Travel to Ancient Pha That Luang: Golden Stupa Of Laos

Asia is known for its rich heritage on the planet. Laos is famous because of its culture, forests, rice, and peacefulness. The “Pha That Luang” is the symbol of its rich religious architectural heritage. It is a shiny Buddhist stupa plated by gold. It is located in the middle of Vientiane city of Laos. It is a heaven for culture travellers and tourists who love heritage.

Landscape of Stupa, Credits: Benh LIEU SONG, CC BY-SA 3.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0, via Wikimedia Commons


The origin of Stupa of Vientiane is as old as the Third century. But after that, the structure of the stupa has experienced a lot of restorations. The last one was done in the early 20th century after the foreign incursions of the Vientiane.

It is commonly observed as the key countrywide shrine in and representation. Now, the Stupa architecture is the symbol of the culture of Laos. Its pinnacle is plated with original gold. The complex of the stupa has its boundary. The complex comprises a lot of Lao and Khmer figures.

King Jayavarman VII of the Khmer Empire. Credits: Chaoborus at French Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 2.5 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5, via Wikimedia Commons

The history of Buddhism in Laos is associated with ancient India. During the time of Ashoka of the Indian Mauryan Empire, Buddhist Monk Praya Chanthabury Pasithisak with his subordinates came to Laos along with a holy relic of Lord Buddha. They placed that relic inside the stupa. The stupa thrived at that time but ruined after that. The stupa was reconstructed in the Thirteen century according to Khmer architectural techniques.

Phillip Maiwald (Nikopol), CC BY-SA 3.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The name of King Setthathirat is famously associated with this stupa temple. He transferred his capital from Luang Prabang to Vientiane in the Sixteenth Century. He again re-erected the stupa structure nearby his new capital Vientiane. They also constructed Thirty little stupas.
In the mid of Seventeenth-century, a diplomat of the Dutch East India Company visited the stupa of Vientiane during the reign of ruler Sourigna Vongsa. The name of diplomat was Gerrit van Wuysthoff. In the past few centuries, the stupa was constantly looted by the various neighboring countries such as Burma, Thailand, China, etc.

Nagas, Credits: Phillip Maiwald (Nikopol), CC BY-SA 3.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0, via Wikimedia Commons


In the 19th century, the shrine was devastated by the Thai attack. Later on, the French architects conserved it with the help of old plans and maps. After the 2nd WW, the Pha That Luang was again restored.
If you are on a tour of Laos then This Buddhist Stupa is waiting for you. Visit the Stupa and share your experience in the comment section.

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