Phra Patham Chedi, Nakhon Pathom
Phra Pathom Chedi, "holiest and first among chedis", stands in the center of the city and, at 118 m (387 ft), or 127 m (417 ft) including the terraces, is the tallest Buddhist monument in the world, taller even than the famous Shwe Dagon, the Golden Pagoda in Rangoon (Myanmar; 99 m (326 ft), completed in 1773).A figure in the wiharn on the north side of the precinct is supposed to be of King Phya Kong, who played a part in the legend surrounding the origin of the chedi.
Opening hours: 8am-5pm
Phra Pathom Chedi - Museum
The old temple museum, containing Mon stucco and stone sculpture, is in the wiharn north of the east entrance. The new museum, the more interesting of the two, dates from 1979 and is by the south steps. On the outside there are stone wheels of the law from Nakhon Pathom's earliest days while displays inside include those of coins and everyday objects plus statues of Buddha (including some very fine ones in Mon style), stone and terracotta sculpture, the reconstruction of a bas relief of the Chulapradit Chedi, and an original bas relief from Wat Sai, south of Nakhon Pathom, showing the Buddha preaching before his first disciples.Nearby is the model of the Khmer prang, the original monument over which King Mongkut erected the present chedi, and a replica of the famous chedi of Wat Mahathat at Nakhon Si Thammarat.Where the stairs on the north side carry on to the top terrace it is worth noting the two salas in the Javanese style in the bottom part, before passing on to the double colonnade containing the four wiharns. The inner terrace, with 24 little towers holding bronze bells, is on the other side of the red lacquered gates. On the two terraces there are a number of Chinese stone figures, used as ballast for junks, two tall Chinese stoves, plant tubs and several salas. This is also a way to reach the monks' living quarters in the south-east of the temple compound.
Phra Pathom Chedi - Festival
Every year pilgrims from all over Thailand flock to Nakhon Pathom's grand temple festival in November. The chedi itself is lit up with fairy lights while classical dance drama, shadow plays and other entertainments take place on the terraces, and the great square at its foot is turned into an amusement park.
Map of Nakhon Pathom Attractions