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Temples in Bangkok
We have created the Temples In Bangkok as a place to share some of our information and resources about the getting around, visiting, where to go, and what you can see in the some of the many Buddhist Temples in and around Bangkok.
Wat Arun known as the temple of dawn located on the Chao Phraya riverside which the temple was built during the Ayutthaya period and was originally called Wat Makok after the name of the local village Tambol Bangmakok. It means "Village of Olives". Wat Arun gets its name from Aruna, the Indian god of the dawn, hence its common name The Temple of Dawn. The location of the temple is in the area that used to be occupied by the palace of King Taksin who re-established the Siamese Kingdom after the fall of Ayuttaya more than two hundred years ago. The main Buddha image is believed to have been designed by King Rama II. Wat Arun, often called The Temple of Dawn, is one of the most remarkable visual identities of Bangkok.
The imposing Khmer-style prang or tower is 67 metres tall and decorated with bits of porcelain that was used as ballast by boats coming from China. It is surrounded by four smaller prangs.
Construction of the prangs were started by King Rama II and completed by King Rama II.The central balcony is an ideal spot for looking across the river to The Grand Palace and The Temple of The Emerald Buddha. Each year at the end of the three-month lent period for Buddhist monks, H. M. The King or his appointed representative travels down river in a Royal Barge Procession to present new robes to the monks. This ceremony is called Royal Tod Kathin.
Location : The Chao Phraya Riverside
Wat Phra Kaew or the Temple of the Emerald Buddha well known in Thai is Wat Phra Si Rattana Satsadaram (the official name of Wat Phra Kaew), the royal monastery situated on the northwestern corner of the Grand Palace in Bangkok. It houses the statue of Phra Phuttha Maha Mani Rattana Patimakon (Emerald Buddha) and is the place where significant religious ceremonies are conducted. The construction of the temple was completed in 1784 and there have been constant renovations during every reign from King Rama I to IX. The interior of the Ubosoth and the entire compound walls are decorated with mural paintings. Apart from these, other highlights within the temple include the eight stupas, Phra Si Ratana Chedi, the model of Angor Wat, etc.
This royal monastery in the precincts of the Grand Palace was one of Thailand’s first attractions introduced to the world when the tourism promotion began 50 years ago.
Location : Na Phra Lan Rd., Phra Nakorn District
Wat Suthat or well-known as Wat Suthat Thep Wararam is one of the first-class Royal temples which you can see the beautiful of Giant Swing view. The temple situated almost in the center of old Bangkok and the surrounding area is also worth exploring as there are many shops selling religious items.
The building of the temple was commissioned by King Rama I, the founder of Bangkok, in 1807. Its location in the center of Rattanakosin Island. This was in keeping with the Buddhist belief that it is like Mount Phra Sumeru being the center of the universe. Phra Sri Sakayamunee, the principal Buddha image, was moved from Wat Mahathat in Sukhothai to be placed in Phra Wihan Luang in Wat Suthat in 1808. Wat Suthat is surrounded by an impressive wall 1.94 metres high and 0.85 metres thick. There are a total of 15 doorways leading into the temple compound. Within the temple grounds the most important building is the Phra Wihan Luang which is the Royal Temple. The mural paintings, covering all the interior walls are some of the finest to be seen anywhere. Each has stone inscriptions describing the pictures.
Surrounding the Royal Temple is Phra Wihan Khot terrace which is really impressive with 156 Buddha statues, mostly in the seated meditative attitude called Smathi. The chapel, Phra Ubosot at Wat Suthat is possibly the most beautiful in Thailand and is also the largest measuring 72.25 metres in length and 22.60 metres in width.
Location : Bamrung Mueang Rd., Phra Nakorn District
Wat Benchamabophit is known to foreigners as The Marble Temple as its exterior is clad in Carrara marble. Very talented The Prince Naris, a son of King Rama IV, designed the main building which was completed during the reign of King Rama V.
The interior crossbeams are decorated with lacquer and gold. The walls of the spacious inner courtyard are lined with a large collection of bronze Buddha images. The canal in front and to the left hand side has ornate bridges.
It is advisable to come in the early morning to see local people offering alms to the monks as they do not go outside as monks at other temple do. Stand at the main entrance to the compound and watch the pigeons take flight. If you cant be there at this time, go at sunset when the main doors are illuminated. This is another sight well worth witnessing.
Location : Ratchawithi Rd., Dusit District
Wat Saket and the Golden Mount located on the hill of Bangkok which is of great significance for all followers of The Lord Buddha. With 320 stairs take you up to the top for panoramic views of the Rattanakosin Island.
The Golden Mount is on a man-made hill with a diameter of 500 metres and soars 100 metres to the sky. There was a small chedi on this site and after it collapsed, King Rama III commissioned the constructed of a much larger one which was completed during the reign of King Rama V.
In 1877, King Rama V brought the Buddha relic in the custody of the Royal Chakri family from the Grand Palace to the Royal Pavilion at Wat Saket. It was then enshrined in the in the pagoda on top of the Golden Mount.
Two decades later, Marquis Curzon, the British Viceroy of India, presented more Buddha relics near the Nepalese border to King Rama V. These were enshrined in a bronze pagoda in 1899 and installed on the top of the Golden Mount.
The temple, Wat Saket, was built during the reign of King Rama I and is the location for a festival each November that includes a climb to the top of the Golden Mount.
Location : Chakkraphatdiphong Rd., Pom Prap Sattru Pha District
(Wat Phra Chetuphon Vimolmangklararm Rajwaramahaviharn) Wat Pho is most interesting and most famous temple in Bangkok for the golden reclining Buddha that measues 46 metres and has feet inlaid with mother-of pearl. The temple was combined history, medical science and is a center for meditation and traditional massage training. Wat Pho official name is Wat Phrachetuphon Vimon Mangkararam Ratchaworamahawihan. The temple was founded during the 16th century and in more modern times, Wat Pho has gained international recognition as a meditation centre and for the traditional Thai massage that is both practiced and taught here. Bas reliefs around one of the main buildings depict the story of the Ramakian. The walls have marble tablets describing basic anatomy and treatments. In the late afternoon, traditional medicine practitioners are there to dispense herbal mixtures. Nearby, there is a cloister where you can have a traditional Thai massage for a very small payment.
In 2008, the historic marble inscriptions in Wat Pho have been registered with UNESCO’s Memory of the World (MOW) as MOW documentary heritage for Asia and Pacific Region.
Location : Maharat Rd., Phra Nakorn District
Wat Ratchanatdaram was built in the reign of King Rama III in 1846 and Loha Prasat standing 36 metres high with 37 surrounding spires, is the only one of its kind left in the world. Next to the temple is the area for welcoming an important foreign guest and a memorial statue of King Rama III.
How to get there
Take the boat at Pratunam pier near Central World to Tha Phan Fah pier and walk about 5 minute.
Location : Ratchadamnoen Klang and Mahachai Rd.
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Buddhist Temples of Thailand
The Buddhist Temples of Thailand explores the Buddhist temple s historical position in Thai culture and the dynamic role it continues to play in everyday life. The kingdom s best-known sites and rare gems, such as Wat Phra Kaew in Bangkok and Wat Phumin in Nan, are brought to life through expert text and more than 200 commissioned photographs.
Just came back from Thailand and the book brought back many wonderful memories for me. Outstanding visual journey through 40 most historic WATS. The photos in this collection are excellent and give you realistic images of the WATS. Makes me want to go back to Thailand.I recommend this book to anyone who wants to know about the origin and history of the Buddhist Society.
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