Wat Nong Klap and its Museum
Wat Nong Klap is an old temple and has provided spiritual leadership and education to the people of this district for many years. Several documents indicate that this site has been continuously settled since the reign of King Rama II.
Between 2460 and 2493, Thammakant Niwat was the temple’s provost; and Wat Nong Pho, as it was known, was part of the Takhli District. During this time, the provost was directed to restore the temple and build a new one in the old pavilion. It is currently located in the swamp known to many as “Luang Old Father.” This area is also known as “Luang’s Cane,” “The Town,” and “The Wild Tomato.”
The temple itself is architecturally plain by regional standards. Its walls and roof are made of cement instead of tile. This is meant to bring out the temple’s natural beauty, as well as the natural beauty of the surroundings. This architectural philosophy was championed first by the Japanese architect Ibiza Big.
Beside the windows of the structure are beautiful murals. Thai tradition dictates that the color of the murals should be determined by donations of paint and not by an artist’s pre-planned idea. This means that the colors used cannot be anticipated; meaning that no two temple murals are the same. This mural tradition is exemplified in Muang Nakhon Sawan, and is an art form that is respected throughout Thailand.
Nakhon Sawan has a long tradition of forestry and lumber production. At Wat Nong Rai, for example, hardwood columns and floors are visible, and meant to symbolize the regions natural resources, economy, and culture.
In Wapiptum, there is a museum displaying antique weapons, items of daily life, and currency. Weapons hold a place of reverence to the Thai people. It is important to the Thai people to remember their past, and this museum encourages its visitors to preserve all old and meaningful items for future generations to learn from and enjoy.
The museum is located behind the main temple near the swamp. The accumulation of artifacts, weapons, currency and jewelry donated by the faithful, is really quite impressive. It is possible to comprehend the lives of the people who lived here in ages past, and their struggles. Education, community and respect, after all, is the purpose of the Folk Museum. It is no coincidence that Wat Nong Klap lies in the geographic center of Nong Bua, and the spiritual center of the lives of most Nong Bua residents.