Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Year of Tiger: Phra That Cho Hae Stupa, Phrae

Phra That Cho Hae is located on top of a small hill. Judging from its architectural style, the temple can be dated back to the 14th Century.

However, it is believed that when the Buddha reached a hill called Kosithaya Chakkhabanphot, he met a Laotian prince named Lua Ai Khon. The prince offered food to the Buddha. The Buddha then predicted that there was going to be a city called Phrae there. Then, the Buddha’s disciples asked the Buddha for his hair strand, and gave it to the prince to be housed in a crystal container. The container was kept in a cave east of the hill. The Buddha stated that after his nirvana the relics of his left elbow would be kept there.

The name of the stupa was believed to have originated from the silk cloth (Cho Phrae in Thai) the prince used to accept the hair strand. Some also believed that the name was originated from silk cloths wrapped around the stupa. A big celebration of the Buddha’s relics is held annually on the 11th night of the waxing moon to the full moon night of the 4th lunar month. This important festival consists of the Tung (Lanna-styled flags) procession as well as other performances.

Location - Mu 5, Tambon Pa Daeng, Muaeng district, Phrae

Getting there
By Car From Bangkok use highway no. 1 and then no. 32 to Nakhon Sawan. Then take highway no. 117 to Phitsanulok, and highway no. 11 heading to Uttaradit. Once you reach Den Chai district, Phrae, take highway 101 to Phrae. The journey is about 580 km.

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