Known as the Buddhist country in the East with grand architectures of temples and pagodas, Laos would be an ideal destination for discovering the mysterious beauty of sacred temples, especially Wat Si Muang Temple during your stays on the way of Vientiane travel.
Legend of the temple Wat Si Muang
Wat Si Muang or Si Muang Temple was constructed in 1566 in the place where the central pillar of the city was to be placed. This is the most sacred temple in Vientiane, the capital city of Laos, which Laotians often go for praying. In the Lao meaning, Muong means mother, and Si was the name of the young pregnant woman who volunteered to sacrifice herself to appease the angry spirits before constructing the temple.
Therefore it is revered as the Mother Temple of Vientiane. As the legend, when establishing the city of Vientiane, the King had chosen the site at Si Xac Ta Nat district to place central pillar, which used for claiming the sovereignty of the country. The King had made an appeal to his subjects who can devote their life to create the pillar for the nation. After that Si Muang, a young pregnant woman had been sacrificed herself by jumping into the deep hole that holds the central pillar of the structure in order to relieve spirits’ angry. Then, the hole was surrounded by brick (slag) into the small hill (5m high, 15m long and 11m wide). And the name of Si Muang is originated from then; she is also considered the guardian God of the city. Coming to the temple, you will see the statue of Si Muang behind the building and old bricks.
Besides, the temple owns the mysterious feature about a pair of crane bird dwelt on the fake mountain behind the building. There are many legendary stories relating to this pair of crane bird, and people believed that this bird only appears in the peaceful country.
Unique Structure of Wat Si Muang
The temple is complex building with the area of 2 ha consisting of the main shrine of worship Buddha, and the area of worship mother Si Muang. It was built firstly in 1566 but destroyed in 1828 by the invasion of Siamese. Also, the temple was built on the remains of the old temple of Khmer. Behind the main temple, there are still ruins of Khmer temple including door and stupa with Khmer feature.
Many impressive Buddha statues are placed in the temple campus such as six standing Buddha statues and one reclining, in which Shakyamuni Buddha statue is the most outstanding here.
The main temple has two rooms; the 2nd room used for worshiping, especially there is a huge stone block inside instead of Buddha statue. It is one of the two main pillars defending the Vientiane city (the other one is placed in That Luang).
The temple is decorated with sophisticate and intricate paintings and reliefs with the stories about Mother and the Buddha Legendary.
Opening hours and Admission fee:
• No entrance charge; however, you have to pay for parking your bicycle or motorcycle on the grounds of the temple.
• Opening daily from 6h00 am – 19h00 pm
How to get to Wat Si Muang Temple
Follow along the eastern direction of Thanon Setthathirath or Thanon Samsenthai towards the Friendship Bridge. You can take a walk or hire a bike for 10.000kip/day or tuk – tuk for 20.000 kip.
Location: Situated at the end of Thanon Setthathirath in the Eastern.
Maybe you care: Laos local tour operator
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