Zone 4
Scenic Naga Stairs

Taking you up and down from Sri Buddha Gaya Pagoda, this path features 4 notable attractions:

Naga Stairs

Naga stairs take you up to and down from Sri Buddha Gaya Pagoda. There are a total of 199 steps, which stretch to 170 meters. The parallel rails resemble the body of male and female nagas, sculpted in the style of Indian art. There are four pairs of them or eight nagas total. Each naga holds a different auspicious object: conch shell, elephant goad, martial stick, disc (chakra), symbol of prosperity, triple-edge flag, celestial cow, or water urn. While ascending/descending the steps, notice symbols of twelve zodiacs along the way.

Ashoka Stone Pillar

Made of yellow sandstone, this pillar is nine meters tall and has a base that’s two meters high; the length and width of the base are 1X1.5 meters. At the top of the pillar, there are four lionheads looking out to each of the four cardinal directions. The pillar and its base are the works of Ajarn Phichai Niraman, the artist who sculpted the model of Erawan Elephant for the famous museum in Samut Prakan. The base of the pillar features engravings of major events in the Buddha’s life, such as his birth, enlightenment, and passing.
The Ashoka Pillar at the Forest Monastery of Her Royal Highness reflects a tradition started by King Ashoka the Great (304-232 BCE). After the Buddha’s death, the King revived the religion by marking important sites during the Buddha’s lifetime with a stone pillar: The Lord’s places of birth, enlightenment, and passing. The pillars do not only demarcate important landmarks in Buddhism for Buddhists; they serve as a monument of dharma to show that Buddhism has planted a firm root in a given place.

Shrine of Phra Upakut

After ascending the naga stairs for about halfway, you will come to a small shrine in the middle of a small pond. It contains a statue of two figures wearing a crown sitting back-to-back. They are Phra Upakut, an arhat who lived during the time of King Asoka the Great (304-232 BCE). Phra Upakut is typically known to Thais as Phra Bua Khem.
Phra Thamapamok created the arhart as a double sided figure to bring blessings for visitors: They shall arrive and leave with auspiciousness and come with mindfulness and leave with mindfulness. Phra Upakut shall eliminate obstacles and bring propitiousness to everyone who visits the Forest Monastery of Her Royal Highness.
The arhat played an important role during the time of King Ashoka the Great, after the Buddha passed. He defeated a demon who came to antagonize a worship ceremony the King organized.

The Buddha’s Place of Death

This building is a smaller replica of the Buddha’s place of passing in Kushinagar India, one of the four famous Buddhist pilgrimage sites. Located to the left of the naga ascending steps that take you up to Sri Buddha Gaya Pagoda, this chapel is comprised of two halls. The outer hall features a reclining Buddha in his final moment of life. This 1.2 meters wide and 2.10 meters long elegantly sculpted Buddha is made of beautiful white jade. Take some time to enjoy and appreciate his delicate details. Slowly observe the beautiful curves and edges of the Buddha’s robe and body. His right palm features a dharma wheel on top of a beautifully sculpted lotus leaf, which signifies that he is passing into Nirvana with joy. The inner hall of the chapel features statues of famous Thai monks the abbot reveres.

Naga Stairs

Naga stairs take you up to and down from Sri Buddha Gaya Pagoda. There are a total of 199 steps, which stretch to 170 meters. The parallel rails resemble the body of male and female nagas, sculpted in the style of Indian art. There are four pairs of them or eight nagas total. Each naga holds a different auspicious object: conch shell, elephant goad, martial stick, disc (chakra), symbol of prosperity, triple-edge flag, celestial cow, or water urn. While ascending/descending the steps, notice symbols of twelve zodiacs along the way.

Ashoka Stone Pillar

Made of yellow sandstone, this pillar is nine meters tall and has a base that’s two meters high; the length and width of the base are 1X1.5 meters. At the top of the pillar, there are four lionheads looking out to each of the four cardinal directions. The pillar and its base are the works of Ajarn Phichai Niraman, the artist who sculpted the model of Erawan Elephant for the famous museum in Samut Prakan. The base of the pillar features engravings of major events in the Buddha’s life, such as his birth, enlightenment, and passing.
The Ashoka Pillar at the Forest Monastery of Her Royal Highness reflects a tradition started by King Ashoka the Great (304-232 BCE). After the Buddha’s death, the King revived the religion by marking important sites during the Buddha’s lifetime with a stone pillar: The Lord’s places of birth, enlightenment, and passing. The pillars do not only demarcate important landmarks in Buddhism for Buddhists; they serve as a monument of dharma to show that Buddhism has planted a firm root in a given place.

Shrine of Phra Upakut

After ascending the naga stairs for about halfway, you will come to a small shrine in the middle of a small pond. It contains a statue of two figures wearing a crown sitting back-to-back. They are Phra Upakut, an arhat who lived during the time of King Asoka the Great (304-232 BCE). Phra Upakut is typically known to Thais as Phra Bua Khem.
Phra Thamapamok created the arhart as a double sided figure to bring blessings for visitors: They shall arrive and leave with auspiciousness and come with mindfulness and leave with mindfulness. Phra Upakut shall eliminate obstacles and bring propitiousness to everyone who visits the Forest Monastery of Her Royal Highness.
The arhat played an important role during the time of King Ashoka the Great, after the Buddha passed. He defeated a demon who came to antagonize a worship ceremony the King organized.

The Buddha’s Place of Death

This building is a smaller replica of the Buddha’s place of passing in Kushinagar India, one of the four famous Buddhist pilgrimage sites. Located to the left of the naga ascending steps that take you up to Sri Buddha Gaya Pagoda, this chapel is comprised of two halls. The outer hall features a reclining Buddha in his final moment of life. This 1.2 meters wide and 2.10 meters long elegantly sculpted Buddha is made of beautiful white jade. Take some time to enjoy and appreciate his delicate details. Slowly observe the beautiful curves and edges of the Buddha’s robe and body. His right palm features a dharma wheel on top of a beautifully sculpted lotus leaf, which signifies that he is passing into Nirvana with joy. The inner hall of the chapel features statues of famous Thai monks the abbot reveres.