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Residents flock to Nong Khai to see ancient Buddhist relic pulled up

Tourists are pouring into the northern province of Nong Khai after witnessing the extraordinary sight of an ancient Buddhist stupa sprouting from the Mekong River. 

In Buddhism, a stupa is a mound-like or hemispherical structure containing relics (such as śarīra – typically the remains of Buddhist monks or nuns) that is used as a place of meditation.

It is thought that Phra That Klang Nam was built on what were once the riverbanks circa 700 years ago. But, when the river’s channel altered over time, it fell into the Mekong in 1847 and was fully buried.

Tourists came in droves on Sunday to catch a rare glimpse of the stupa, which was made visible after the river level significantly dropped recently.

The stupa houses nine foot-bone relics of the Buddha, according to the Urangkhathat (Phrathat Phanom) Chronicle.

Due to the sacred stupa emerging from the Mekong River, tourists swarm to Nong Khai.

While others took boats for a closer look, tourists congregated on the riverfront promenade in Nong Khai to observe the stupa. The old building’s continuing erosion by the Mekong’s currents, which are removing its outside stonework, was revealed by the river’s falling level.

The square stupa with rounded sides was divided into three pieces, according to the Regional Fine Arts Unit’s underwater survey, which was reported by the Tourist Authority of Thailand. Given its resemblance to other temples and buildings from that era, it is assumed to have been constructed in the 15th century of the Common Era.

According to the Department of Water Resources on Sunday, the Mekong River’s depth has decreased to less than one meter in some areas as a result of the drought.

Boats are advised to use additional caution when navigating close to the stupa that is partially exposed.

Due to the sacred stupa emerging from the Mekong River, tourists swarm to Nong Khai.

Rapin Butsen, a local boat navigator, verified that a lot of people came to Nong Khai on the weekends to pay respects to the stupa.

He claimed that there were numerous boats that could be rented for a fair fee to transport pilgrims and tourists to the historic site.

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