Today,I have a day-off and intend to outskirt from Bangkok city. It seems obviously nice to visit Phra Pathom Chedi temple.
My journey starts by train. This is website to check the train schedule.
Thon Buri (Bangkok) - Nakhon Pathom
This is the ordinary train. Free seat.
1 hour away from Bangkok
Walk-out from The train station. Then, you will see "Phra Pathom Chedi temple"
walking about 10 mins from Train station.
- History of Phra Pathom Chedi -
The Phra Pathom chedi, which means “Holy chedi of the beginning” is regarded the oldest Buddhist structure in Thailand. The very impressive Chedi (stupa) with its orange roof visible from far away is with its 120 meters height the largest Buddhist chedi in the world.
The history of the chedi goes back all the way to around the 3rd century BC, when Buddhism was introduced to Thailand. The Indian emperor Ashoka decided then to send out monks over many parts of Asia, including Thailand, to spread Buddhism.
The chedi was modeled after the Great Stupa of Sanchi in Central India, which is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and that was built in the 3rd century BC by order of emperor Ashoka. Monks from India brought over relics from the Buddha, that were enshrined in the Phra Pathom chedi.
In those days Nakhon Pathom was located on the Gulf of Thailand. Since then because of sedimentation from the Chao Phraya river the land progressed more towards the South and Nakhon Pathom was no longer a coastal city.
When the local river also dried up, the city was abandoned and eventually overgrown by jungle, with its inhabitants moving to the nearby town Nakhon Chai Si. Only during the first half of the 19th century the city became inhabited again.
King Mongkut, who before he became King, spent many years as a monk travelling the country, visited the chedi a number of times. The chedi at that time was in a very bad state of repair and overgrown by jungle.
After Mongkut ascended the throne in 1851 he ordered the restoration of the Phra Pathom chedi. The original much smaller stupa was to be covered by a much larger chedi to be newly build. After 17 years of construction, during the reign of Mongkut’s successor King Chulalongkorn (Rama V) the chedi was completed. The original much smaller stupa still exists today, covered by the large 19th century structure.
When the chedi was finished, the population of nearby Nakhon Chai Si was ordered to return to the town of Nakhon Pathom. Surrounding the stupa that has a base of 233 meters is a courtyard with four viharns that each contain Buddha images in different postures.
Phra Ruang Rodjanarith standing Buddha
The viharn at the Northern end contains a large gilt standing Buddha image named Phra Ruang Rodjanarith. The image displays the Abhaya Mudra , the fear dispelling gesture.
The Buddha image was restored by King Vajiravudh (Rama VI). In 1909, when he was Crown Prince, he discovered the statue badly damaged in the ground in Si Satchanalai. Only the head, hands and feet were in good condition. The statue was cast in Bangkok and installed in the viharn in 1915. The ashes of King Rama VI are installed in the base of the statue.
It is time to learn Thai culture.
The Wat Phra Pathom Chedi Museum and the National Museum of Phra Pathom Chedi have an interesting display of artifacts found during excavations in Nakhon Pathom, including stone carvings and Buddhist relics, some of which dating back as far as the Dvaravati era.
All around the Phra Pathom Chedi makes a classroom for the monks.
I love the lotus.
You can pray to the Lord Buddha here.
It is time to learn Thai buddhism.
A large shop selling Buddhist amulets.
Sitting Buddha, Vitarka mudra ("giving instruction"), Dvaravati style.
Finally, We made it till the end of the day. It is time to go back Bangkok.
How to get to the Phra Pathom chedi
The chedi is located in the center of Nakhon Pathom, 10-mins walk from South East the train station.
A bus from Bangkok’s Southern bus terminal in Bangkok Noi will take around one hour. A van from Victory Monument in downtown Bangkok can drop you off directly at the chedi.
Admission & opening hours
Open Hours : 07.00 - 18.00 Pm. Open everydays.
Admission is 60 Thai Baht. (Foreigner)
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