JavaScript is off. Please enable to view full site.

Drought reveals lost temple in Thailand submerged by dam

Tuesday, August 06, 2019, 11:26 GMT+7
Drought reveals lost temple in Thailand submerged by dam
A family prays near the ruins of a headless Buddha statue, which has resurfaced in a dried-up dam due to drought, in Lopburi, Thailand August 1, 2019. Picture taken August 1, 2019. Photo: Reuters

LOPBURI, Thailand -- Thousands are flocking to see a Buddhist temple in central Thailand exposed after drought drove water levels to record lows in a dam reservoir where it had been submerged.

As the reservoir reaches less than 3% of capacity, the remains of Wat Nong Bua Yai, a modern temple submerged during construction of the dam 20 years ago, have became visible in the middle of dry ground.

Some Buddhist monks were among the hundreds of people who walked through broken temple structures on cracked earth littered with dead fish last week to pay respects to a headless 4-metre (13-feet) -tall Buddha statue, adorning it with flowers.

“The temple is normally covered by water. In the rainy season you don’t see anything,” said one of the visitors, Somchai Ornchawiang, a 67-year-old retired teacher.

He regretted the temple flooding but is now worried about the damage the drought is causing to farmland, he added.

The dam, with capacity of 960 million cubic meters, normally irrigates more than 1.3 million acres (526,000 hectares)of farmland in four provinces, but drought has cut that to just 3,000 acres (1,214 hectares) in the single province of Lopburi.

The meteorological department says Thailand is facing its worst drought in a decade, with water levels in dams nationwide having fallen far short of the monthly average.

Yotin Lopnikorn, 38, headman of the Nong Bua village that used to be near the temple, recalls visiting it with friends as a child, before dam construction forced the villagers out.

“When I was young, I always came to meet friends at the elephant sculptures in front of the main building to play there,” Yotin said.

At the time, the temple was the centre of the community, used to conduct rituals, festivities and educational activities, besides functioning as a playground and recreational area.

Next to the temple compound are the remains of 700 households of the village.

The ruins have reappeared before, after a drought in 2015.

“This is the second time I have seen this temple in this condition,” said Yotin. “Now I think we need to save this place.”

Reuters

Read more

Space telescope offers rare glimpse of Earth-sized rocky exoplanet

The study will likely add to a debate among astronomers about whether the search for life-sustaining conditions beyond our solar system should focus on exoplanets around red dwarfs - accounting for 75% of all stars in the Milky Way - or less common, larger, hotter stars more like our own sun

1 day ago
;

Photos

VIDEOS

Experience summer sand-boarding in Mui Ne

Sand-boarding, a popular activity amongst local children in the coastal tourism town of Mui Ne in south-central Vietnam, is attracting hundreds of tourists to the Red Sand Dunes

Young maple trees given better protection as Hanoi enters rainy season

The trees are currently growing well, with green leaves and healthy branches.

Hunting skinks for food in southern Vietnam

Skink meat is known to be soft, tasty, and highly nutritious.

Vietnamese-made app allows people to grow real veggies via smartphone

Nguyen Thi Duyen, a young engineer in Hanoi, developed the app and its related services to help busy people create their own veggie gardens.

Chinese tourists hit by Vietnamese over dine and dash

Four Chinese were reportedly injured, with one having a broken arm.

Latest news