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Phra Pathom Chedi (พระปฐมเจดีย์)

Thai. Name of a bell-shaped pagoda, situated in the city of Nakhon Pathom. With a height of 127 meters, it claims to be the tallest Buddhist structure in the world. The original monument, now overarched by this enormous pagoda, was erected in the 6th century AD by Theravada Buddhists from Dvaravati. However, in the early 11th century AD the Khmer King Suryavarman I conquered the city and had a prang built over the sanctuary. Yet, after the 1057 invasion by the Burmese from Pagan, led by King Anuruddha, the prang was destroyed and it remained that way until King Mongkut (fig.) had it restored in 1860, by building the present chedi over the ruins (fig.). See MAP.