LP To – Pra Kru Wat Bang Krathing

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LP To Kru Wat Bang Krathing

Bang Krathing and Its Historical Significance

Wat Bang Krathing is an ancient temple dating back to the Ayutthaya period, specifically during the reign of King Narai the Great. It was originally constructed under the leadership of Phraya Si Ratcha Decho Chai (Thip), a notable nobleman who, according to legend, escaped capture by the Burmese using mystical powers. However, the temple’s completion was left unfinished until it was further developed and completed during the reign of King Theppharacha by the Phlu Luang royal family, who named it Wat Mai Bang Krathing.

The original location of the temple was about 40 meters north of its current site, on land adjacent to Phraya Si Ratcha Decho Chai’s residence. Notably, two ancient Sterculia trees still stand on the grounds today.

The Sacred “Phra Luang Pho To” Amulet

The “Phra Luang Pho To” amulet from Wat Bang Krathing is a highly revered object, particularly among ancient warriors who believed in its protective powers. This amulet, made from Ayutthaya clay, is known for its distinctive characteristics and age, over 400 years old, reflecting the artistry of Ayutthaya craftsmen.

The discovery of the “Phra Luang Pho To” amulets is not thoroughly documented, but a significant excavation occurred in BE 2481 during the renovation of the old temple hall. Workers found these amulets beneath the principal Buddha statue. Some were distributed to the local community as a token of appreciation for their contributions to building the new hall, while the rest were reinterred beneath the new statue.

The Rediscovery and Preservation of the Amulets

During the excavation, original molds of the “Phra Luang Pho To” amulets were also found. Unfortunately, some amulets and molds were later stolen. To prevent further thefts, the temple conducted another official excavation, uncovering additional amulets. However, these were later determined by the Fine Arts Department to be of a later period, from the Rattanakosin era, due to differences in materials and age compared to the earlier finds.

Characteristics of “Phra Luang Pho To Amulets

These amulets typically feature a triangular shape with the Buddha seated in meditation (Samadhi) or in the victory over Mara (Maravijaya) posture on a lotus base. The detailed craftsmanship includes prominent facial features and clearly defined robes, with the back often showing distinctive marks known as “betel nut sheath marks.”

“Phra Luang Pho To” amulets are historically significant and highly regarded for their reputed invincibility and protection, believed to render the wearer immune to weapons. Modern collectors also affirm the amulets’ efficacy in attracting favor and goodwill.

The “Phra Luang Pho To” amulet from Wat Bang Krathing remains a treasured piece of Ayutthaya heritage, cherished for its spiritual potency and historical value. Both ancient warriors and contemporary enthusiasts continue to seek these amulets for their renowned protective and benevolent properties.

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