Photo: Wat Phra Phutthabat's grounds.

Wat Phra Phutthabat

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In 1623, a hunter followed a deer to a rocky hill, discovering a natural impression that looked like an oversized human footprint. After his skin disease miraculously healed when he drank water from the impression, he reported the find to King Songtham down in Ayutthaya, who had received word from Sri Lankan monks that the Buddha may have left footprints in Siam. Wat Phra Phutthabat, the “Temple of the Buddha’s footprint,” was born.

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It quickly became one of the kingdom’s most sacred Buddhist sites and is now one of six top-grade royal temples in Thailand -- and one of only two that are not found in Bangkok (the other being Wat Phra That Phanom). Thousands of Thais climb the hill each year, leaving offerings and hoping to earn merit for a positive rebirth. Travellers will appreciate the temple’s ornate halls and hilltop viewpoint.

The welcome committee. Photo taken in or around Wat Phra Phutthabat, Lopburi, Thailand by David Luekens.

The welcome committee. Photo: David Luekens

While the original mondop built over the footprint was destroyed during the Burmese invasions of the 1760s, several kings oversaw the construction of a new mondop in the Rattanakosin style along with many other structures in the early to mid 1800s. Today Wat Phra Phutthabat is one of Thailand’s most ornate ... Travelfish members only (Full text is around 500 words.)

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