Culture

Novice Monks paint Wat Mano

13 Mar , 2019  

As I passed, Wat Mano, this morning on the way to work, I noticed a swarm of Novices up bamboo scaffolding busy painting the temple.

Wat Manorom, known as Wat Mano, was built to inter the ashes of King Samsenthai (1373-1416) so it is one of the oldest sites in town and quite a large complex.

Wat Mano houses one of Laos’ oldest Buddha images. The statue, originally six-metres high and weighing 12 tons, was cast in the Siamese Sukhothai style during King Samsenthai’s reign. Way Mano was reconstructed in 1818, then destroyed in 1887 by Chinese marauders the Black Flag Army—the same people responsible for the destruction of Wat Visounnarath and Wat That Makmo nearby.

The statue also suffered damage in the conflict between France and Thailand; the French are blamed for stealing its arms. In 1971, the wat was rebuilt and the armless statue repaired with cement and gold leaf. Today, Wat Mano boasts a large sim (congregational hall) and one of the town’s larger schools in the temple system.

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