Buddha footprint

The world of the Buddha footprint
by Dr. Waldemar C. Sailer

The researcher
Research methodology
Selected texts of the researcher
Publications available
Exhibitions held
The Buddha footprint in various coutries
The Buddha footprint in history
Contact Dr. Waldemar C. Sailer

Exhibitions held

For over twenty-five years Dr. Waldemar C. Sailer has collected exact line drawings and made rubbings of Buddha Footprints. This has provided him with the basis for his continuous research and study. His collection has been assembled from fifteen countries in Asia and continues to grow, although it is still in an embryonic stage. Currently there are six hundred items in the collection.

Exhibitions of Dr. Sailerís collection are extensions to the study of the Buddha footprints and include:

  • An entire Buddha footprint in exact size

  • Sequence of the 108 auspicious illustrations

  • Three planes indicated on the Buddha footprint

  • Each auspicious illustration is examined as follows:
    - Number of auspicious illustrations
    - Pali term or phrase for each illustration
    - A suggested translation of the Pali term or phrase
    - Information relating to each illustration

1990 Towards the Second Century of Archaeology in Sri Lanka, July 7th to 13th, 1990, Department of Archaeology, Colombo, Sri Lanka. A collection of twenty-one Buddha footprints from Asia was shown.

This unique exhibition was held at the National Museum of Colombo directly after a conference and was designed for a one half-hour television programme. Dr. Sailer guided the Singhalese Minister of Culture throughout the exhibition for the all-nation presentation.


An Ayutthaya Buddha Footprint
, organised by The Siam Society Under Royal Patronage and Kodak (Thailand) Limited. The exhibition was preceded by a lecture.

One Buddha footprint with 108 details with extensive captions for each illustration was the subject of the lecture and exhibition. The illustrations were identified in Pali with suggested translations.

The lecture and exhibition were opened by Air Field Marshall Sit Svetsila, former Minister of Foreign Affairs and now Privy Council member to His Majesty, King Bhumipol Adulyadej of Thailand. Sit Svetsila is the grandson of the writer of the first article published on a Buddha footprint in English within the book The Wheel of the Law.  

A royal Ayutthaya Buddha footprint, Thailand
A Royal Ayutthaya Buddha Footprint, Thailand
(ca. A.D. 1752)
Click on image for enlarging and descriptions

Adding the Pali identification extended the knowledge on the topic. Two ancient books assisted in identifying the 108 auspicious illustrations. One book was written in the 5th century A.D. and the other in A.D. 1157.


The National Celebration in Honour of Her Majesty The Queen on Her Majesty's 60th Birthday Anniversary, Chao Sam Phraya National Museum, Ayutthaya, Thailand. This exhibition was sponsored by the Fine Arts Department from August 19th to September 30th, 1992 and subsequently remained open for an additional six months. Ninety-one Buddha footprints from fifteen countries were exhibited.

This was the first exhibition in the world that provided scope to the world of footprints, especially the Buddha footprints. 


Buddha Pada Lakkhana and Buddha Footprints in The Kingdom of Thailand
, The Rainy Season Exhibition or Vassa Exhibition of 1993, National Museum of Bangkok, Thailand. One half of the exhibition focussed on items from various national museum collections with the balance being exhibits from the collection of Dr. Sailer. The exhibition was opened by His Holiness, The Supreme Patriarch of Thailand and was open for three months.

A one-hour all-nation television programme covered the exhibition under the guidance of His Holiness The Supreme Patriarch.

The text, The Wheel of the Law, published in London in 1871, has been selected as one of the ten books in The Masterpiece Library of Buddhism. In this book, Henry Alabaster wrote of his 1868 visit to Wat Phra Phutta Bat (monastery with the Revered Buddha footprint), Saraburi, then The Kingdom of Siam. One section of the book is dedicated to the Buddha footprint of Saraburi. 

© 2001 Dr. Waldemar C. Sailer. All rights reserved.