Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Locals join world heritage push for ancient temple enshrining Thailand’s oldest stupa

Jun 30. 2019
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By Chularat Saengpassa
The Nation, Nakhon Si Thammarat

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More than 1,000 students turned up at Wat Phra Mahathat Woramahawihan in Nakhon Si Thammarat province on Sunday to support efforts to turn the ancient temple into a world heritage site.

The centuries-old temple monastery has been shortlisted for Unesco heritage status since 2013.

“Today, we launched our campaign to push for official registration of Wat Phra Mahathat Woramahawihan as a world-heritage site,” Nakhon Si Thammarat Deputy Governor Pakpoom Intarasuwan said at the temple on Sunday. 

“We want to give locals the chance to join this significant move.”

He was speaking as local school and university students gathered at the temple to pledge their faith and offer prayers for the campaign launch. The temple’s magnificent white stupa formed the backdrop for a dance of worship performed by students from Nakhon Si Thammarat College of Dramatic Arts. Known as Phra Borommathat Chedi, the stupa is regarded as the oldest in the country with shape and style unchanged since its construction to house Buddha relics in the 13th century CE. 

Pakpoon noted that Wat Phra Mahathat Woramahawihan is a landmark of the province, well known in Thailand and internationally.

“We will submit a full report requesting world-heritage status for the temple in September. We may then be asked to make revisions. The final report will be submitted by January 31 next year,” he said.

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