Phra Maha Dr. Phra Khru Palat Sophit Thirathammo, better known as “Luangpho Inter”, President of the International Cultural Promotion and Social Service Foundation, Wat Arun Ratchawararam, has planned to construct an “International Tranquility Development Centre” and “Ho Kham Luang” on an area of 160 rai in Ban Nong Nok Kraten, Tambon Wang Katha, Amphoe Pak Chong, Nakhon Ratchasima Province. Starting from 1998 onwards, the project has been purposed for the education as well as concentration practices of the Thai people, foreigners, Buddhist followers, and for the promotion of pilgrimage tourism.
A multi-purposed reception hall called “Sala Maha Phutthanuphap” is currently under construction. Its foundation stone was anointed by His Holiness the Supreme Patriarch who also donated a certain sum of money as funding for the construction. In order to fulfill the objectives of the project, the Foundation held a united Forest-Robe Presentation Ceremony and casting ceremony of 9 out of 76 principal Buddha images to be distributed to all 76 provinces throughout the country called “Somdet Phra Maha Thammachakraphatdirat” on Sunday, 3 August, 2008, at the International Tranquility Development Centre, Ban Nong Nok Kraten, Tambon Wang Katha, Amphoe Pak Chong, Nakhon Ratchasima. The casting ceremony was chaired by General Surayud Chulanont, Privy Councillor, while the united Forest-Robe Presentation Ceremony was co-chaired by Phornsiri Manoharn, Governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) and chairperson of the operating committee.
The event featured a propitiatory ritual, united Forest-Robe Presentation Ceremony, and image casting ceremony. Participants included Buddhists, visitors, and interested people from Bangkok, Nakhon Ratchasima, and nearby provinces.
Auttaphol Wannakij, Director of the TAT Nakhon Ratchasima Office, disclosed that pilgrimage tourism was gaining higher popularity among Buddhists as well as general tourists alike. As a consequence, the Office was in the process of compiling data on religious attractions to tailor new tourism routes, which would then be publicised among tourists and, especially those who are looking for tranquil religious places, for them to get to know the Centre better and come to practice their insight development while learning more about other Buddhist attractions.
Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) Nakhon Ratchasima Office; Tel. 0 4421 3030, 0 4421 3666, Fax. 0 4421 3667, or visit www.tat.or.th/northeast01E-mail: email@example.com