World's Largest Buddhist Stupa
Continuing with the Buddhist theme I wrote about last week, the following is an excerpt from my visit to the world's largest stupa in Thailand in 1987 while vacationing from my studies in China:
We are bused back to Phra Pathom Chedi in Nakhon Pathom, the tallest stupa in the world in the oldest town in Thailand. The fabric of Thailand is Buddhism. Colorful temples are the predominant structure visible from the roads. In Bangkok, little prayer “temples” sit on posts like bird houses every few blocks. Making offerings and praying are national pastimes.
Phra Pathom Chedi is immense, built on top of the original Chedi. This place has been holy to Buddhists for centuries. It is gold, but not the bright yellow gold of the Wat Phra Keo in Bangkok. No. the color of the sealed Chedi is a more sedate tannish gold. We circle the inner courtyard. We remove our shoes and enter a building to come face to face with a large reclining Buddha. Distinct from all other Buddhas, this Buddha is not covered with gold leaves. He is clean and smooth, a shell of complete nothingness.
I took the two ground-level photos, not the aerial.