Wat Nantaram

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Wat Nantaram is a Tai Yai (Shan-style) community temple in central Chiang Kham and exhibits the classic Tai Yai roof architecture, somewhat extraordinary and incongruous in the heart of the Lanna Kingdom! Whilst there is no record of exactly when this temple was founded, there are records of the names and length of tenure of consecutive abbots dating back to 1908.The temple was previously called “Wat Chong Kha” because the roof was covered with Ya Kha or lalang grass. The Tai Yai Buddhsts completed the temple construction under the leadership of Pho Thao Ubon, and it was generally known as Wat Chong Nuea (North Temple) as its located in the north of the town.

Main Architecture and Objects d’Art

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  • the Viharn (sermon hall) of teak wood, exquisitely crafted in traditional Tai Yai style, and constructed in 1925
  • the principle Buddha image crafted from teak wood, in the Subduing Mara posture, brought to the temple from the deserted Wat Chong Ma Tha in Ban Don Keao. This was carved from a huge golden teak log, coated with black lacquer, and gilded.
  • a polygonal Tai Yai chedi, built in 1955. This appears to now be contained within a new chedi, construction underway in 2010.
  • an Ubosot in Thai Yai style, built in 1972
  • Phra Chao Chiang Saen – a Chiang Saen-period bronze Buddhe statue seating in the Subduing Mara posture.
  • Pollen Buddha image, from pollen of various flowers from Tongki, Myanmar
  • a Myanmar-style white marble Buddha image

The name “Wat Nantaram” is derived from Pho Thao Nanta, and ancestor of the Wonganan family. A wealthy and devout man who supported the temple’s restoration and construction, he was accorded the name Pho Chong Taka Nanta (Pho Chong means temple founder, and taka is a man who perfroms good deeds). In commemoration of Pho Thao Nanta, the name of the temple was changed from Wat Chong Kha to Wat Nantaram in order to honour him, and the  Wonganan family.

Source* an English language brochure written by Dr N. Wonganan, Bua Thong Resort, Chiang Kham

Location: near the Chiang Kham town market, central part of the town, 100 metres east of the main street

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