That Luang stupa gilded with new gold crown

Vientiane authorities have placed almost 10 kilogrammes of gold atop the That Luang Stupa to mark the 450th anniversary of the Lao symbol, according to Vientiane Times.

Illustrative image (Source: Vientiane Times)

The ceremony on October 31 was attended by President Bounnhang Vorachit, Vientiane Mayor Dr Sinlavong Khoutphaythoune, Deputy Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism Bouangeun Xaphouvong, monks and Buddhist followers.

The gilding of the grand stupa is a historic milestone, with nine kg and nine baht weight of gold being added to the tip. (One baht gold = 15.244 grams).

The stupa has been partially restored under the That Luang Stupa Restoration Project to mark the 450th anniversary of the iconic structure, which is being celebrated alongside the annual That Luang festival from November 12-14.

The work is estimated to cost about 15 billion kip (almost 1.84 million USD). To date 16 kilogrammes and 44 baht of gold, and over two billion kip in cash have been donated for the renovation, according to Vientiane Times.

The structure was built on the orders of King Xaysetthathirath in the 16th century.

This is the fourth major renovation of Pha That Luang though other smaller renovations were recorded in 1819, 1930, 1976, 1993, and 1996, said Mayor of Vientiane Capital Sinlavong Khoutphaythoune.-

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