Thai locals flock to sunken Buddhist temple that has emerged from the water after severe drought

Locals are flocking to this sunken Buddhist temple which has emerged again following a severe drought.

The ancient Wat Nong Bua Yai Buddhist temple was built more than 100 years ago and was once the centre of the community in Lopburi, central Thailand.

But the area was flooded and covered in water after developers built a dam connected to the Pasak Jolasid reservoir in 1999.

The ancient temple been submerged ever since, only occasionally dropping in water levels.

But following a severe drought this year, the reservoir has dropped to less than three per cent of its capacity.

The shrines, pillars, stone steps and remains of the buildings - revered by Buddhists - are now visible again.

Hundreds of Buddhist monks in orange robes and devout locals have been converging on the area in recent weeks to make offerings and pray to the monuments.

Footage taken yesterday (August 7) shows hundreds of people converging on the area and placing coins in the ruins of the buildings for good luck.

One visitor, Apichai Sanidpol, said: ''I knew what the temple was like when it was open. It was very special and always busy. My family came here.

''When there's lots of rain again the temple will be covered with water again. We might never have a chance to see it again, so everybody is visiting and praying for good luck.''

Thailand and much of South East Asia has been hit by severe drought this year caused in part by the El Nino warm phase which has lead to reduced rain.