For hundreds of years, monks and laymen have been able to coexist peacefully in Thailand. It is not without reason that Buddhist monasteries or temples (wat) have been used as places of education, as shelters for those in need, and even as lodging for tourists. The breathtaking architecture of a number of Bangkok’s monasteries and temples provides a window into the city’s glorious past, and the city’s bustling capital, Bangkok, is home to more than 400 of these religious buildings. In today’s article, we will go through some of the most remarkable… Let’s start!
Temple Tours in Thailand: Wat Arun
One of the most stunning structures in Bangkok is the Wat Arun, often known as the Temple of Dawn. In the district of Thonburi, which lies on the opposite side of the Chao Phraya River, you’ll find it. On this side of the river, it is still possible to see buildings built on stilts, and the residents face the river and the canals where they live (klongs).
Thanks to its distinctive silhouette, it is possible to recognise Wat Arun even from a great distance. The tower’s impressive center prang, which is built in the Khmer style, is where several Hindu and Buddhist representations may be found.
Some steep stairs go up to the terraces of the central prang, which were expanded during the reign of Rama III (between the years 1824 and 1851), and from which one can gain wonderful views of the city that is located on the opposite side of the river. The interior of the temple was embellished with shards of porcelain and seashells that had previously been used as ballast on commercial ships on their way to China. The artists used them to design intricate ornamental designs for their work. Before the capital and palace were transferred across the river, the Emerald Buddha resided in this temple. After the move, the capital and palace are now located on the opposite side of the river.
During your time there, just as at the majority of temples, you will get the opportunity to observe Buddhist monks and novices going about their daily activities while clad in the saffron-colored robes that are traditional to them. They will be praying and performing other duties. Even though it is known as the Temple of Dawn, Wat Arun is absolutely stunning at sunset, particularly when it is illuminated. The finest view of Wat Arun may be had from the boats that sail on the Chao Phraya River.
Temple Tours in Thailand: Wat Pho
It is well-known that the temple of Wat Pho is the location of the world-famous reclining Buddha, which measures 46 metres in length and 15 metres in height. However, your receipt gives much more than that; we are speaking of the largest and oldest set of temples and chapels in Bangkok, and this group comprises galleries of wall paintings, gardens, and several stupas or chedis. The feet of the Buddha are five metres in length and are artistically embellished with drawings made of mother-of-pearl.
On the bottom of each shoe, there is an inlay of mother-of-pearl depicting one of Buddha’s 108 fortunate symbols. This is a significant number because it alludes to the 108 virtuous deeds and signs that assisted Buddha in arriving at the state of complete perfection. There are also 108 vessels for novices to use when they are giving alms to others. It is recommended that everyone who wishes to have good luck contribute a bowl of coins to be deposited in each of the bronze bowls that are lined up along the walls. The visit to this temple is not complete without hearing the sound made by the coins as they fall into the bowls, and the maintenance of the temple is supported by the donations made by the guests who come here.
All guests are required to dress appropriately and cover their shoulders and knees when entering this temple, just as they are required to do so when entering any other temple that has a sacred image. Due to the fact that Wat Pho also functions as a teaching centre and the School of Traditional Medicine and Massage can be found on the premises, this temple is an excellent location to experience Thai massage.
Temple Tours in Thailand:Wat Saket
One of the oldest temples in Bangkok is located just outside the city limits of Rattanakosin Island, in the area that is commonly referred to as Bangkok’s Old Town. This temple is known as Wat Saket. This temple, which is also referred to as Golden Mount because of the enormous golden stupa that sits atop a little artificial hill that is eighty metres high and was constructed during the reign of Rama III, has gained a lot of notoriety over the years. It was once the highest point in Bangkok, and although it is no longer at the top, it is still regarded as one of the best perspectives in the city, and it continues to stick out in the middle of the contemporary city.
On the grounds of the temple is a park with fully grown trees as well as buildings that are common to most Buddhist complexes. These buildings include a primary prayer hall, an ordination hall, and a library. During the festival of Loy Krathong, which takes place in November, Wat Saket plays host to a massive fair. The stupa is decorated with a vibrant red cloth for the duration of the week-long festival, and a procession marks the beginning of the festivities to the summit of the Golden Mount that is illuminated by candlelight. During certain weeks, the grounds of the temple are invaded by a large crowd beginning in the early afternoon and continuing far past midnight.
Temple Tours in Thailand: Wat Benchamabophit Dusit Wanaram
The Wat Benjamabophit Dusit Wanaram, also known as the White Marble Temple, was constructed by King Rama V at the tail end of the 19th century using marble imported from the illustrious city of Carrara in Italy. Inside, there is a statue of a seated Buddha made of gold that stands out against a blue background, and the cloister contains another 52 statues of Buddha made of bronze. Because the temple is responsible for the care of King Rama V’s ashes, it is often referred to as the “Fifth King” temple. This temple is well-known for being depicted on the reverse side of coins worth five baht, and it also attracts a lot of high-ranking officials due to its location in close proximity to a number of government buildings and palaces.
Temple Tours in Thailand: Wat Suthat
The Buddhist temple known as Wat Suthat Thepwararam is one of the city’s oldest and most spectacular structures. It contains an excellent prayer hall that is characterised by extremely high ceilings, gorgeous murals, and exquisite teak wood panels that were hand-carved. A massive red swing that is nearly twenty metres high greets us as we approach the entrance to Wat Suthat.
The swinging action is typically connected to the entrance of the gods Shiva and Vishnu in the Brahmanical religion. A series of chosen men attempted to maintain their equilibrium while balancing a sack full of silver coins on their heads, a gesture that was associated with positive outcomes. This procedure was discontinued in 1932 because of the dangers that were inherent to it. A bronze Buddha sculpture dating back to the 13th century and found in Sukhothai was the impetus for King Rama I (1782-1809) to commission the construction of the temple. The construction of it was finished during Rama III’s reign (1824-1851). It is the only royal temple in Thailand that is considered to be of the first grade, and there are just little more than twenty of them. The structure’s 28 Chinese pagodas represent the number of Buddhas who were born on earth.
Temple Tours in Thailand: Wat Phra Kaew, Temple of the Emerald Buddha
It is well known that the Emerald Buddha may be found at Wat Phra Kaew, which can be found within the grounds of the Grand Palace and is situated in the historic core of Bangkok. The image, which is actually a person that has been painstakingly carved out of jade, is without a doubt one of the most respected images in the entirety of Thailand. The Emerald Buddha, which depicts Buddha in a meditative posture and dates back to the 15th century, was created in the manner of the Northern Lanna school. The little sculpture is perched atop a series of platforms, and His Majesty the King is the only person who is permitted to get within close proximity to it. The statue is draped in a robe that reflects the changing of the seasons by having a new one draped over it during the summer, winter, and spring months respectively. The process of changing the cloak is unique and can only be performed by the king. The purpose of the ceremony is to provide good fortune to the entire nation.
Temple Tours in Thailand: Wat Traimit
A seated Buddha statue that weighs more than five tonnes may be found inside the Wat Traimit. The sculpture was created somewhere in the 13th century and stands at about five metres in height. Approximately 450 metres to the west of the Hua Lamphong train station can be found the beautiful temple that may be found in Bangkok’s Chinatown.
The Buddha image is made of solid gold and is designed in the Sukhothai style. Originally, it was covered in plaster. During the process of removing the statue, a portion of the plaster broke away, revealing the statue in its earlier form. Some fragments of the statue’s plaster covering are still retained inside the temple where it was first applied. You may find out more about the history of the Golden Buddha by visiting the little museum that is located on the third floor.