Wat Pa Nak Nimit (วัดป่านาคนิมิตต์) is one of the most revered temples in Sakon Nakhon province. The reason for its importance is its relationship to Ajahn Mun Bhuridatta, who is credited, along with his mentor, Ajahn Sao Kantasilo, with establishing the Thai Forest Tradition of Theravada Buddhism.
Ajahn Mun (also referred to as Lung Pu Man) spent the 1943 Buddhist Lent in the area of the current temple grounds. He saw that the area, being filled with a wide variety of trees, was a beneficial area to build a temple. One type of tree in particular was a good omen: the Ta-khian tree. According to Thai folklore, a female spirit called Nang Ta-khian is said to inhabit the large Ta-Khian tree. The spirit comes in the form of a beautiful young woman wearing traditional Thai attire. Her power to perform miracles resides in both the living trees and its wood when used for building.
When Ajahn Mun was about to commence building the temple, two round spots inexplicably occurred on the grounds, which he attributed to the Naga serpent deity — sculptures of which you will see at temples throughout Sakon Nakhon. So, he placed pillars in both places and began construction of the temple buildings. On completion, he named the temple Wat Pa Nak Nimit, meaning the Forest Temple of the Naga Omen.
In addition to a beautiful teak pavilion that holds Buddhist relics and sculptures, including a gorgeous emerald Buddha on the 2nd floor, the living quarters of Ajahn Mun can be viewed next to the pavilion. It is still in quite good condition and houses a full sized sculpture of Ajahn Mun and other enshrined images.
Currently, a stunning new Chedi is being built at Wat Pa Nak Nimit. It is to be called Phra Mahathat Chedi (พระมหาธาตุเจดีย์), The Great Chedi. Last year 60 million baht was raised at the end of Buddhist Lent for its construction. And this year another 75 million. Construction work is now being done, and you can see a picture of what the completed temple will look like. The new Chedi is expected to be completed sometime late next year (2022). See below a video of what The Great Chedi will look like after completion.
Wat Pa Nak Nimit is located about 30 minutes outside Sakon Nakhon city, in the direction of Mukdahan, and about 15 minutes away from another highly revered temple: Wat Doi Dhammachedi.