Photo. Siamese State Railways.
Wat at Nakon-Sridhmaraj.
pirate from the sea and the brigand from the land. The modern jail is in the north-east corner of the fort, facing on to the road, and inside the jail are preserved some thirty or forty old swivel and other guns of bronze, brass and iron. If these are all Nakon now possesses then the balance of many more must be in bronze and brass Buddhas making merit, unless they have been absorbed by Chinese traders as old metal. Continuing right on past the jail we come to the Governora s office and the two courts. The courtesy of the Governor on whom we pay a call will be able to supply a guide, probably English-speaking, to the wat. the shining tip of whose great prachedi (it is in gold plates, not mere gilt) we have seen as the train drew into Nakon Sritamaraj station.
In the Government offices is a collection of spears, their metal nielloed, their headsa scabbards lacquered, their brass hafts ringed with rubies, a curious print of Nakon Wat and Angkor Wat, a collection of mineral and timber specimens from the district, and specimens of silver inlaid on iron (kram neung), flint-lock guns and two curious stands for holding the matches for firing cannon at ceremonies.
Wat Phra Buddha Si Hing is close to the offices. The image is a bronze Buddha with a short stole, reputed to be 1,000 years old. This is a sitting image. The standing Buddha is six feet high and in silver, companioned by a Buddha gilt, both these modern. There is a little brass of a four-handed god and two of Ganesh.
To Wat Mahatat, the great Wat of Nakon, is two minutes by car from the offices along an excellent road. The upper part of the wata s prachedi is in plates of solid gold, for which the Governor is responsible. Round the whole place is a gallery of Buddhas, 169 of them. At the end of their gallery and to the left of the main entrance is a standing Buddha five metres high, gilt, the robe elaborate, the attitude of blessing, and this, too, is given as 1,000 years old. In the building on the right of the entrance is an ancient stela in sandstone, brought clearly from afar. The great prachedi rises from a forest of smaller prachedi, holding bones and ashes and forming a mortuary court. The base of the prachedi holds a number of Buddhas against the wall in very varying designs in stucco shrines, between each an elephanta s head. The faces are very Indian. The traveller will be shown a beam replaced by the late King Chulalonkorn, some 20 years ago, and now kept gilded.
On the north of the prachedi is what may be called the staircase shrine, most curious and interesting. At the top of its stairsa and at that point we should begina are the doors carved out of the solid teak with a four-faced god, Prom (Brahma). The walls on either side of the staircase are an inlay of mother-of-pearl and green mosaics. Much vermilion is everywhere. Two Buddhas are seated at the top of the steps, and on the same level are a four-headed god and a footprint of Buddhaa s. Flanking the staircase are three most delicately monstrous monsters of the Chinese lion type. Two garudas in green and gold and white mosaics end the wall along the steps. On either side at the base stand two giant watchmen, fiercely tusked, and lions, freely toothed, are around. The ceiling is curious, in vermilion,