Wat Phra That Nong Bua is Ubon Ratchathani’s best known tourist attraction and one of three temples in Thailand with a chedi tower modelled on the one at the Mahabodhi Temple in Bodh Gaya in India.
About Wat Phra That Nong Bua
Bodh Gaya in India is the holiest site in the world for Buddhists. In 543 BC the Lord Buddha is believed to have attained enlightenment during a meditation session which lasted several weeks. Mahabodhi Temple was established around 200 years later by the Emperor Ashoka on the spot where this enlightenment giving meditation session took place. Mahabodhi Temple in India, as it appears today was built several hundred years in the 7th Century. The centre piece of the newer version of the Mahabodhi Temple is a distinctive 55 metre tall pyramid shaped tower, with elaborate carvings telling the story of the life of the Lord Buddha. The tower at the Mahabodhi Temple is considered to have inspired the design of many later religious monuments for both Hindus and Buddhists across the world, and the Mahabodhi Temple tower is one of the most copied religious buildings on the planet.
The copy of the famous Indian stupa at Wat Phra That Nong Bua was completed in 1956 to mark 2,500 of Buddhism. In Thailand the calendar begins from the point when the Lord Buddha attained enlightenment meaning that 1956 in the Gregorian calendar is 2499 in the Thai calendar. The stupa built at Wat Phra That Nong Bua is also 55 metres tall and follows essentially the same design as the tower at the Mahabodhi Temple in India with a tall pyramidal base and a shorter rounded stupa on top of that. However, the materials used are quite different. The tower at the Mahabodhi Temple is made from brick with stucco on top whereas the one at Wat Phra That Nong Bua uses ceramic panels, which also features depictions of scenes from the life of the Lord Buddha as do the walls of the original in India. The white and gold motif of the exterior of the tower in Wat Phra That Nong Bua continues inside, which is hollow and open to visitors with an impressively high ceiling.
Location of Wat Phra That Nong Bua
- Wat Phra That Nong Bua is located 10.7 km by road from Ubon Ratchathani Railway Station.