The Pra Bang Image of the Buddha
The Pra Bang image of the Buddha is generally thought to have been cast in the 1st century AD in Sri Lanka and later presented to the Khmer King Phaya Sirichantha upon his intention to embrace Theravada Buddhism.  It is only during the 14th century in the reign of Fa Ngum that the journey of the Pra Bang began to be chronicled, and although the information recorded over the following centuries is not fully comprehensive it provides insights into the Pra Bang's significance as a sacred image.
Chronological Events


The Pra Bang arrived in Muang Sua as part of a religious and cultural mission sent by the Khmer King.  The sacred image is thought to have been enshrined in either Wat Keo or the Royal Palace.


The Pra Bang was enshrined at Wat Kang.


The Pra Bang was enshrined at Wat Manorom.


The Pra Bang was enshrined at Wat Visun.


The Pra Bang was taken to Vientiane upon the breakup of the Kingdom of Lan Xang.


The Pra Bang was captured by the Siamese and taken to Siam.


The Pra Bang was returned to Vientiane.


The Pra Bang was captured again and taken to Siam.


The Pra Bang was returned to Luang Prabang where it was temporarily housed in the Royal Palace before being moved to Wat Visun.


The Pra Bang was removed from Wat Visun for safekeeping because of attacks by foreign aggressors.

1894 - 1947

The Pra Bang was moved back to Wat Mai before being moved to its customary dais inside the Royal Palace.  The Pra Bang is currently enshrined in the Pra Bang Room in the former Royal Palace, currently known as the Luang Prabang Museum.
Believed to possess extremely protective powers, the sacred Pra Bang image of the Buddha (Royal Holy Image) is the palladium of Laos.  Created in the Mon-Khmer style and cast in a mixture of gold, silver, and bronze, the image is 83 centimeters tall, weight 54 kilograms, and portrays the Buddha standing with arms raised forward at the elbows, palms facing forward.   This hand gesture known as the Abhaya Mundra signifies assurance and protection.


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2002 SEAsite Laos.  The Pra Bang Image of the Buddha