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Long Phor Uttama-Wat Wangwiwae Garam (Kanchanaburi)
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Long Phor Uttama or “Praracha-udommongkol” or “Maha Uttamarumpobhikhu”

was a famous senior monk of Kanchanaburi province and also respected as a leader of the Mon tribal citizens in Sungklaburi district.

Long Phor Uttama was born on Sunday 6th of the 4th month of the Thai  lunar calendar in the year B.E.2453 He was born in Mokkaniang village, Kelasa sub-district, Yae district, Malamang province of Burma. He was one of 12 children of Mr.Ngo and Mrs. Tongsuk and as he was born on the Sunday  he was named Aemong according to Burmese custom and language.


In B.E.2462, when he was 9, there was an epidemic in his village which forced his parents to send  him to live at Wat Mokkaniang where he was educated by his uncle, a senior monk named Long Phor Nunsaro.


In B.E.2467 when he was 14, there was yet again another epidemic and on this occasion 5 of his younger brothers died from the disease. As a result Long Phor Uttama returned home to help his parents working on the farm. He remained there until the age of 18 when he was ordained as a novice monk according to the suggestion of the abbot of Wat Kelasa.


He was ordained by LP Ketumala at Wat Kelasa, Kelasa sub-district, Yae district, Malamang province of Burma in B.E.2472. He studied the Pali language and Lord Buddha’s regulations until such time that he was able to pass the examination for the 3rd class of Dharma and the 2nd class of Dharma during the following year. At that time he decided to leave the temple and returned home, again to assist his elderly parents.


Years later a relative named Mong-ae came to live with Long Phor Uttama’s parents at which time he again returned to  Wat Kelasa  where he was ordained for the second time by three senior monks named  Long Phor Ketumala of Wat Kelasa, Long Phor Nunsaro of Wat Mokkaniang and Long Phor Visarata of Wat Chaokalae. The ordination ceremony was held on April 23, B.E.2476 and  he was also renamed as “Uttamarumpo” which means a person with great will for success, because he had decided to become a monk for life.


In B.E.2474 he passed the examination for the 1st class of Dharma at Wat Prasattong, Yae district, Malamang province of Burma and in B.E.2484 he passed the the highest class for monks, the  Parian Dharma 8 Prayoke examination, at Wat Sukkari, Saterm district, Saterm province of Burma. In that year WWII began so he returned to Wat Kelasa to help teach Pali language to novice monks.


A year later he had moved to Wat Tongjoi, Malamang province and Wat Palelai, Mundaley province of Burma where he learnt meditation and black magic sciences until B.E.2486  when he decided to become a Pratudong or traveller monk to gain more experience of life.


He had travelled to many places in Burma also entering Chiang Mai province of Thailand, which was his first time that he had entered into the Kingdom of Thailand. He was informed that Long Phor Ketumala was ill and   urgently returned to Burma to be with Long Phor Ketumala until he passed away. After that he was to  enter Thailand again, but this time through Kanchanaburi province in B.E. 2492.


It was recorded that in B.E.2492 there’re a big flood in Mokkaniang province and hundreds of people were killed, apart from that there was also serious warfare between the Burmese army and rebellious soldiers. It was at this time that Long Phor Uttama became saddened and decided to enter Thailand.


At the time he aimed to go to Khao Pra Vihara, an ancient Khmer temple located on the border of Thailand and Cambodia and it was said that when he was departing, the local Burmese  tried to stop him but could not prevent Long Phor Uttama who had told them that his travelling would be useful for the good of man.


It is generally thought that during B.E.2492 and B.E.2493 Long Phor Uttama had entered Thailand with the help of two Thai-Mon men who worked in a mine in Kanchanaburi province. The men also built a house for Long Phor Uttama whilst many people would bring donations of food  because at the time there were no other monks in the vicinity.


At first the two men asked Long Phor Uttama to reside at the house permanently, but Long Phor Uttama had refused for fear of being accused of being an illegal monk, therefore they led Long Phor Uttama to Wat Takanoon of Kanchanaburi province where he met Long Phor Tainam who was also ordained at Wat Kelasa in Burma.


In B.E.2494, Long Phor Uttama had visited Nakorn Pathom province where he had met many Thai-Mon people from various provinces in Thailand and he was invited to stay at Wat Bangpla of Samut Sakorn province.


After Long Phor Uttama had stayed at the temple for awhile he had returned to Wat Takanoon and LP Tainam told Long Phor Uttama to live at Wat Prang-gali which was deserted temple. Long Phor Uttama decided to go there and help the Karen people.


Long Phor Uttama had begun by building a big Chedi and monk’s houses and invited three Karen monks to stay at the temple, he also taught the monks Mon language and Dharma.


Months later the village leader from Takanoon had invited Long Phor Uttama to stay at Wat Koe where he had met Long Phor Sang who used to stay at many temples in Burma such as Wat Malamang, Wat Mokkaniang.


Anyway in B.E.2494 Long Phor Uttama was informed that lots of Mon people who moved from Burma into Kanchanaburi province of Thailand wanted his helps therefore he had returned to that province again to help them.


The Mon people came from various places in Burma including Malamang province where he was born, therefore Long Phor Uttama had led them to live at Banwangkalang, and that’s the beginning of Mon community in Sangklaburi District, Kanchanaburi province.




Birth of Wat Long Phor Uttama

In B.E.2499 Long Phor Uttama had joined with the Mon and Karen people to build a temporary Buddhist Church which was finished in June B.E.2499. The area where the temple was established was called “Samprasop”, because there were 3 rivers close by a named Blikli River, Shongkalia River, and Runti River.


In B.E.2505 he temple was legally authorized by the royal Thai government, Long Phor Uttama had renamed the temple as “Wat Wangwiwae-garam” after the old name of the district, which called “Wang-ga”.


In B.E.2513, Long Phor Uttama began to build the Buddhist church, and it was said that he himself made many of the bricks used in the building.


Five years later in B.E.2518, Long Phor Uttama had begun to build a big Chedi which was an im,tation of a  big Chedi in Buddhakaya city India. this work was completed in B.E.2529.


 Long Phor Uttama's chronology


B.E.2504 Long Phor Uttama was appointed as the Abbot of Wat Wangwiwae-garam.

B.E.2505 Long Phor Uttama was appointed as the Abbot of Wat Srisuwannaram.

B.E.2509 Long Phor Uttama was appointed as Prakrammavachacharya.


B.E.2511 Long Phor Uttama was appointed as Pra-upachacharya.

B.E.2512 Long Phor Uttama was appointed as Prakru-udomsittacharya

B.E.2524 Long Phor Uttama was appointed as Pra-udomsangwaradhera

B.E.2534 Long Phor Uttama was appointed as Praracha-udommongkol.


On October 18, B.E.2549, Long Phor Uttama died at the age of 95 through kidney disease.  His death made headline news throughout the kingdom. The nation mourned the death of a great and highly revered monk who had dedicated his life to Buddhism and people of all races whether they Thai, Mon or Karen.

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