SIGHTSEE THE NOTABLE BUDDHA IMAGE “PHRA PHUTTHA MAHA THAMMARACHA“
Marvelous and magnificent, one of the most worshipful objects among Phetchabun people “Phra Phuttha Maha Thammaracha” or better known among the locals “the Giant Buddha” is so-called the symbolic sanctity of this land. Most of the visitors, when coming to Phetchabun, would go to pay respect to the significant Buddha image for luck. It says that you have not been in Phetchabun, yet you visit and pay homage to the worshipful icon.
About the place
Phra Phuttha Maha Thammaracha enshrined predominantly at Wat Trai Phum, located on Petcharat Road in Nai Muaeng sub-district, Muaeng district, Phetchabun province. The temple is the old Buddhist monastery where the house of the notable sacred statue of the Buddha which is in the attitude of meditation in Lopburi art. The figure made from bronze with about 13 inches wide of the lap and 18 inches tall with no basement, the Buddha is broad forehead in square shape and horn chestnut-shaped lips enshrined on the pedestal inside the wooden pavilion. The first time founding the Buddha at Pa Sak River. Nowadays, the visitors will see two figures of Buddha, actually the real one is on the upper level, while the replica that created in order to involve in the ceremony “Hold the Buddha to dive” in every 15th of the waxing moon in the tenth month of Buddhist calendar.
History of Phra Phuttha Maha Thammaracha
As mentioned in the record, Phra Phuttha Maha Thammaracha is a Buddha image in the attitude of meditation in Lopburi design made from bronze. The statue of Buddha is 13 inches wide of the lap and 18 inches high housed in Wat Trai Phum in Phetchabun province. The image was created in the age of Jayavarman VII, the famous king of the Khmer Empire. The king bestowed Princess Sikhara Mahadevi, his daughter to marry to Pho Khun Pha Mueang, the Lord of Rad (presently is Lomsak district in Phetchabun) together with the notable Buddha image “Phra Phutthat Maha Thammaracha as a gift and being the iconic sanctity of the land.
Once Pho Khun Pha Muaeng united with Pho Khun Bang Klang Hao, the Lord of Bang Yang (Nakhon Thai district) declared the independence from the Khmer Empire. Consequently, the indignation of Princess Sikhara Mahadevi enormously, thence the princess set fire to the Rad city to ruin and then she killed herself by jumping into Pa Sak River. Therefore, the govern officials had to invited Phra Phuttha Maha Thammaracha while they fled from the conflagration by the raft along Pa Sak River. Unluckily, the river is devious and swift caused the raft to broken and the important Buddha sank into the stream.
When the time passes, the fisherman did fish; however, instead of fish, he got the significant Buddha image at the area of Wat Bot Chanamara (the temple was not existing at the time). The villagers claimed it as the phenomenon and praised the vital Buddha with extremely esteem and invited the Buddha from the river. After that, they respectfully engaged the statue of Buddha to enshrine at Wat Trai Phum. And on the 15th of the waxing moon in the 10th month of Thai calendar that is the same day of “Thai Ghost Festival,” unexpectedly, the Buddha disappeared from the temple caused to the abbot, monks, and villagers had to search for the sacred statue. At last, the Buddha image was founded in the river at the spot which first discovered it. Therefore, in every the 15th of the waxing moon of the 10th month, the procession of Phra Phuttha Maha Thammaracha around the city and stop at the façade of Wat Trai Phum. Then, the provincial governor, on behalf of the citizen, will hold the image to dive into the river in four directions to be the auspicious and fortune for the province. From that time on, it became the local tradition of Phetchabun province.
Besides, regarding the privilege space to enshrine the giant replica of significant Buddha image called “Phuttha Utthayarn Petchabura” is a venue for all Buddhist activities, as well as the vital tourist attraction in Phetchabun as the location to house the gigantic Phra Phuttha Maha Thammaracha, the massive and magnificent Buddha image made in bronze with approximately 11.984 meters wide of the lap that cast in the occasion to celebrate the 84th Birthday Anniversary of King Bhumibol (King Rama IX).
The Meaning of 11.984 meters
The meaning of the size of Buddha image lap, 11.984 meters refers to;
- The first digit of 1 means King Bhumibol is divine and at the top of mind of Thai people.
- The second digit of number 1 refers to Phra Phuttha Maha Thammaracha, which is only one in the world. Also, the statue of Buddha is the symbolic sacred image of Phetchabun as the Buddha image involved in the holy ceremony bringing fortune and prosperity to the region.
- The number 9 means the King Rama IX of the Chakri Dynasty.
- The number 84 means the occasion of King Bhumibol’s 84th Birthday Anniversary.
On September 26, 2011, Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn proceeded to the ceremony of storing the Buddha’s relic into the gold coronet and invited it to enshrine at the summit of the statue, also consecrated to the image at Phuttha Utthayarn Petchabura Park. With that, Phra Phuttha Maha Thammaracha completed and be iconic holy object among the Buddhist in Phetchabun from that time on.
Inside the replica of the holy Buddha image are many statues of Buddha and the reproductions of numerous venerable Buddhist monks for the believers to pay respect.
On the second floor is the office of Phra Phuttha Maha Thammaracha Chalermprakiat Foundation and meeting rooms, and for one who interesting in some amulet and auspicious objects can find from here, too.
Before leaving the holy place, the tourist shall wander around and take your leisure time in the garden, which is very lovely and relaxing. The photo corner arranged for the tourist to shoot some pictures for a keepsake that once you have come to visit and pay respect to the remarkable Buddha here. Moreover, the Sala in the center of the pool with a garden that sometimes winds wipes some spraying water offering some cool and fresh feeling for the visitors. What would be better to have some walk in the pleasant sights with the tranquil atmosphere?
Travel to the site of Phra Phuttha Maha Thammaracha
Drives on the highway number 21 (route Saraburi – Lom Sak) from Bangkok to enter Phetchabun province at Si Thep district. After that from the town about a kilometer, otherwise, if you come from the way that passes by Phetchabun Rajabhat University in about 300 meters, you will notice the burrstone at the 225th km. You will spot the significant dark bronze Buddha image with approximately 35 meters high from the roadside, which means you arrive at the destination.