Lost temple reappears 42 years after being submerged amid drought and low rainfall in Thailand

A lost temple reappeared after drought caused the water levels to recede in a village in Thailand. The 100-year-old Buddhist Wat Som Mam temple ruins had been submerged since 1979 when the area was vacated for the construction of Mae Jang Dam, where most of the area’s irrigation comes from. Its former residents settled into a new village located about ten kilometres away, but the history of the old village remained which is why they still visited the area by boat from time to time. Incredibly, the temple has reappeared again this month following several consecutive years of drought and low levels of rainfall in Lampang province, in the north of the country. Columns of the ruins where the temple once stood as well as some of the houses can be seen. Base structures were also spotted nearby. Sawang Wongnasak, a village headman in the Ban Na Sak sub-district said they were happy to see the old village again after many years. He said: ‘The old village remained in our memories especially the elderly who grew up there. We used to visit it by boat, but the drought had dried up most of the water in the area.’ Only 16 per cent of the total volume of water in the dam remained this month, or about 16.67 million cubic metres of water. The former residents are now planning to return to the temple ruins to pray and offer gifts while it is still accessible during the hot season.