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Thailand: Luang Phor Sothorn

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Luang Phor Sothorn | Thailand | Asia

[Visited: July 2001]

When the rickshaw driver dropped me off, I thought he had mistaken my destination. I expected one of the holiest Buddha images of Thailand to be the prime attraction of a beautiful temple. Instead, I was standing in front of a makeshift building - the temple was under reconstruction. However, a steady flow of people was going inside, so I concluded something had to be there worth seeing. And indeed, there it was. A platform of Buddha images, all with their typical orange dress.

Picture of Luang Phor Sothorn (Thailand): Flowers at Sothorn temple

At the end of it all, it looked as if the tallest statue was quietly monitoring the crowd that was crawling in front of him. I walked around the platform, was given the official permission to take pictures by an official, and finally stepped on the platform and walked around the Buddhas. Legend has it that Luang Phor Sothorn was once fished out of a nearby river, only after a spirit house had been erected for it. Even the rope with which the statue was recovered, is considered sacred.

Picture of Luang Phor Sothorn (Thailand): Buddhas at Sothorn Temple

Then, there is debate about the material of which the statue is made. Some say it must be wood because after all it floated down the river - others, however, say the statue floated only because of its being sacred. In any case, people come from all over the country to revere the statue. Ceremonies are held on full-moon days in the fifth and 12th month of the year to worship the statue.

Picture of Luang Phor Sothorn (Thailand): Worshipping Buddha at Sothorn temple
Picture of Luang Phor Sothorn (Thailand): Detail of Buddha statue at Sothorn temple
Picture of Luang Phor Sothorn (Thailand): Buddhas at Sothorn Temple
Picture of Luang Phor Sothorn (Thailand): Detail of Buddha statue at Sothorn temple
Picture of Luang Phor Sothorn (Thailand): Sticking gold to Luang Phor Sothorn

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