Wat Traphang Ngoen’s most prominent feature is a lotus-shaped chedi that’s arguably more interesting than the one found at Wat Mahathat.
Just below the upper lotus-bud finial, a tier with perpendicular rivets features four standing Buddha images placed in niches that have provided shelter over the centuries. The fully intact statues display fine details in the meditative faces, headdresses and hands striking different mudras.
Set between the chedi and a wide pond, the remains of a small wihaan features a large seated Buddha that looks very similar to the one found at nearby Wat Sa Si. Centuries of sunbathing have left it infused with a web of cracks but the details remain.
Situated off to the side, don’t miss the stunning walking Buddha image placed in front of a redbrick wall that serves as a frame. Depicted with the right hand held up in the gesture of discussion or debate, it’s a prime example of Sukhothai-style art and arguably the most graceful Buddha image found in the historical park. The mudra may suggest that Wat Traphang Ngoen was used as a venue for scholarly discussions about Buddhist texts and principles.
Traphang Ngoen means “Silver Lake,” a reference to the large pond with an island reachable by a footbridge in front of the temple. Be careful not to mix this one up with Wat Traphang Thong.
How to get there
Wat Traphang Ngoen is located on the west side of the historical park’s central zone, around 300 metres west of Wat Mahathat. From here it's a short walk northeast to Wat Sa Si, with a small cafe located along the way.
By David Luekens
Last updated on 16th June, 2016.