Contact: Amphoe Mueang, Nakhon Ratchasima Tel. -
Wat Sala Loi is an ancient temple believed to be fouded by Thao Suranari after victory over Chao Anuwong’s army in 1827. The temple’s highlight is the new ubosot. It received the best avant-garde religious building award from the Association of Siamese Architects and another prize from the Sathirakoses-Nagapradeepa Foundation. Locally manufactured Dan Kwian clay tiles are used to decorate the building. On the front wall, they are made into the picture of the Buddha tempted by demons whereas on the back wall, the picture of the Buddha’s descent from the Trayastrimsha Heaven can be seen. The building has metal doors with the illustration of the Vessantara Jataka. Hosted in the building is a white Buddha image standing under the gate of Sankassa in the pacifying the ocean pose is hosted. The statue is known as “Phra Buddha Praphat Sunthon Dhamma Phisan Sala Loi Phiman Worasantisuk Munin”. The building is surrounded by a wall built in the shape of Bai Sema, which was once the symbol of the ancient city of Sema. In front of the building is a lake, at the centre of which is the statue of Thao Suranari in the Wai position. Also, situated near the ubosot is a stupa which used to contain Thao Suranari’s relics. The statue and the stupa were both erected after Thao Suranari’s death so as to commemorate her deeds.
History of the temple
Wat Sala Loi has been a place of worship for locals for over 200 years. The legend has it that after Thao Suranari’s victory at the Battle of Thung Samrit, she and the army returned to Nakhon Ratchasima City. On their way, they stopped to rest in Tha Tako. She had soldiers make a raft in the shape of a small pavilion and float it down the Lam Takong River. Then she made a promise to build a temple on the bank near where the raft stopped. The raft finally stopped on the right side of the river. Near where it stopped there happened to be an abandoned temple. Thao Suranari decided to renovate it and build an ubosot.