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Black Stupa (That Dam), Vientiane

Black Stupa (That Dam) Overview

Black Stupa, alternatively referred to as That Dam, is a large stupa in Laos. It is located at a stone’s throw from the morning market and the American Embassy. As per local beliefs, the Stupa is home to a seven-headed snake that protected them from the Siamese invasion in 1827. Depictions of serpents are commonly seen in many temples of Buddhist origin across South East Asia. As per the popular legend, Mucalinda – the king of serpents is said to have protected Lord Buddha from incessant rains when he was meditating.

If the local talk is to be believed, the stupa was constructed around the 16th century & was covered in gold. The gold was pillaged by the Siamese army in 1828 & thereafter, the name Black Stupa was derived as a reminder. Many consider this monument to be a national icon that stands for the unyielding struggle of the Laotians against Siamese oppression.

 

Many locals still believe it to be the guardian spirit of the city, though people no longer come here to pray. For history enthusiasts, the several legends and folklores associated with Black Stupa make it a must visit spot.

 

Location: Chantha Khoumane Road, Vientiane

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