WAT PHO HOM





Wat Pho Hom, or the Monastery of the Fragrant Bodhi Tree, is an active monastery situated north of Ayutthaya in the Pho Sam Ton fields of Pho Sam Ton Sub-district of Bang Pahan in Ayutthaya Province.


The still active monastery is located between Wat Muang and Wat Kamphaeng on the west bank of Khlong Ban Muang, a stretch of the old Lopburi River.


Wat Pho Hom was established around 1819 CE on the premises of a former temple of the Ayutthaya era. The monastery received its boundary stones three years later (1822 CE).


The temple was named after an old large Bodhi tree in its location. When the tree started to bud, it shed a fragrant smell, hence the monastery's name. [1]


The Bodhi tree or Ton Pho (Ficus Religiosa) is the sacred fig tree under which the Lord Buddha was sitting when he received his enlightenment. The tree is found in most of the temple premises but is not grown in the compound of houses. The Bo tree in the temple is usually a tall, shady tree around which people sometimes wrap a yellow robe in the same manner as they dress a Buddha image with a yellow cloth.


Some people place bamboo poles, trimmed and whitewashed, as supports to the holy tree. In the old days, cowry shells, used as token money, were inserted inside the bamboo poles. Poor people would bury the bones and ashes of their dear ones near the root of the Bo tree so that they may be near the holy symbol of the Lord Buddha. [2]


The monastery is in geographical coordinates: 14° 25' 11.84" N, 100° 32' 44.50" E.


References:


[1] http://www.watkhok.com - retrieved 21 December 2012.

[2] Some Siamese Superstitions about trees and plants - Phya Anuman Rajadhon - JSS Vol 49.1 - 1961. p. 60.





(View of the ordination hall of Wat Pho Hom - October 2008 CE)