With the height of 127 meters Wat Phra Pathom Chedi or Phra Pathommachedi (พระปฐมเจดีย์) is the tallest Buddhist stupa in Thailand, and considering that Nakhon Pathom was the first city in Thailand influenced by Buddhism, it is the first historical monument that signified the introduction of Buddhism into the country. Phra Pathommachedi is located just 60 kilometers north of Bangkok in the city of Nakhon Pathom, Central Thailand. This Buddhist temple is situated near the Sanam Chandra Palace, a wonderful French-English style castle.

The tallest stupa in Thailand

Phra Pathom Chedi was built in the year 350 during the reign of King Asoka of India, however it was not mentioned until the discovery of ancient Buddhist texts dating back to 675. In the 11th century the chedi was modified with a Khmer style prang, which was later destroyed by the rainforest. The renovated building housing a stupa was started in 1853 and finished in 1870 after 17 years of construction. King Mongkut (Rama IV) ordered the construction of the new stupa and commanded that a bell shaped chedi be built to cover the old one, and King Chulalongkorn (Rama V) completed the construction of the building.

Phra Pathom Chedi comprises a number of Buddha images: Phra Puttha Narachet in the Dvaravati style is located at the southern entrance, standing Buddhas in Rattanakosin style and a statue of Buddha named “Phra Ruang Rojanaridhi Sri Maha Indarathita Dharmobas Vajiravudha Rajapujaniya Borpitra” by King Vajiravudh (Rama VI). Later, the ashes of the King were buried in the base of this statue.

Nakhon Pathom is also home to Thailand’s only Bhikkhuni temple Wat Song Thammakanlayani, the only monastery in Thailand where females can be ordained. The province has a unusual temple known as Wat Bang Phra, a Buddhist temple famous for the daily tattoos given by monks.

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