A day in Saraburi province
Saturday, 27 May 2017, 8.00 a.m. – 7.30 p.m.
Leader: Khun Euayporn Kerdchouay, Senior Consultant
Saraburi is only 107 kilometers from Bangkok occupying 3,576 square kilometers. The province is situated on the edge of the Central Plain within sight of the hill that separate the plain from Nakhon Ratchasima and Khorat Plateau. Although it is not a favourite destination for most tourists there are many interesting temples, some highly decorated with wall paintings depicting scenes from the life of the Buddha and scenes of the local people of Saraburi town.
In Kaeng Khoi district, only 32 km from the center of the town on the highway to Nakhon Ratchasima is the renewed bas-relief in Dvaravati style discovered on a cave-wall which depicts Vishnu and Siva or Brahma attending the sermon of the Buddha with two angels also flying to listen to the preaching. Most of the Dvaravati Buddha images were carved in stone and clearly display influences of the Gupta and post Gupta styles which flourished in central and western India between the 4th and 8th century.
Other famous tourist attractions and places of interest are:-
Phra Phutthachai (Shadow of the Buddha). Here there is a large sandstone outcrop on which can be seen the faint painted figure of the Buddha, which has become a very popular pilgrimage destination. In 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. Nearby this pilgrimage site is the entrance to Sam Lan National Park, Thailand’s smallest park (44 sq. km), which was established in 1981. There are several small waterfalls here in the rainy season. At a hilltop temple built during the reign of King Rama III there are murals painting depicting scenes from the Ramakien and the life of the Buddha also a good example of 19th century mural painting.
Phra Phutthabat (Buddha’s Footprint), situated on the side of a low hill. The Footprint was first discovered in the reign of King Song Tham (AD. 1610-1628). A group of monks went on a pilgrimage to Ceylon (Sri Lanka) to worship the Buddha’s Footprint at Mount Sumanakut (Adam’s Peak). When Thai monks arrived there, the Sri Lankans asked them why they had troubled to come so far when, according to the Pali text, there was another Buddha’s Footprint of unimpeachable authenticity in their own country. When King Song Tham heard of this, he at once organized a search, and soon after the place was discovered by a hunter who, following a stag that he had wounded, saw it disappear into the undergrowth and later re-emerge completed unharmed. The hunter cut away the undergrowth and come upon a spring that had formed a pool of clear water in the shape of a foot. He drank from this spring and was cured of a skin disease from which he had suffered for many years. It was here that the king decided to build the temple of Phra Phutthabat. Wat Phra Phutthabat is a royal temple of the first class rank. There are many interesting buildings which have been repaired and restored several times. The most important is the Mondop that enshrine the Buddha’s Footprint itself.
Under the leadership of Khun Euayporn Kerdchouay, the Siam Society will arrange a study trip for members to visit the two pilgrimage sites, a bas-relief in Dvaravati style on a cave-wall in Kaeng Khoi district, many interesting temples, large gold Buddha Image, local ethnological museum and historical sites in Saraburi province on Saturday, 27 May 2017. The bus will depart from the Siam Society at 8.00 a.m. and expected to return to the Society on the same day at 7.30 p.m.
Your contribution of Bt. 2,500 (Bt. 2,800 for non-members) will cover transportation, lunch and other costs incurred to make this trip possible. There is a 4% surcharge for credit/debit card payment to cover bank charges. Please pay by cash or cheque payable to ‘The Siam Society’. Alternatively you can deposit/transfer the money to the Siam Society travel account at the Thai Military Bank, Asoke Branch saving account no. 053-2-18000-7. Please fax or e-mail the deposit or transfer docket to us. In case the tour has to be cancelled due to insufficient participants, a full refund of the deposit will be made.
The Siam Society reserves the right to change the programme as necessary. Seats are limited. Please book your place as soon as possible. For further information and bookings please contact Khun Prasert or Khun Pinthip.