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Bangkok Travelbug September13 Naja Shrine, Angsila
August 30, 2013
Hello




Naja Shrine, Angsila, Chonburi

Hello, welcome back. This month we return to Angsila, Chonburi to visit the Naja Shrine, a spectacular Chinese temple, with numerous dragons coiled round pillars and several Chinese deities within the main building.


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History of Naja Shrine, Angsila

Construction of the Naja Shrine started in March 1991 on 800 sq m of land by Abbot Somchai Chersiri. It was originally a small shrine but attracted many Chinese worshippers from the area to worship the Naja deity.

The people who came to pray here found happiness, peace of mind, success in their businesses and trade. Soon the word spread and the small shrine could no longer cope with the crowds of worshippers.

In 1995, Abbot Somchai Phuttanob had plans to build a bigger shrine to commemorate the 72nd birthday of HM the King. Construction of the new shrine started on Sunday 16 July 1995, the 5th night of the waning moon in the 8th lunar month at about 1300 hours in the Year of the Pig.

However the temple only had about 3 million baht which was insufficient for the project. Through donations by the pre-dominantly Chinese business people, traders and other members of the community sufficient money was raised.

On 11 January 1998 Supreme Patriarch presided over the Buddha image casting ceremony for 7 Buddha images which were subsequently installed.

The Naja Shrine was completed on Friday 7 April 2000 on the 4th night of the rising moon in the 5th lunar month in the Year of the Snake . The entire project cost 300 million baht and the shrine occupies 5 rai (8,000 sq m or 2 acres) of land with a surrounding area of 9 rai (14,400 sq m or 3.6 acres).

Let’s take a tour of this beautiful Chinese temple in Angsila and see for ourselves.

Note

Based on the name in Thai, this place is more appropriately called Naja Shrine rather than Wat Naja.

Officially the shrine is called Viharn Thep Sathit Phra Kiti Chaloem ("a place where gods reside and celebrate"). This is the name shown on maps.

My thanks to Rungroj Nopnarathip for his advice on the translation of the official name of the Naja Shrine.


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Tour of Naja Shrine, Angsila

You can’t miss the Naja Shrine as you travel down the coastal road after passing Angsila town. The distinctly Chinese multi-tiered arch with dragons on the roofs and a tall pole with dragons coiled around can be seen from a distance.


The arch over the entrance

The view inside is simply breath-taking, stroll around to view the pavilions with multi-tier roofs, a golden urn and a lotus pond.


In the grounds of the shrine





The centrepiece of the Naja Shrine is the main building with its multi-tiered roofs and numerous pillars with dragons both on the balcony and inside the building.


The impressive Naja Shrine

A golden statue greets visitors on the way up the stairs to the main entrance to the shrine, followed by a fierce looking dragon, one of many in this shrine.




Please note that no photos are allowed inside the shrine. There are ample opportunities for photo-taking outdoors.

There seem to be dragons everywhere, on every roof and pillar, along the corridors.




There are numerous gods, goddess and deities in all the rooms on all the three stories in the main building most of whom I am unable to identify. I can go as far as Kuan Yu the God War and Kuan Yin the Goddess of Mercy.

Perhaps the large number of deities inspired the official name of the shrine, "a place where Gods reside and celebrate".

A drum pavilion and a bell pavilion flank the main building. This is where worshippers say a prayer before they hit the drum or ring the bell.




The elaborate wall sculptures outside the drum and bell pavilions are beautiful.




Here’s a close up of some of these fiery dragons along the corridor.


Note the other pillars down the corridor. Every corridor’s like this

Don’t forget to take a shot of the grounds from the top of the main building.


View from the top

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Other attractions in Angsila and nearby

Besides the Naja Shrine visit the old Angsila market famous for their mortars and pestles as well as good food and other delicacies.

Angsila the stone basin of Chonburi

Drive another 6 km down the coastal road and visit Bang Saen, a beach resort popular with the Thais. What is often forgotten, it’s also the birthplace of ASEAN and the origin of a legendary tragic love story.

Bang Saen – the lovers’ tragedy

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Map of Naja Shrine, Angsila


View Naja Shrine - Angsila in a larger map


How to get to there

By mini-bus

Take a mini-van from the Victory Monument in Bangkok. The mini-van station is near the Century Movie Plaza. Get off at the Sukhumvit/Angsila junction. There ia a Big C Home Pro Mall just before the junction. Fare is 100 baht.

At the Angsila junction take a blue song taeow to the Naja Shrine. Fare is 17 baht. Or you can take a motor-cycle taxi to the Naja Shrine. Negotiate on the price first.

On the way back, take a motor-cycle taxi all the way to the Eastern Hotel in Chonburi City. The song taeow don’t go all the way into the city centre. At Eastern Hotel, there are mini-vans going to Victory Monument.

If you want to take a mini-van from the Sukhumvit/Angsila junction, you’ll have to call them and arrange for them to pick you up along the way.

By tour bus

There are also tour buses from Eastern Hotel going to Ekamai the eastern bus station and Mor Chit the northern bus station in Bangkok. Fare is 76 baht.

Where to stay

Angsila is a comfortable day trip from Bangkok so you don’t really need to stay overnight. However if you prefer to spent a night, there are two beach resorts along the Angsila/Bang Saen coastal road. They are just down the road from the Naja Shrine.

Bai Bua Beach Resort

Tamarina Resort

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Next month

Prasart Hin Phanom Wan, Korat


Travel Business


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Eric Lim

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