The Kiri Wongkaram Temple, or Wat Kiri Wongkaram as it is locally known, is a famed temple in the Thai island of Koh Samui. It is most renowned for the mummified remains of a venerated Buddhist monk, Luang Por Rerm Khun Wongkaram, that it contains.
In recent years the remains of the revered monk have been relocated to a grand new building in the premises as befitting the veneration accorded to him. A majestic edifice that always impresses the beholder, this imposing building never fails to captivate the traveller who visits the temple.
The amazing mummification is said to be the result of a fastidious diet undertaken by the monk. Remarkably, temple authorities state that the mummy’s nails and hair continue to grow. It is said that pieces of the mummified monk’s nails are used as charms which protect the wearer from evil.
The former resting place of the mummy was a building which was constructed in 1957, unmistakable with its large Thai lettering, which still seems intriguing. The major sections of the temple were constructed in 1968 and are still used, for religious ceremonies and the monks’ everyday prayers.
Another temple in Koh Samui that features a mummified monk is the Wat Khun Aram, which contains the remains of the venerable Loung Pordaeng. This mummy is also preserved in an amazing state not showing many signs of decay.
Wat Bophut is another noteworthy temple in Koh Samui, resplendent with its red-hued main buildings framed against the clear blue skies. It is entered through a gold and red gate, after which the visitor will see an expansive park with a number of wooden houses and numerous shady trees.
Wat Phra Yai’s Big Buddha is probably Koh Samui’s most renowned landmark. The imposing beauty and stunning proportions of the statue never fails to awe the many visitors, local and foreign who visit the temple each year. The golden 12 metre tall statue is particularly majestic when illuminated at night.
Meanwhile Wat Sumret is an old place of worship which houses the mysterious White Marble Buddha, considered to be many centuries old. The Secret Hall of Buddhas, a building featuring many priceless Buddha images, is also located at this temple.
The Wat Silangu is thought to contain a relic of the Buddha, and is a temple much frequented by devotees. Its beautiful golden pagoda is much admired. The temple grounds are regularly used for various performances and by travelling shows.
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