Known as the biggest Buddha image in the world, “Phra Buddha Maha Dhammaraja Chaloem Phra Kiat” sits gracefully in front of the beautiful Petchabura Buddha Garden located right on Highway No. 21 in Phetchabun province. It is very easily accessible so if you ever plan a road trip to Phetchabun, Loei, Saraburi, Lopburi, or anywhere nearby you should totally include this spot in your itinerary. Phra Buddha Maha Dhammaraja has been the most revered Buddha image of Phetchabun for ages. If you have ever heard of their annual “Um Phra Dam Nam Festival” or the Bathing Ceremony, this is the Buddha image Phetchabun locals celebrate. Well, not the big one, but the original one enshrined at Wat Tri Phum. This gigantic Phra Buddha Maha Dhammaraja Chaloem Phra Kiat was built by the Phetchabun people to glorify His Majesty the King on his 84th Birthday Anniversary in 2011. Now imagine you are on YouTube and about to click on the “Fun Fact for Nerds” button. This garden covers the total area of 18 Rais and 18 square Wahs with an 80-Rai pond that is connected to the Pasak River where the original Phra Buddha Maha Dhammaraja was discovered for the first time. The length from the left knee to the right knee of the Buddha image measures 11.984 meters. The first number 1 refers to the King who is always number 1 in Thai people’s hearts while another 1 represents the Buddha image. 9 means the 9th King of the Chakri Dynasty, and finally 84 is for his birthday anniversary. The Phetchabun people highly respect this Buddha so this garden seems to always be busy with people praying, meditating, and doing other religious activities. For passersbys, apart from praying for good luck and a safe voyage, they usually use this opportunity as a rest stop, stretch, and walk around to enjoy the relaxing atmosphere before getting back on the road.
From Bangkok, Follow Highway No. 1 (Phaholyothin) passing Saraburi and Lopburi provinces heading to Phetchabun. Once you reach Mueang District of Phetchabun, use Highway No. 21 passing the downtown area and you will see the destination clearly on your right.