There are many Buddhist temples in Thailand of which the Phra Pathom Chedi is a very special one.
The Wat Phra Pathom Chedi is situated in the Nakhon Pathom province. The temple is best visited with a driver or local friend, as it’s around 50 km away from the center of Bangkok.
Phra Pathom Chedi is the oldest Buddhist sturcture in Thailand and the ledgend tells us that Buddhism was first introduced to Thailand in this very place. Archeologists claim that some of the carvings found at this site date all the way back to the 3rd century BC.
The chedi is 120 meters high which makes it the tallest chedi in the world. The original chedi was modelled by a similar one in India and was much smaller. It cannot be seen any longer as it is inside the new chedi.
We happened to visit on Asahna Bucha Day, and thus the area was very busy. Asahna Bucha Day commemorates Buddha’s first sermon in India back in the day.
The Phra Ruang Rodjanarith standing Buddha. The hand sign means “no fear”.
Apparently, you can buy one of these bells and pull it up to the top of the chedi. Someone will then collect it an hang it on the celing. Unfortunatey I only heard of this later on and did not catch a glimpse of the bells.
It is interesting to know that this chedi was actually once abandoned and covered in jungle.
We saw locals buying these for making merit. If you are familiar with this and know more, please enlighten me and other readers in the comments below.
A special sermon is made on this day involving incense sticks, candles and lotus flowers.
I would love to see this chedi in November when The Temple Festival is hosted here. The chedi is then surrounded by street food vendors and thousands of people gather together.
We also saw groups of schoolchildren taking part in the religious activities.
All in all, it was a lovely visit. I have heard that when it’s not a Buddhist Holiday, this temple is very peaceful. I am sure you will not bump into too many tourists here either, even though this is a historically important chedi – shows you that sometimes it’s worth making the extra effort and getting off the tourist track.
Have you ever been to a Buddhist temple?