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Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Bicycle Ride to Bueng Phutsa

One of my favorite rides is out to Ban Phutsa, a village about 11 kilometers (7 miles) north of where I live. Near the village is Bueng Phutsa a large wetland which is periodically cleared by the government to create reservoirs. Based on not much evidence, I suspect that the reservoir was originally built by the Khmer over 1000 years ago.

One section of the marsh used to create a reservoir.

Interesting new ubosot (ordination hall) at Wat Pa Ban Sat

The acoustics inside are amazing

Bell and drum tower at Wat Pa Ban Sat

Lotus pond at Wat Pa Ban Sat

My kind of road at Ban Sat village

Road to Bueng Phutsa

Bridge over irrigation canal

Panorama of Bueng Phutsa

Ancient Khmer prang (tower) at Wat Prang Torng

There were probably three towers when first built by the Khmer in the 10th century. This one is in poor condition and was poorly restored about 100 years ago. Except for the entrance and stone lintel, the original tower probably looked nothing like this.

There are at least two other Khmer sites within a kilometer of Wat Prang Torn. One is Wat Bon, which is now just a pile of old bricks and stones. No attempt has been made to restore it. The other is Wat Fang which is just a few stones scattered about a modern day school. Photos of Wat Bon here: Wat Bon

There is no sandstone locally, so all of this was quarried and brought in from at least 60K away. I think these large building blocks were once part of a structure much larger than the existing tower.

This stone lintel was probably part of another tower. Like the existing tower, the lintel depicts the Hindu god Indra riding his three headed elephant, Erawan.

Another lintel that may have been part of a tower. This one probably depicts Vishnu with two Naga (serpents)

No idea. The stone on the lower left looks like a Khmer-style cap for a tower. The stone a wood tablets are probably Buddhist.

This is the altar in the ubosot at Wat Prang Torn.

This beautiful Khmer stone carving is built into the altar, close to the floor in the back. It is difficult to see and photograph because there is little pace and not much light.

Close up of the right side of the carving.

Close up of the left side of the carving. The figure on the right (third from the left) may depict Ishana, an aspect of Shiva who is sometimes depicted as riding a bull. 

Taken from the back of the altar. Many wonderful Buddha images.

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