Catagorize: Historical Sites & Monuments
Contact: Ban That subdistrict Tel. 0 4251 3490-1
Wat Phra That Sri Mongkol is at Ban That subdistrict, just off the Waritchaphum – Phang Kone route, or 65 kilometers away from Sakon Nakhon downtown. The pagoda sits on a square base and has a soaring top. It was modernly designed and decorated with stucco. The base was embellished with terra cotta depicting the biography of Lord Buddha. After the renovation, the former laterite pagoda has been covered. The temple can be easily reached by car. The pagoda is regarded as a highly venerable structure of Sakon Nakhon.
The location of the pagoda was in a dense forest. The pagoda was accidentally discovered by a group of people in Waritchaphum district (formerly called Mueang Waree), namely Mr. Wieng-kae Homewong (the leader), Luang Suvarnaraj (the ancestor of the family Bunraksa), Mr. Chanta-net Homewong, Mr. Mueangkang Hatkan, Luang Kaew, Mr. Butta-rat Bunraksa nd Mr. Chanduang Kaewkamsaen. They joined hands in cutting down overgrown trees until they found a pagoda situated in the middle of the forest. Afraid of the supernatural power, they decided to stop and asked Phra Kru Lakkham (the regional president of Buddhist monks) to come over. The monk ensured that the deserted land where they cut down trees is a prosperous area for the establishment of a community. The group also performed meritorious deeds and made a sacrifice to the guardian spirits of that pagoda. After the construction of the temple completed in 1901, Phra Kru Lakkham named the pagoda “Phra That Sri Mongkol,” the temple “Wat Phra That Sri Mongkol” and the village “Ban That.”
Later, Mueang Waree was severely affected by a conflagration due to overcrowded houses in the community. Additionally, the village is situated in a flood-prone lowland. For these reasons, local people started to emigrate northwards to Ban Phang Hor, southwards to Ban Huay Bang, and eastwards to Ban That. A total number of 13 abbot were respectively in charge of Wat Phra That Sri Mongkol. Phra Kru Phorn, a Phu Thai monk born at Ban That, ranked the first abbot in 1901. The current abbot is called Phra Kru Srijettiya Nurak. There is no historic record about the period in which the pagoda was built. Phra That Sri Mongkol enshrines invaluable archeological remains, e.g. Buddha images cast from pure gold, bronze and other materials. When the former pagoda collapsed, even though these artifacts were stored in a proper place for worship, some of them got stolen by thieves and antiquities traders.
It is believed that both Phra That Sri Mongkol and Phra That Dong Khreua, which is 500 meters away, were built during the reign of King Chaiya Chettha Thirat, the ruler of Nakhon Wiang.