Fees 20 THB for the museum
As the provincial slogan of Nakhon Si Thammarat goes, “A historical town, the golden Phra That, plentiful minerals…,” you may wonder why “the Golden Phra That.” The answer lays right here at the highest part of Wat Phra Maha That Woramahawihan.
Recently nominated to become UNESCO’s World Heritage Site, this 1 of 6 first-class royal temples of Thailand is also one of the oldest. The main chedi itself was built in year 291 after the Buddha’s relics arrived in Nakhon Si Thammarat and renovated by the great ruler, King Thammasokkarat, in 1176. The exterior “Golden top” was added to the large chedi in 1995 by the Department of Fine Arts using 960 kilograms of gold while the interior part is filled with precious gems and valuables that people donated in hope to find Buddhism again in their next lives.
Other structures around the Phra Maha That chedi are no less in beauty and significance. The smaller pagodas around the main chedi are believed to serve as the holy relics’ guardians. The Ayutthaya-style viharns house important Buddha images like Phra Si Thammasokkarat dressed in a royal wardrobe. Viharn Kian and Viharn Pho Lanka hold historical objects and artifacts collected throughout the temple’s long history. There is also a building with a replica of the Buddha’s footprint stone. At the window of this building, you can get a stunning view of the chedi from a different altitude.
If you like challenges, we dare you to find the shadow of the chedi’s top. It is still unclear why the shadow does not appear anywhere on the ground regardless of the angles of the sun. The faithful say it is a miracle but the only way you can know is to prove it yourself.
Follow Highway No. 410 which merges with 4012 to reach the Nakhon Si Thammarat City Center, then turn onto the Ratchadamnoen Road. You will find the temple on the right hand side.