Wat Visoun, That Makmo and the Calling for Rain Style Buddha Images

I visited Wat Visoun, a very old temple in Luang Prabang  that houses many Budda images.  This temple has restoration works done numerous times and there are many art design of Thailu, Sip song Phanna, Thaiphuan, Muong Xieng Khouang and Lao Lanexang.

Wat Visoun
Wat Visoun is also know for its impressive That Makmo, or watermelon stupa because it shapes like a half of a watermelon. I’ve noticed that That Makmo doesn’t look anything like your typical Lao stupa, but more of a Srilankalese than Lao.

That Makmo

The stupa was originally constructed around the turn of the sixteenth century. Its interior was originally filled with hundreds of small Buddha images fashioned in precious metals and crystal. When the Chinese Haw sacked the city’s temples near the end of the nineteenth century, the smashed open the stupa and stole most of the images. What remained is now on display in the Royal Palace Museum (source).

Inside the large sim is a Buddha alter that seated a large Buddha image surrounded by many standing, and sitting Buddha images.

Wat Visoun

Standing against the outer wall of the sim behind the alter are many standing Buddha images in a posing position commonly referred to as the calling for rain style.

Buddha images

Buddha images

Buddha images

Buddha images

Buddha images

Buddha images

6 comments

  1. Sorry if you already mentioned it. How big is Luang Prabang and do you just walk everywhere or have to get a ride.

    It is very sad that many of Laos/Lanxang history were looted or burned.

  2. Dallas, the old part of Luang Prabang, which is the tourist area known as UNESCO World Heritage Site is not that big, and within walking distance, we only had to take the Tuk Tuk to one of the Wat on top of a mountain which is a bit further out from where we stayed(I will post later).

    I didn’t get to visit the Kuang Si Falls, which is 29 km south of Luang Prabang, it’s a large multi-stage waterfall that I heard it’s beautiful, accessible by boat or car. I also didn’t get to visit Pak Ou Caves (Buddha caves), my dad and relative were afraid to travel by boat, I think they didn’t want anything to happen to us. If you don’t want to walk, there’s always a Tuk Tuk around, our car parked the whole time we were there.

  3. lady0fdarkness, it is very mysterious. That Makmo is very large, I spoke to the lady that works there, and she said that they built the sim first, and where That Makmo is now was once a small pond, and when people came to visit the temple, they’d get sick, so they decided to have it filled and asked people of Luang Prabang to bring Buddha images, and jewelries to be put inside That Makmo, and erected That Makmo on top of the filled pond. I was hoping to read this on the internet as part of the history, but couldn’t find any, and thought it was an interesting story, so this was built over 400 years ago.

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