Monk venerates the gold-leaf covered hand of the Phra Achana Buddha inside a mondop (altar pavilion) at Wat Si Chum (Temple Of The Bodhi Tree). Wat Si Chum was built in the 13th century during the Sukhothai Kingdom (1238-1438). It is one of 193 ruins in the Sukhothai Historical Park, the former royal capital that is spread over 70 square kilometres. Along with Kamphaengphet and Si Satchanalai, Sukhothai is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Phra Achana means "one who is not frightened". The 11.3-metre wide Buddha statue is in the Bhumisparsa Mudra (calling the earth goddess to witness) posture, one of the most common in Thai temples. This is indicated by the fingers of the right hand touching the ground and the left hand lying flat in the lap, palm upwards. It symbolizes the enlightenment and steadfastness of Siddhartha Gautama when he meditated under the bodhi tree. (Brian K. Smith photo.)
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