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Dylan Voerman, Fashion Photographer based in Bangkok:

Home arrow Temples

Temples PDF Print E-mail
Wat Phra Kaeo
Wat Phra Kaeo , situated in the same compound of the Grand Palace, is a treasure house of Thai arts, and houses the Emerald Buddha, the most revered Buddha image in Thailand. Three main buildings inside the temple which form up a glittering scene are the Golden Stupa, enshrining the relics of the Buddha, the Phra Mondop or the Library, housing the Tripitaka or a Buddhist scripture, the Royal Pantheon which is a pavilion used for keeping statues of deceased kings of Chakri dynasty. Besides, the 178 section mural paintings which depict the story of the Ramayana are the superb masterpiece of Rattanakosin artisans. The compound of Wat Phra Kaeo and the Grand Palace is open daily from 8.30 a.m. to 3.30 p.m.. The admission fee is 200 baht , including the entry to the Royal Thai Decorations & Coins Pavilion in the same compound and to Vimanmek Mansion Museum on Ratchawithi Road.

Wat Pho
Wat Pho or The reclining Buddha represents the Gautama Buddha at his death. It is said that the Buddha knew death was approaching, and asked his disciples to prepare a couch for him in a grove. He lay there, reclining on his right side, facing west, with his head supported by his hand, as he passed into nirvana.
The image of the reclining Buddha is not supposed to evoke sadness, but rather encouragement that all beings have the potential to become enlightened and attain release from the sufferings which characterize the cycle of rebirth. The reclining Buddha's serene, composed, and restful demeanor (he is actually slightly smiling) a reminder of the serenity that comes with enlightenment.

This large and extensive temple neighbours the Grand Palace enclave and contains a gigantic gold plated Reclining Buddha, some 46 metres long and 15 metres high, with beautifully inlaid mother-of-pearl soles. Wat Pho is also regarded as the first centre of public education and is sometimes called ‘Thailand’s first university’. Mural paintings, inscriptions, and statues found in the temple educated people on varied subjects such as literature, warfare, archaeology, astronomy, geology, meditation and Thai traditional massage. It is open daily from 9.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m..
The temple is also known as the birthplace of traditional Thai massage, in the massage school you can get very good massage.
web: www.watpho.com/

Wat Arun
Wat Arun, better known as the Temple of the Dawn, consists of a massive elongated prang (Khmer-inspired tower) and surrounded by four smaller prangs.
The 79m high prang with its four smaller siblings was started by Rama II in the early part of the 19th century, and completed by his successor Rama III. The temple in which the prang sits is actually much older. It dates from the Ayuthaya period. During King Taksin's reign (1809-24), when Thonburi was the capital of Thailand, the temple served as part of his palace.
You can no longer climb the steps to the top of the prang for those vertigo inducing views over the river. You can only climb up to the first level. The second and third levels are now closed to the public, probably because the stairways were so steep there were many accidents.

Located on the west bank of the Chao Phraya River, can be reached either by Arun Amarin Road or by boat from Tha Tien Pier for THB3, near Wat Pho.
Open from 8.30 a.m. to 5.30 p.m.
Entry fee is THB20 for foreigners and free for Thai people.
web: www.watarun.org/index_en.html

Wat Trimitr: Sukhothai Golden Buddha
The Sukhothai Trimitr Golden Buddha Image is the largest golden Buddha image in the world. Made of pure gold, the Image is unrivalled in beauty, measuring 12 feet 5 inches in diametre and has a height of 15 feet 9 inches from the base to the crown and it weighs approximately 5 tons.

Now more than 700 years old, , this Buddha was covered in clay for decades, and the gold underneath was just discovered in 1957, when monks tried to relocate it to its present place. In the process, they accidentally cracked the clay and revealed the glimmering old underneath!
Historians believe that several hundred years before the discovery, the Burmese army was about to invade Thailand (then Siam). The Siamese monks covered their precious golden Buddha with an outer covering of clay in order to keep their treasure from being looted by the Burmese. Unfortunately, it appears that the Burmese slaughtered all the Siamese monks, and the well-kept secret of the golden Buddha remained intact until that fateful day in 1957.

Wat Benchamabophit
Also known as the Marble Temple, this temple is on Sri Ayutthaya Road near the Chitralada Palace. The main building was constructed during the reign of King Rama V. It employs European ecclesiastic details, such as stained glass windows, and contains a superb cloister collection of bronze Buddha images.

Wat Pho-----------------

I have posted two other photos, one from each end. if you look at the second photo, I am at the feet and I am standing so you can imagine how tall it is! i believe its about ten meters high!

In the third photo, you see lotus flowers. Again this will help you imagine how huge this Buddha is.

Notice also the ceiling and walls, it is not wall paper but actually hand painting! You will not believe how intricate it is until you see it yourself. Every time i go there some part of it is being renovated. I think they never stop.

Look again at the feet and notice the markings on it. they are actually mother of pearl inlays. Fantastic work I tell you. I wish you could visit it one time.
Wat Pho is the largest and oldest temple in Bangkok (with an area of 50 rai, 80,000 square metres), and is home to more than one thousand Buddha images, more than any other temple in the country, as well as the largest single Buddha image: the Reclining Buddha. Made as part of Rama III's restoration, the Reclining Buddha is forty-six metres long and fifteen metres high, decorated with gold plating on his body and mother of pearl on his eyes and the soles of his feet. The latter display 108 auspicious scenes in Chinese and Indian styles.The Wat Pho complex consists of two walled compounds, bisected by Soi Chetuphon running east-west. The northern walled compound is where the reclining Buddha and massage school are found. The southern walled compound, Tukgawee, is a working Buddhist monastery with monks in residence and a school.

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