I love this mural detail of Sinxay playing chess with the naga king. There’s a tension and elegance expressed in those outstretched arms, something very serious is happening. My congratulations to the artist!
We feature murals from three wats, Wat Chaisi, Wat Sanuan Wari, and Wat Photaram in Sinxay. Each wat provides different insights and perspectives into the Sinxay story. Wat Chaisi has the most mural details, they cover almost every inch of the outer and inner walls of the sim. Wat Sanuan Wari has perhaps the fewest mural details, but they are the most stylistic and are the ones often used to illustrate anything about Sinxay. Wat Photaram is furthest from Khon Kaen and less well known, but it’s interesting how just one outer wall is filled with scenes from Sinxay. You can see a partial view of the wall below and the entire view of Nak Valoonarat’s palace where Sinxay plays chess with the king. This scene can only be seen at this temple.
In this mural detail, and as seen in the photo below, Sinxay is playing chess with the king as a ruse to try to bring Soumountha’s daughter, Sidachan, back to her. A number of years prior, the king had visited the kingdom of Nyak Koumphan and played chess with him. After winning three games he asked to marry their daughter, Sidachan, and the request was granted. I guess you can say it was karma that Sinxay’s winning three games then allowed him to request Sidachan be turned over to him so he could bring her back to Soumountha. Actually, he first bet his bow and arrows, and Sangthong transformed as a snail against Nak Valoonarat’s kingdom. The king bet his kingdom because he thought he could easily win against this young boy. When he lost his nobles told him he didn’t have to honor his bet, and that’s when Sinxay told him he would be happy if he just gave him Sidachan. This made the king more furious and led to an eventual battle against Sinxay, Sangthong, and later the khuts. The king lost and then readily surrendered Sidachan. Sinxay appreciated his sudden willingness to turn over Sidachan and complete change in attitude, and not being ruled by revenge or anger, Sinxay returned the kingdom to Nak Valoonarat after teaching him the dhamma.