Visted Wat Ta Gradan few months back to pay my respects to the late Khun Pum Pueng Duanjan the top and most revolutionary luk toom singer in the history of Thai Popular music.
Pumpuang Duangjan also known by the nickname Pueng, was a Thai singer, actress who pioneered electronic luk toom. She is considered one of the most importantluk toom vocalist in Thailand. The child of poor farmers, Pumpuang had only two years of primary education before her family’s plight forced her to take to the fields as a sugar cane cutter. Although illiterate, she was adept at memorising lyrics and participated in many local singing competitions. At age 15, she came to the notice of a visiting band, and from the late 1970s onwards her fame skyrocketed.
Today she is remembered for her powerful lyrics, which told compelling stories of Thailand’s rural poor. She adapted Thai country music into a dance-ready form known as electronic luk thung. Although loved by millions of fans, her music career was marred by Pumpuang’s lovers, managers, and promoters, who deprived her of her earnings, to the extent that she could not afford treatment for a blood disorder that eventually caused her death at the age of 30.
After her death as per her request her ashes were kept in the temple as that was her wish to remain in the temple to seek peace and it was where she started her career and also a place she felt at peace with.
Many Singers and Celebrities often come to Wat Ta Gradan (where a pagoda containing her ashes are kept) to pay respect and ask Mae Pueng for her blessings in their careers in show business.
For this batch of Khun Pean her Sister had a dream that Pum Pueng wanted to do some boon for the temple and requested her to help raise funds for the temple stated that her Mother would know what to do. Upon hearing this her Mother knew exactly what to do before Mae Pueng passed on she told her Mother that if the temple needed funds she will seek help from her Sister in the form of a dream and her Sister will inform her Mother. Her Mother immediately ask the Abbot if there was any need for funds and to her surprise the temple did in fact needed some funds for restoration works. Her Mother then told the abbot to make a batch of amulets using half the amount of ashes as a base material as her fans would definitely come out to do merit and obtained this one time only batch of amulets never to be made again. The batch was carefully planned and chanted and successfully distributed and the restoration works complete.
– This Khun Pean brings popularity and metta mahanoyom
– It also grants wishes to those who have affinity with Mae Pueng
– Lastly this batch is known as “Pueng Paa Ruay” which means Mae Pueng will bring you riches
– Mae Pueng was well loved during her time and she fought her illness to perform for her fans as she loved them very much in return, wearers can expect Mae Pueng to bless u with wealth and safety
Below are some photos from my trip and some amulets from the collection available at my shop they are inexpensive starting from only $30 sgd
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Below: An old signboard of Mae Pueng’s concerts
Below: Make up tables brought by devotees and fans as offerings to Mae Pueng there were at least 1000 tables on the temple grounds
Below: Me infront of Mae Pueng’s Alter within the temple
Below: The Pagoda housing her ashes is located on the outside of the temple
Below: Some variety of Khun Pean Pueng Paa Ruay