Just 107 kilometres from Bangkok, Saraburi province has yet to make it to the list of favourite tourist destinations despite being home to many interesting temples, some of them boasting murals depicting scenes from the life of the Buddha and of local life.
Under the leadership of Euayporn Kerdchouay, the Siam Society will arrange a study one-day trip to two pilgrimage sites, a bas-relief in Dvaravati style on a cave wall in Kaeng Khoi district, many interesting temples, a large gold Buddha Image, local ethnological museum and historical sites in Saraburi on May 27.
The places of interest include Phra Phutthachai (Shadow of the Buddha) and Phra Phutthabat (Buddha’s Footprint).
Phra Phutthachai is a large sandstone outcrop on which can be seen a faint painted figure of the Buddha, which has become a very popular pilgrimage destination. On the cliff face to the left of the shadowy figure is a shrine with an image of the reclining Buddha. A staircase leads to the cliff top, from where there are excellent views on a clear day.
Situated on the side of a low hill, the Footprint at Phra Phutthabat was first discovered in the reign of King Song Tham (AD 1610-1628). Wat Phra Phutthabat is a royal temple of the first class rank and is home to many interesting buildings, which have been repaired and restored several times. The most important is the Mondop that enshrines the Buddha’s Footprint itself.
Seats are limited and the contribution is Bt2,500 for members and Bt2,800 for non-members. It covers transportation, lunch and other costs incurred in making this trip possible. For bookings, contact Prasert or Pinthip at (02) 661 6470-3 extension 504 Tuesday to Saturday, 9am to 5pm.