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Thailand boasts an array of attractive Buddhist temples, many of them featuring distinctive and intriguing architecture, design elements, decorations and religious objects. One of these engrossing shrines is Wat Panancherng, which is located on the banks of the river in the attractive town of Ayutthaya. Anantara Cruises offers an array of Bangkok cruises which will bring you close to this magnificent shrine. The name of the temple is derived from the phrase ‘to develop the power of Samadhi’ (meditational concentration power).
Wat Panancherng is greatly revered by the Buddhist faithful in Thailand, who consider it to be worthy of profound veneration. Perhaps its most striking and revered feature is the handsome Buddha statue it contains. This immense Buddha in the sitting position, thought to have been a gift from a Chinese Emperor is considered to be the most ancient Buddha statue in the country. It is also counted amongst the most splendid and venerated images in the nation.
The initial temple at this site was constructed as far back as 1324 and was identified with one of the early kingdoms of Siam. Many interesting legends and folk tales are recounted about the shrine. It is said that the temple’s splendid statue was venerated by seafarers, who in times gone by would visit this place of worship and obtain the blessings of the Buddha before embarking on their journeys.
Over the years the resplendent Buddha figure has been damaged and restored many times. The statue suffered significant damage at the time of the Burmese invasions of the country. In fact according to legend, when the monastery was besieged by Burmese armies the statue actually wept, shedding tears of grief.
Another story goes that a Chinese princess was so saddened that her husband-to-be, a King of Siam, failed to greet and welcome her upon her arrival that she took her own life. The grieving king was moved to construct a handsome temple near the cremation pyre of the princess from China. Over the course of centuries the temple has been visited by generations of devout Buddhist pilgrims, making it one of the foremost religious sites in Thailand.
Jayani Senanayake is a writer who dabbles in travel and all things exotic. Under the pseudonym of Caliope Sage, she writes of the allures that must simply be discovered.Google+