Wat Phra That Choeng Chum: "Footprints of four incarnations of the Buddha"

Last Updated: January 07,2020

Wat Phra That Choeng Chum is located in the center of Sakhon Nakhon town in the northeast of Thailand. Sakhon Nakhon is a Buddhist town which history can be traced back to the 10th century when Khmer ruled this region. The temple is highly revered in the town as it is believed that four incarnations of the Buddha came here and pressed their footprint in the soil. The chedi (stupa) of the temple was built to cover the footprints. As the temple is very important in the eyes of the Buddhist of Thailand, it become an important pilgrimage place. Lots of Thai Buddhists all around the country travel to the temple to pray and show their respect. And the image of white and gold chedi of the temple is shown on the provincial seal and on the 10 Satang coin. 

Wat Phra That Choeng Chum

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Phra That Choeng Chum chedi (stupa)

The Laotian style Phra That Choeng Chum chedi of the temple was built in the 17th century during Ayutthaya Kingdom. The white and golden slender chedi was built on a square base and it is 24 meters high with a multi-tiered solid gold umbrella. The chedi was built in the shape of an angled lotus bud covering the footprints of the Buddha. 

Footprints of four incarnations of the Buddha

The legend says the four incarnations of the Buddha came to the town and left their footprints at this special spot. It is also believed that the fifth Buddha will come as well to press his footprint into the soil here. The chedi covering the footprints was built over a very smaller Khmer prang. Khmer script at the entrance telling about the history of the prang still can be seen as Sakhon Nakhon was a very important town of the Khmer empire. 

Inside the viharn (Assembly hall)

When you step into the viharn of the temple, the first eye catching sights are rows of white pillars which support the roof. A Chiang Saen style Luang Phor Phra Ong Saen Buddha is opposite the entrance which was casted in 1257. A large arched door is behind the Buddha leading to a mall room where several old Buddha images and relics are contained. 

Other structures of the temple  

On the grounds of the temple you will find a number of stones in large cannon balls shape which make the sacred area of the ubosot (ordination hall). The other structures of temple include an ubosot and a well with a large five headed Naga snake wrapped around. 

Wax Castle Festival

At the end of Buddhist lent day which is usually in the October at end of the raining season, the temple will celebrate the Wax Castle Festival. During the festival, bees wax made models, sculptures of temples, shrines and castles are paraded around the Sakhon Nakhon town and displayed in the temple. And longboat races would be held on the river as well during the festival.  

How to get to the Wat Phra That Choeng Chum 

The temple is in the center of Sakhon Nakhon town, the capital city of Sakhon Nakhon province in Northeast Thailand. It is 647 kilometers from Bangkok. Visit can choose to fly or take the public bus or train to the town then take a motorbike taxi there. 

Opening hours 

The temple opens during daylight hours every day.  

Explore Thailand with UME Travel

These itineraries with some visits to the sacred the elegant Thai temples are designed to give you some suggestions for what is possible when you travel to Thailand. They showcase the routes that we've found work very well. Take them as your travel inspiration, because your trip will be designed uniquely for you on your particular interests.    

Temples in Thailand

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