Wat Phra Phutthabat

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Wat Phra Phutthabat: the Mondop with the footprint

Wat Phra Phutthabat (Thai: วัดพระพุทธบาท) is a Buddhist temple in Saraburi, Thailand. It is among the oldest Buddhist temples in Thailand. Its name means "temple of Buddha's footprint", because it contains a natural depression believed to be a footprint of the Buddha.

History[edit]

The temple in the mid-19th century; illustration by Henri Mouhot

Phra Phutthabat temple was built in 1624 (B.E. 2168) by King Songtham of Ayutthaya, after a hunter named Pram Bun found a large depression in the stone, resembling a huge footprint, near Suwan Banpot Hill or Satchaphanthakhiri Hill. The hunter reported his find to the King, who ordered workers to build a temporary mondop to cover the footprint; this later became the temple.

Belief[edit]

The Bunnoowaat sutra tells of the flight of the Buddha to the peak of Mount Suwanbanphot, and of how he left his footprints.[1] It is believed there are five footprints of the Buddha in different places including Phra Phutthabat temple. Some believe that worshipping the footprints, sprinkling water or placing gold leaf on them will lead to the forgiveness of sin, success in life or eternal happiness.[2]

Geography[edit]

Phra Phutthabat temple is built in the mountains, and mostly surrounded by forest. It is in Phra Phutthabat District, 28 kilometres from Saraburi City.

Festival[edit]

There are two main festivals held each year at Phra Phutthabat temple:

  • Holy Footprint festival - The Holy Footprint festival is held at the temple twice a year, usually in February and March. During this festival many Buddhist worshippers and tourists visit the temple to worship the Buddha’s footprint and participate in activities at the temple entrance.
  • Tak Bat Dok Mai Ceremony - Tak Bat Dok Mai Ceremony is considered as a main tradition function in Phra Phutthabat district. It is held at the start of the annual three-month Buddhist Lent. During the ceremony, people alms to monks, and offer candles for the Buddhist Lent to Phra Phutthabat temple. Finally, they offer white or yellow flower to the monks in the late evening. [3]

Footprint[edit]

The size of the footprint is about 21 inches wide, 5 feet long, and 11 inches deep. The footprint is covered by a decorated golden case. Inside the case the footprint is covered with layers of gold leaf, coins and banknotes thrown by worshipers and visitors.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Thomas John Hudak (1988). Organizational Principles in Thai "Phannánaa" Passages. Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. 51 (1): 96-117. (subscription required)
  2. ^ "Phra Phutthabat Temple". info@TemplesInThailand. Retrieved 1 May 2014. 
  3. ^ "Phra Phutthabat Temple". Bangkokpost. Retrieved 1 May 2014. 

Coordinates: 14°43′06″N 100°47′19″E / 14.7183°N 100.7886°E / 14.7183; 100.7886