Tuesday, March 11, 2008

City pillar shrine of Saraburi

The last station of our family trip last year was Saraburi, where we stopped for lunch in a restaurant. As my brother in law lives and works in Saraburi I asked him whether he can get me to the city pillar as well, but he had to admit that he don't know the location. I hadn't seen it marked on any map either, just remembered that the province hall was not far from the train station. So when we drove through the city center around the area where I had the province hall in my mental map, I noticed something which look like the city pillar shrine, so after lunch I asked to stop there quickly. And I spotted correctly, it was the city pillar shrine, right next to the province hall, so I could take photos of both.

It's just sad I did not have a good city map with me then, because both the district office of the Mueang district as well as the municipal office of the town are located very close to the province hall. But with the family waiting in car for their crazy farang to take photos of boring places, I did not walked around more than necessary, so I missed these two buildings. For the next time I have now made a small Google map with the location of all four places. Just sad the still there are now hires satellite data for this area.

View Larger Map

The city pillar shrine was apparently built quite recently, according to the only English resource I found on the web so far it was built in 1977, and renovated and altered in 2001. The reason why the province did not have an older city pillar might be because it was just moved to its present location in 1896. Originally the province center was in modern-day Sao Hai district, and was moved when the railway was built to a place with railway station. Sao Hai itself has a special pillar by itself. The name Sao Hai (เสาไห้) means "crying pillar", which according to the local legend is a pillar from the province which was selected to become the city pillar of Bangkok. It was a nearly perfect pillar, but it arrived too late and the official pillar was already chose, and it only became a secondary pillar. This made the pillar sad, it returned home and sunk in the Pa Sak river. The local people heard the crying and built a shrine for it, the Chao Mae Takhian Tong Shrine which is now in the temple Wat Sung, close to the district office of Sao Hai. That shrine is definitely on my list of places I need to visit.

No comments: