Wat Chaloem Phra Kiat Phrachomklao Rachanusorn, “the floating pagoda”
An amazing temple which is located at the top of the mountain named Wat Chaloem Phra Kiat Phrachomklao Rachanusorn or also known as “Wat Phra Buddhabat Pu Pha Daeng”. The temple is situated in Chae Hom district, Lampang in the north of Thailand. Presently, the temple is under the diocese of ‘Phra Ajaarn Sangworn Sila Khun’, the present abbot of the temple. The most outstanding feature of the temple that makes its reputation is the heaven-like view of some white spots of the chedis set upon the top of the high cliffs that were created by the faith of the human. This remarkable scene has lured many tourists to choose this place as the next stop for their trip.
History of the Temple
Wat Chaloem Phra Kiat Phrachomklao Rachanuson is located on a big mountain. The pavilions and chedis (pagodas) situated in the temple are at 815 meters from the sea level and inside the area of Doi Phrabat Wildlife Sanctuary. There is a Buddha’s footprint imprint on the mount which has been respected among the Buddhists in this region for ages. In the past, there was no such road to reach the peak, therefore, the faithful needed to walk through the dense forest and high cliff to make the worship at this holy footprint. Afterwards, Phra Dhep Visutthiyarn, the abbot of Wat Analyo Thipayaram in nearby Payao province visited the venue by foot. And the feat of his faith and the believers, as well as to commemorate King Mongkut’s 200th anniversary on October 18, 2004, then the temple was founded.
About the Temple
The temple is divided into 3 main levels which are
This is a location of “Wat Chaloem Phra Kiat Phrachomklao Rachanuson” or its former name as “Wat Phra Buddhabat Pu Pha Daeng” or known among the local is “Wat Lang” (Lower Temple). Within this area is the house of ubosot or ordination hall and pagoda. The visitors are allowed to access the ordination hall to pay respect to the Phra Nirandaraya that modeled follow to King Rama 4’s Buddha statue. The ubosot is designed according to Lan Na with 2 tiers of the roof and a couple of Singha guarding at the entrance. To visit this part of the temple, the visitors can use the parking in front of the temple.
The upper area of the temple situated upon the top of the mountain. To access this area, the visitors need to drive for about 3 km along the slope hill ascent. For one who is not skillful in driving, the pickup truck facility is available with the fair price for round trip is THB600 / 10 seats. A destination is called “Phu Pah Mok” or “Doi Ji Mok” which means ‘Touch the Mist Peak’. The place is a house of the Buddha’s footprint which is guided by the signage from the parking area and walk for 300 meters. This holy footprint has been worshipped by the residents and believers in Chae Hom district and Lam Pang province for ages. The annual worship ceremony takes place on the full moon of the 8th month in the lunar calendar. Inside the pavilion, besides the copy of Buddha’s footprint, there also are several of the mark imprinted on the rock located around the area, too.
This area is “Doi Phrabat” that accessible by foot only. The path is about 1 km approximate with both simple and tough walkway, including stairway up to the rock. Nonetheless, the beauty of nature along the way is pleasant enough for the visitors to enjoy. The third part of the temple is the location for more than ten pagodas which contain many sacred things inside. The pagodas are brought about by the strong belief of the people taking more than a decade to complete.
In order to do a worship to the Buddha’s relic enshrined inside the golden pagoda, the visitors have to walk to the right along the narrow iron staircase, however, the stunning landscape before eye here is very worthwhile. Whereas, to detour to the left side is a chanting pavilion. This building is inhabited by the monk but serves as the place for prayer in every the 8th waning moon. In addition, the viewpoint up here features a charming scene of Chae Hom and specifically the row of 5 white pagodas set on the top of limestone mountain is very amazing and that seems unlikely to be built on it or can say bring us to the heaven if you wish.
In addition, there is a miracle pond on the route of descent with the folk legend that it is an elixir pond that never runs dry, yet it is prohibited for any women to touch the water. And this becomes the prohibition with the tag for the visitors.
Sight the 360 – degree of scene
At the topmost of the temple is the most beautiful viewpoint features 360 degrees of breath-taking views. The landscape of the village surrounded by the river and greenery rice field is very fascinating. Furthermore, there are other attractions to explore which are Pha Sawan Cave, Miracle Wind Chill, ancient limestone furnace, including the ancient city called “Vichet Nakara” as a neighborhood as well.
How to get there
From the city town of Lam Pang, uses the highway number 1035 to Chae Hom. And from the town of Cha Hom about 1 km there is the intersection on the left with the gangway to enter to Lao Yao village, then drive to enter there for 200 meters, the destination is on the left. The visitors are allowed to park at the first level of the temple since the route from here needs 4-wheel-drive car plus skillful driving.
Note: The trip to Wat Chaloemprakiat is a very tough journey starting from the beginning both by car and feet more than 1,000 meters. Therefore, it is not suitable for any old people or unhealthy. Apart from that, it is not a busy tourist attraction so any facilities such as restroom, food vendor, and shop are limited to serve the visitors.