Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Brief History of the Emerald Buddha

The Emerald Buddha is in reality carved from a large piece ofgreen jade. According to a reliable cronicle, in 1434 A.D. the Emerald Buddha was found in a chedi in Chiangrai in northern Thailand. Later on it was brought to Lampang province by King Samfangkaen and remained there for 32 years, until 1468 when Chiangmai had a powerful king, King Tiloka had the Emerald Buddha brought to Chiangmai.

In 1551 the king of Chiangmai, who had no son,died. One of his daughters was married to the king of Laos. She had borne one son, name Prince Chaichettha. When the king of Chiangmai

died the ministers of Chiangmai invited the prince, who was fifteen, to become king and he accepted. However, when his father, the king of Laos, passed away, King Chaichettha wanted
to go back to Laos. So he returned to Luang Prabang, the then capital of Laos, taking the Emerald Buddha with him, and promised the ministers of Chiangmai to come back. But he
never returned nor send back the Emerald Buddha, so theimage remained in Luang Prabang for twelve years.

In 1564, King Chaichettha could not resist the Burmese army of King Bayinnuang; thus he moved his capital down to Vientiane and the Emerald Buddha remained there for 214 years.

In 1778, during the Thonburi period, when King Rama I of Bangkok was still a general, he captured Vientiane and brought the emerald Buddha back to Thailand. With the establishment

of Bangkok as the capital, the Emerald Buddha became the palladium of Thailand and has been ever since. The image was moved from Thonburi to the Temple of the Emerald Buddha in
Bangkok on March 22, 1784.

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