Temple of the Emerald Buddha, review, photos, reviews
The Temple of the Emerald Buddha (Wat Phra Kaew) in Bangkok is the pearl of the Royal Palace, the personal temple of the king and members of the royal family. Here all religious requirements are fulfilled, and only the royal nobility has the right to enter the temple through the front doors.
History and General Information
Thais believe in the power and power of the Emerald deity. It is near this statue that the rulers of Thailand, starting from Rama I, are still swearing allegiance to the people and the country. Only the king has the right to touch the statue. Even the dust from the deity and the crown can only be wiped off by a ruler or crown prince.
According to ancient tradition, three times a year, the king dresses up the Buddha in different golden robes depending on the season. The ritual is intended to promote the prosperity of the state and the power of the king.
The stone statue of the deity sitting in the lotus position is 66 cm high and 48.3 cm wide. There are different versions of the material from which it is made: emerald, jade or jadeite. There is no consensus in matters of authorship, about the time and place of manufacture of the statue.
There are three legends about the origin of the statue:
- The first is about the origin of the statue of solid stone, the personal master of the Indian ruler Ashok.
- The second is about the manufacture of the ancient Greek master.
- And the third legend says that the statue was made in heaven, seven nights and days, which the king of angels sent down to earth.
Discovered the Emerald Buddha was a monk in Chiang Mai back in 1436. Lightning destroyed the Buddhist pagoda (stupa), and among its fragments was found a sacred relic. For three centuries, the statue traveled with different rulers to cities and countries in Asia: India, Sri Lanka, Cambodia. And only King Rama I moved the statue to Bangkok in 1779, and the Emerald Buddha became the talisman of the country.
▣ The most precious treasure of Thailand.
To accommodate the sacred statue was built temple — Wat Phra Keo, which opened in 1784.
Sights of the Temple
Today, the Temple of the Emerald Buddha is a whole complex, made in the traditional Thai style, surrounded by a wall. It covers an area of 95 hectares.
The map of the temple complex
Draw the eye of small lakes, covered with lotus flowers. On the territory of the complex there is a library, a mausoleum of members of the royal family, a golden stupa, where the bone of the Buddha is saved. On the territory of many statues of various creatures: the demons of Yakshi, the defenders of the temple, the king of the monkeys, Garuda and Kinnari — the people of the bird. Here you can also see a smaller copy of Angkor Wat from Cambodia.
▣ Wat Phra Kaeo (Wat Phra Kaeo) — the main temple complex in Thailand.
Your attention will be attracted by the temple multistage carved domes of Phra Kaew, inlaid with gold and bronze. The roofs are decorated with images of snake heads. Everywhere there are symbols of Buddhism made of glass, wood and smalt.
It is also worth paying attention to:
- Twelve bronze lions guarding the entrance doors of the temple.
- The door panels, made under Ram I with the image of episodes from the ancient Thai epic «Ramakiyana», created on the basis of the Indian «Ramayana».
- The inner walls of the temple and the ceiling are painted with famous scenes from the life of the Buddha. You can trace his path from birth to the moment of enlightenment.
- Buddha figure in the sacred room — Ubosote, where he sits on a high wooden throne, covered with gold.
- Two bronze three-meter statues of the crowned Buddha, inlaid with precious stones, also attract attention. The deity is depicted standing in a state of complete pacifying calm.
- Ten small bronze crowned Buddha statuettes are set at the base of the throne. They symbolize the main members of the royal families of the first three boards.
Each ruler of Thailand contributed to the construction of the temple complex. By their efforts, approximately once in 50 years, the overhaul and reconstruction of the temple is carried out.
How to get there
The Temple of the Emerald Buddha is located on the Rattanakosin Peninsula (Rattanakosin), which is in the mouth of the Chao Phraya River. Nearby is the Grand Royal Palace.
Wat Phra Kaew temple on Bangkok map
The easiest and fastest way to get by taxi or tuk-tuk. A taxi driver will just need to show the map. The estimated cost of the trip is not more than 200 baht.
By city bus: № 1, 3, 6, 9, 12, 25, 43, 44, 47, 53, 60, 82, 91, 123, 501, 508.
On water transport. You need to get to the pier of the Chao Phraya River on the BTS. Get off at Saphan Taksin subway station and walk a little towards the river, to the pier. Transfer to Express boat and take 15 baht to dock number 9. The entrance to the Temple of the Emerald Buddha is 100 meters from the pier.
If you are in Khao San Road or Chinatown, you can reach the palace on foot.
Time and cost of attendance
The Temple of the Emerald Buddha is open to the public daily from 8.30 to 16.30. Tickets after 3:30 pm are no longer sold. Exceptions can make days when solemn closed events are held in the church with the participation of the royal family.
For tourists and Thais there is an entrance through two side doors.
There is always a queue near the ticket offices, as this excursion is from the category of «mandatory» Therefore, it is better to arrive in the morning, by 9:00 — 9:30.
The entrance ticket price is 500 baht, if you need an audio guide — this is another 200 baht. The ticket gives the right to visit the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, the Royal Palace and the Hall of Regalia (a collection of coins and jewels, both local and brought by kings from around the world).
▣ Entrance for tourists to the temple of the Emerald Buddha.
With the purchased ticket for seven days, you can visit the Wimanmek Palace. It is located in the Dusit district, on Rachavitha Street, in the garden of Suan Phuttan. It will be convenient to take a taxi from the Royal Palace or use the number 80 bus.