This is the "Monastery of the Opened Heart" (Le Monastère du Coeur épanoui) and stands between Wat Wisunarat and the Nam Khan River. It has a somewhat contentious past as it served as a mediating, or perhaps meeting, ground between the animist religion of spirit guardians and Theravada Buddhism. Stylized stucco tigers guard the front entry steps, and statues of temple guardians Ravana and Hanuman (central figures of the Indian Ramayana epic and its Laotian counterpart, the Phalak Phalam) stand at the southern and eastern corners of the frontal porch. There are a number of stupas in the grounds as well as two large and quite large bodhi (banyan or Bo), trees where a shrine of the royal spirit protector Haw Phi Khon is located. The interior of the sim is bright and very colorful. The pillars and beams are painted in reds and gold, while the interior walls are covered with murals depicting Buddhist hell. These are scenes of torture and suffering experienced by those who inflicted evil on others in their lives getting a good karmic going over after death. There are also scenes reflecting the historic past of the city. The wat, does in fact, have an interesting past. The founder of the Lan Xang kingdom, Fa Ngum, established a shrine here for worshiping the guardian spirits of Luang Prabang (devata luang), Pu No, and Na No (Phou Nheu and Nha Nheu). Fa Ngum also made Theravada Buddhism the state religion. Beginning in 1527, however, the devout ruler of the Lan Xang kingdom, King Phothisarat began a concerted attack on the worship of these guardian spirits. He banned religious ceremonies in their honor, smashed their shrines, and erected a Buddhist monastery on the site of the former spirit shrine. Some discrete worship of the guardian spirits continued despite the ban. Shortly after the attacks on the guardian spirits the city was beset by a number of crises, including disease, drought, and crop failure; in the popular mind the destruction of the shrines had brought the disasters. After King Sai Setthathirat moved the capital to Vientiane in 1563, the spirit shrine was rebuilt. The spirit gods and Buddhism lived together until the mid-20th century, when the spirit shrine was destroyed. The spirits of Pu No and Na No by this time had achieved embodiment in the two large banyan trees that stood on the monastery grounds. For much of the 19th century, Wat Aham also served as the residence of the Sangkhalat, or the supreme patriarch of Laotian Buddhism.