to enshrine the Buddha’s relic that bestowed by the former supreme patriarch of Thailand “Somdet Phra Sangharaja Chao
Kromma Luang Vajirananasamvara”. What makes this pagoda is extraordinary to other stupas in the decoration of the structure that made from many porcelains and stones in various color and under the base is the space to store collections of Buddhist doctrine, dhamma puzzle images, and also the meditation practice area for the Buddhists.
2. The Sanctuary of the Five Buddhas
Not far from the great pagoda of Wat Phra That Pha Sorn Kaew is a marvelous architecture called “the Sanctuary of the Five Buddhas,” built to celebrate in the occasion of HM King Bhumibol’s 84th Birthday Anniversary and to devoted to the Buddhism religion. The holy structure, on the first floor and the second floor arrange to be the accommodation for the dhamma practitioners, while the rest is used for other religious activities, including chant, listen to the sermon, and meditation practice.
3. Dhamma Practice Hall (the Green Jade Buddha Hall)
The squared shape building circled with large transparent wall to get closer to nature outside, the lovely garden filled with diverse kinds of flowers and plants, without any blockage.
4. Phra Buddha Lertrattana Chotmanee
Phra Buddha Lertrattana Chotmanee or also called “Phra Yok Kheao” (the Green Jade Buddha), a magnificent statue of Buddha in the attitude of subduing Mara in Chiang Saen design with about 65 inches wide of the laps. The Buddha image craved from the whole piece of beautiful green jade and on the head of the image stored the Buddha’s relic which given by the former supreme patriarch of Thailand, “Somdet Phra Sangharaja Chao Kromma Luang Vajirananasamvara.”
5. Phra Buddha Rattana Samritphol
Phra Buddha Rattana Samritphol or “Phra Yok Khao” (the White Jade Buddha) is a striking Buddha image in the attitude of meditation, sitting cross-legs with legs locked together in Gandhara art with about 39 inches wide of the laps. The head of Buddha also enshrined the Buddha’s relic given by the former supreme patriarch of Thailand that invited to store in both significant Buddhas at the monastery.
5. Lan Pho (Bodhi Plaza)
Another propitious space within the monastery complex where the place is “Bodhi Tree,” the vital tree followed to Buddhism is at the heart of the opened area. The significant tree derived from the abbot of Wat Tha Kra Chai in Nakhonchaisi, Nakhonprathom province which origins from the Bodhi trees grown around the Bodh Gaya in India, the most important of the main four pilgrimage sites related to the Gautama Buddha. According to Buddhism, Bodhi Tree is an auspicious tree that sheltered Lord Buddha until he reached enlightenment. The Bodhi tree at Wat Phra That Pha Sorn Kaew planted at Lan Pho on the Visakha Bucha Day in 2004. From that time on, the practice of the candlelight procession around the notable tree in any Buddhism special events also the space to practices the walking meditation.
6. Sivali Thera Plaza
Space that housed the replica of “Sivali Thera,” one of the most venerable arahants (Buddhist Saint) among the Theravada Buddhists.
Wat Phra That Pha Sorn Kaew opens to the visitors every day between 8.00am and 5.00pm. for any further inquiries or dhamma practice course, please visit the temple’s website at www.phasornkaew.org
How to go to Wat Phra That Pha Sorn Kaew
By car :
From Bangkok, drives on the route passed Saraburi and then on road number 21 (Saraburi – Lopburi – Phetchabun). When you drive pass by the town of Phetchabun for distance, almost the 260th burrstone so notice “Pho Khun Pha Muaeng Monument” on the left and make the left turn to enter highway number 12 (Lom Sak – Phitsanulok). So, you drive for about 30 minutes in the estimate, and at the 103rd burrstone you will spot “Khaem Son Subdistrict Administrative Organization Office” on the right and KBank on the left, and you go further to make a u-turn. Then, you will see a sign to go to Wat Phra That Pha Sorn Kaew at the entrance of “Thang Daeng Village” next to Khaem Son Subdistrict Administrative Organization Office, you turn left and go straight on until you spot the bridge to enter the temple. So, you turn right to cross the bridge, and there’s parking at the destination.
Public Transportation :
For the tourist who does not travel by car, there’s a bus service from Bangkok that you can get off at two stations in Phetchabun. First, Lomsak Station and you get the local vehicle to Phitsanulok and get off at the entrance of Huai Phai Market at the entrance of Thang Daeng Village and take some walk in about 10 minutes you will see the bridge to enter the temple.
Another station is in Phetchabun Town that you can find the public truck services travel to Khaem Son sub-district during the day. You shall get it and get off at Khaem Son Subdistrict Administrative Organization Office or at the front of Huai Phai Market.
For any further inquiries of the local public transportation, please contact at Phet Tour Company or Thin Siam Tour Company.