Thai Prince pilots Odyssey to Gaya

Thailand Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn along with  family members in Bodh Gaya.

Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn, who has been trained as a pilot, also flew his family along for the pilgrimage to Gaya, a place where Gautam Buddha attained enlightenment. Princess Srirasami and children Bajrakitiyabha (26) and Dipangkorn (6) accompanied the Prince.

In tow were 117 other passengers including members of the Thai cabinet, businessmen and senior government officials, who had reposed their complete faith in the flying skills of the Prince.

After alighting from the aircraft, the Crown Prince reached the famous Mahabodhi Temple and offered prayers. He spent more than an hour at the temple. Flanked by devout Buddhists from Thailand, the Prince devoted another 15 minutes at the revered Bodhi Tree where Buddha had attained enlightenment. He tied a golden robe around the fence and made a generous donation to the chief monk of the temple.

For this special flight, each air passenger had shelled out 5,00,000 bahts ($16,666 or Rs 7 lakh) per seat. The normal air fare costs around Rs $1385. “The entire proceeds from this special Buddhists pilgrimage flight will be presented to His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej to help disaster victims,” said a source.

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