Century old pagoda found under trash in Bangkok

DPA, June 26, 2005

BANGKOK, Thailand -- A pagoda more than a century old has been discovered hidden by a garbage heap, a bodhi tree and a bathroom in Bangkok?s Samphantawong district, news reports said yesterday.

Buddhist monks discovered the 5m tall pagoda near the Samphantawong temple compound on Thursday after investigating gardeners? complaints of mysterious incidents occurring whenever they attempted to trim the bodhi tree, said the Bangkok Post newspaper.

Temple staff had to remove a large pile of trash before the structure was recognised as a pagoda whose engraving showed it was built in 1853.

?Not until the garbage was removed did they realize it was an old pagoda,? said Monk Palad Sampatviriyajarn, secretary general of the Samphantawong temple, situated on the outskirts of Bangkok?s Citry Town.

Only one side of the pagoda could be cleaned up because the other half was beneath the restroom of a house that is encroaching the temple compound.

Samphantawong temple has asked the Fine Arts Department to arrange for a restoration of the structure.