via Bangkok Post, 10 July 2019: A feature on Wat Phra Mahathat Woramahawihan in Nakhon Si Thammarat and the preparations to submit a World Heritage nomination.
Wat Phra Mahathat has been on the tentative list of the Unesco World Heritage sites since 2012. At that time, the government allocated about 600 million baht in the budget, which was spent on improving the temple facilities, including building a new 3km road from a train station to the temple, moving electrical wires around the temple to underground and restoring the stupa. At present, the committee is preparing required papers and trying to build public awareness about the World Heritage status.
“Phra Borommathat Chedi is an important sacred site of Theravada Buddhism in the southern peninsula. It is among the eight great relics among stupas in Thailand and is known as one of the important Buddhist pilgrimage sites in the Kingdom,” he said.
Legend has it that the grand stupa of the temple was originally built in the 6th century by King Sri Dhammasokaraja I, the first ruler of Nakhon Si Thammarat, to house Buddha’s tooth relics. In the early 13th century, his successor, King Sri Dhammasokaraja V, rebuilt the stupa in the present Lankan-style, which is the bell-shape stupa, surrounded by 158 small pagodas.
The bell-shaped stupa underwent many renovations, including the latest restoration last year by the Fine Arts Department. Today, the central stupa is white and the top is shining gold. The official ceremony to celebrate the complete restoration project was organised in February this year.
Source: Rescuing the past