Monday, August 04, 2008
Travels in Narathiwat - Wat Mai Naparam
The journey from Hadyai to Wat Mai Naparam in Narathiwat took almost 4 hrs by car. It was very far, near to the Kelantan border. On the way there were little people and vehicles seen on the road. It was almost like a deserted area after years of unrest. Above we see the gate of the temple, which was ornately decorated with images of Phra Pidta, Sangkachai, Buddha and other deities. Wat Mai is the temple of the famous LP Dum, an expert on making prized Pidtas amulets with powers of invulnerability.
The Ubosot of Wat Mai.
Outside the Ubosot we see this bronze gong carried by 2 human statues. On the gong was inscribed the Chinese words "Ever-turning Wheel of Dharma". This was donated by LP Dum's many Chinese followers in Kelantan.
Another Ubosot. Quite rare to see a temple with 2 Ubosots. Wat Mai must be quite rich.
A view of the bell tower and the 2nd Ubosot.
The Vihara that worships the Buddha, 3 of LP Dum's masters (including LP Kron aka Tok Raja) as well as many other deities. I think it must be clarified that LP Dum is not LP Kron's direct disciple. He learned the art of making protective amulets from another master. On the right we see an image of the Earth deity, curiously being robed in a police uniform.
An ancient chunk of "Mai Takian" wooden log on the left side of the Vihara, believed to have magical properties. The signboard says this Mai Takian is already 1,200 yrs old!
LP Dum's kuti. Unfortunately, that day was 1 day before Khao Phansa (16.7.2008) and LP Dum had left to look for other monks to stay in the temple during the rains retreat. All the good stuff were locked inside his kuti and nobody else had the key except LP Dum. Not knowing when he would be back, we (me and my driver) had our lunch and hung around for an hour, but to no avail.
The peahens reared by LP Dum in a big cage behind his kuti. It was disappointing as I had made a wasted trip there, neither seeing LP Dum nor getting any of his stuff. Later when I got back to Singapore, I learned that he had gone to Bangkok after a few days in the temple. I was also advised to call him before I go the next time to confirm he would be in. Otherwise I might very well be frustrated again.. I'll surely remember that by heart after this lesson learnt.