Wat Tha Chang
is an important and very interesting temple located in Noen Makok Sub District, 2 kilometres from the district centre. The temple houses an ancient and respectable image of Buddha carved by sandstone. The temple is easy to notice as there are two elephant statues in front of the entrance. WatTha Chang was likely built in 1872, during the early period of King Rama V’s reign. The temple was formerly called “WatThepKunchonTidthaVararam”. As told by elders, there was a huntsman named “Dharmaya” living in Muang Bhumi, which is currently Nong Tao Village in Bang Moon Nak District, Phichit Province. Allegedly, he was a friend of the king, so he reported him when he found a good white elephant with short, upright ivories and sweet-smelling dropping. The king then send an officer to accompany the huntsman to capture the elephant, which was later named “PhorPlaiNimit”. The great animal was brought to the bank of River Nan, where WatTha Chang is currently located. There, people built a raft to carry the elephant to Krung Sri Ayutthaya. The place was therefore called “Tha Chang (Elephant Pier)”and the temple was named “WatTha Chang”. Later, Mae Pang Kwan Jai, PhorPlaiNimit’s mate, went places in search for the missing partner, but found only his footprintsthat repeat themselves because PhorPlaiNimit did not want her and their child to find him. Mae Pang Kwan Jai followed the traces toWatTha Chang on the bank of River Nan. Not seeing her partner, she grieved and died of sorrow on that riverbank. PhorPlaiNoi, who was their child, did not find his parents, so he went after his mother and arrived at the riverbank. When he found none of them, he similarly died of sadness at the same spot. At present, the statues of PhorPlaiNimit, Mae Pang Kwan Jai and PhorPlaiNoi can be seen in front of the ubosot. Even though they are elephant statues, the family members are believed to possess incredible miracles. On certain days, people will see the three elephants walking in the middle of Bang Moon Nak-Chum Sang Road. Also, if anyone pray to the statues but fail to fulfill the promise once his or her wish is granted, PhorPlaiNimit, Mae Pang Kwan Jai and PhorPlaiNoi will come, or even travel overseas, to ask for their reward. This story is often told up until now, and people still offer bananas or sugarcane to the three elephants on a regular basis. WatTha Chang has become an important temple to the lives of Phichit People thanks to the legend of PhorPlaiNimit. Tourists are welcome to visit this legendary attraction and enjoy beautiful sights around the temple area.