Pha That Luang

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Pha That Luang (Paa T-had Lu-uang) (Great Stupa in Lao) is a Buddhist stupa in Vientiane, Laos. It was built in the 16th century under King Setthathirat on the ruins of an earlier 13th century Khmer temple, which the Lao believe was in turn built on a 3rd century Indian temple built by Buddhist missionaries from the Mauryan Empire who were sent by the Emperor Ashoka. Relics of The Buddha are said to be contained here.

Pha That Luang was destroyed by the Thai invasion in the 19th century, then later restored to its original design. The architecture of the building includes many references to Lao culture and identity, and so has become a symbol of Lao nationalism.

The area around Pha That Luang is now gated, to keep traffic out. Previously visitors could drive around the whole complex.