Monday, August 13, 2012

Phra Pathom Chedi, Nakornpathom

The Phra Pathom Chedi, located just 56 km west of Bangkok in Nakhon Pathom, houses the oldest Buddhist structure in Thailand, dating a little more than 2000 years ago, and it is said it is the tallest Buddhist monument in the world.
There is a legend of this Chedi I found on internet according to it "Long ago, The queen of Nakhon Chaisri (Nakhon Pathom) gave birth to a son. A prediction warned Phya Kong, the king of Nakhon Chaisri, that he would be killed by his son so he ordered the baby to be floated down a river on a raft to a forest where he was found and raised by an old woman called Yai Hom. The youth, Phya Pan was adopted by the king of Ratchaburi, a vassal of Phya Kong. Wanting to free Ratchaburi from the control of Phya Kong, Phya Pan waged war against his feudal lord and killed Phya Kong. When he learnt that he had killed his father, he was so angry at Yai Hom for not telling him the truth of his birth, that he killed Yai Hom with one stroke of his sword. Now, he had committed two great sins by killing his own father and killing the poor old woman who had raised him. He was so sad that he wanted to commit suicide but, by committing suicide, he would have commited another great sin. The monks told him to build a stupa that reaches the height where the doves fly and dedicate it to the Buddha, to atone for his sins. So, Phya Pan built a immense stupa called the Phra Pathom Chedi to enshrine relics of the Buddha. He also built another stupa called the Phra Phratone Chedi, to the east of the Phra Pathom Chedi, and dedicated it to Yai Hom".

Chedi panoramic
I took 7 vertical shots (vertical images can capture more of the sky and ground) and then using photoshop I aligned and stitched those images together to form this single panoramic image.

"During the early 1800s, Buddhist monks came to reside in the ruined Phra Pathom Chedi. The present chedi owes its existence to King Mongkut (Rama 4), who then a monk visited the ruined chedi several times and was deeply saddened to see it in ruins. He understood the significance of the site as the oldest Buddhist monument in Thailand and the spot where Buddhism first arrived in Thailand. Thus he was determined to restore it. On his accession to the throne, King Mongkut began a restoration process by building an enormous chedi over the ruined prang. The first attempt collapsed in bad weather. King Mongkut did not live to see the completion of the chedi.  The work was carried on by King Chulalongkorn (Rama 5).  In 1870, the spire was raised during the reign of King Chulalongkorn (Rama 5)."

This Buddha image is found at Wat Pra Meru a temple now-defunct in Dvaravati period. According to a friend of us a kilometer southward from this temple, the Buddha image is approximately 1,200 years old. There are other three Buddha images like this. One is in Pra Ubosoth of this temple; one in the National Museum Bangkok; and, the other in Chao Sampraya Museum, Ayuthaya

The completed Chedi is a circular one that features an upside down bell shape Chedi (Lankan style). The height from ground to a top crown is some 120.45 metres, and a total diameter at the base is 233.50 meters.

The golden brown tiles that cover the entire chedi are highly glazed and are brought from China. Its base is made up of a series of concentric rings stacked on top of one another, dinimishing in size as they go higher. The rings are topped by a huge bell-shaped dome. 

Phra Pathom Chedi contains relics of the Buddha and is one of the holiest pilgrimage spots in Thailand today.





People praying in front of the The Phra Ruang Rojanarit  standing Buddha image in the north chapel.

The food we tried at this market located at the main gate of the Chedi was really delicious!!!
Sticky rice wrapped in banana leaves is kept in bamboo to keep it warm! 

How to get this place: 
Bus and train services run between the Nakhon Pathom Chedi and Thonburi.  This means you can  either  go by bus from the Southern bus terminal in Bangkok (Thonburi) or by train from Bangkok Noi train station (Thonburi)


  1. Phra Pathom Chedi, I love the pagoda due to the place full of decoration and history.Thank for sharing.

  2. Yes you are right, near to the Pagoda lies a local market where I tried really delicious food as well. Thanks for reading me!