A drought causing widespread despair in Thailand ended up having a silver lining. People from all over Thailand are flocking to Lopburi to visit a temple which had been submerged for decades.
Wat Nong Bui Yai is a modern Buddhist temple which was in the Nong Bua village. A dam had been constructed to create a reservoir with a 960 million-cubic-meter capacity. The reservoir was created to help irrigate 1.3 million acres of land. After a devastating drought hit Thailand this year, the reservoir is at 3% capacity.
With the waters of the reservoir at an all-time low, parts of the reservoir bed have become exposed. Construction of the dam caused the modern temple and the village surrounding it to become submerged. Villagers had been relocated and compensated for their lost property; however, the temple was lost underwater.
Along with the temple, the remains of the village have also resurfaced. Many Buddhist monks are a part of the throng of visitors to the temple ruins. This is not the first time the temple reared its head from its watery resting place. The temple was once seen in 2015 since its submergence. The temple had been a cultural and religious centre of the village. While the villagers regret losing their temple to the reservoir, the lack of water due to the drought has affected farmers of the Lopburi province.
While many people are stating that the second re-appearance of the temple is a sign, the government has chosen to ignore such claims. Once the rains return, the reservoir is to be functional again. This means that the lost temple which has been found will be lost once more. Till then, the 4-meter tall, headless Buddha statue along with the ruins of the temple and village continue to receive visitors.