Contact: Mueang Municipality, Amphoe Mueang, Utha Thani
Wat Uposatharam, previously known as Wat Bot Manorom or Wat Bot, is an old temple located on the bank of Sakae Krang River, on Ko Thepho, in the Mueang Municipality area. From the municipal fresh food market, there is a bridge crossing to the temple which is on the east side of the Sakae Krang River. Interesting sights of Wat Uposatharam are the murals in the ordination hall and temple hall, elaborately crafted in the early Rattanakosin Era. They depict the legend and biography of Lord Buddha from his birth until his death. Paintings in the temple hall depict the story of Lord Buddha’s lectures to deities and his decision to reach nirvana. On the upper part of the wall, there are the paintings of a gathering of monks alternating with their fans of rank, facing the principal Buddha image in the hall to pay respect. Outside the hall, there are paintings in the event of Lord Buddha’s funeral and of the Buddhist’s lives believed to be painted craftsmen of a later time.
Other interesting sights inside Wat Uposatharam include Sema, a leaf-like boundary sign made of red stone, situated in front of the ordination hall; a cabinet to keep Buddhist scriptures; and a storage closet painted with the floral Kanok vine pattern. In addition, there is a Bat, a monk alms-bowl, with the lid decorated with mother-of-pearl inlay which was given by King Rama V and made by Chang Sip Mu (the Ten Departments of Craftsmen), as well as a Hong (Swan) on top of the column. There are also many attractive forms of architecture to see such as the Octagonal Mondop which is a combination of the Western and Thai styles with decorations made of stucco, looking like climbing plants on the window frames; a high-relief cement Buddha image which is situated outside the building; a hexagonal Chedi; a Chedi with twelve angles of the Rattanakosin period; the Uthai Phutthasapha Conference Hall which is a pavilion in a typical Thai style with a gable of stucco relief decoration, used as a praying hall; and Phae Bot Nam, a floating ordination hall in front of the temple which was built to welcome King Rama V when he visited the North Circle in 1906. It was formerly a twin raft-house with Cho Fa (a gable apex) and Bai Raka (a leaf-shaped roof-edging) like other ordination halls. On the gable, there is a circle with Pali scripts reading “Su Agata Te Maha Raja” which means Maha Raja (great king) comes well. Later, in 1976, it was repaired to be one 2-storeyed building, including a raised platform, with a hip roof. The circle was moved to place in the middle of the gable. This Phae Bot Nam is used in religious rites such as weddings, ordinations, funerals, and various merit-making occasions. Those who are interested in visiting Wat Uposatharam to pay respect and make merit along with enjoying Thai fine arts of each eras can visit the temple daily from 8.00 am-4.30 pm. To get here, by car, many routes can be taken such as Phaholyothin route or Highway No. 32 route. Alternatively, public buses, from Bangkok to Uthai Thani, are available every day at Mo Chit Bus Terminal. The cheapest way is to take train and drop off at Nakhon Sawan. Then, get in a public bus to reach Uthai Thani.