Wat Aham - home to the guardian spirits of Luang Prabang
Wat Aham: The Monastery of the Blossoming Heart
The serene and verdant Monastery of the Blossoming Heart stands next to Wat Visoun, slightly south of the center of Luang Prabang. This beautiful temple is not only important for its architectural, historical, and artistic significance. It is also said to be the home to Pu No and Na No, the guardian spirits of the city of Luang Prabang.
|old stone chedis and the central sim at Wat Aham, Luang Prabang|
Two Chedis and Two Bodhi Trees - the homes of the guardian spirits
In the 19th century, the king, a devout Buddhist, ordered a Buddhist temple to be constructed on the site of the shrines to Pu No and Na No, and named it Wat Aham.
Local belief tells that the two spirits took up refuge in either the twin stone chedis or the two sacred bodhi trees that stand within the temple grounds, whence they continue to protect the city. The spirits are still revered and worshiped alongside the Buddha at Wat Aham.
You can still see celebrations dedicated to Pu No and Na No during Pimai, the Lao New Year, which takes place in April every year.
|Buddhist shrine and temple murals inside Wat Aham, Luang Prabang|
Buddhist murals at Wat Aham, Luang PrabangThe inside of the temple is covered in incredible murals depicting both stories from the life of the Buddha and scenes from some of the landmarks in Luang Prabang such as Mount Phou Si and Wat Visoun.
|temple murals depicting scenes from the life of the Buddha and landmarks in Luang Prabang, Laos|
During Pimai, the Lao New Year, celebrations honoring the guardian spirits are held at Wat Aham. The red masks representing the spirits are stored at the temple during the year, and used during the Pimai celebration every April.
|Wat Aham, Buddhist temple in Luang Prabang, Laos|
Wat Aham Opening Hours
- Wat Aham, like most other temples in Luang Prabang, is open to visitors every day from 8:00 until 17:00.
Admission to Wat Aham (ticket price)
- Visitors are (sometimes) asked to pay a small 5.000 kip donation to enter the sim, or prayer hall, of Wat Aham.
Location and map of Wat Aham, Luang Prabang
- Wat Aham is located along