Hi everyone, it's Sirinya here and I'm excited to share with you one of the most beautiful temples in Thailand – Wat Pho! Located in the heart of Bangkok, Wat Pho (also known as the Temple of the Reclining Buddha) is a must-visit attraction for anyone interested in Thai culture and religion.
The main attraction at Wat Pho is the gigantic statue of the Reclining Buddha, which is an awe-inspiring sight to behold. The statue is 46 meters long and 15 meters high, making it one of the largest reclining Buddha images in Thailand. It's hard not to be amazed by the sheer size of this iconic temple and its stunning architectural details.
But there's more to Wat Pho than just the Reclining Buddha. The temple complex covers an area of over 80,000 square meters and features stunning murals, intricate carvings, and beautiful architecture. As you wander around the temple grounds, you'll feel as if you've been transported back in time to ancient Thailand.
One of the things that sets Wat Pho apart from other temples in Thailand is its status as a center for traditional Thai massage and medicine. In fact, Wat Pho is considered the birthplace of Thai massage, and you can still receive a massage at the temple today. Whether you're interested in exploring the religious significance of the temple or simply admiring its beauty, Wat Pho is a must-visit destination in Thailand.
History of the Wat Pho Temple
If there is one temple that remains a must-visit for tourists who come to Thailand, it is the Wat Pho Temple. This temple came into existence in the year 1782, when the capital of Thailand moved from Thonburi to Bangkok. The temple is also known as the Wat Phra Chetuphon and is situated just next to the Temple of the Emerald Buddha. It was built by King Rama I, who commissioned the construction of this magnificent temple in order to accommodate the institution of medicine and science.
Features of the Temple's Architecture
The Wat Pho Temple is also famous for its architecture that comes from the Ayutthaya period. The temple has four different compounds within its walls that are divided by a number of gates that contain towering arches. The first compartment holds a number of structures that date back to the founding of the temple. The second compartment contains several stupas (a sacred building that holds relics and is used for meditation) as well as shrines that have been dedicated to individual members of the royal family. In the third compartment is a shrine that holds the reclining Buddha, while the last compartment serves a smaller residential purpose.
Each compartment has its own unique features that make the Wat Pho Temple stand out from other temples across the land. For example, the first compartment has a nine-tiered golden pagoda that dominates the skyline. The second compartment houses an area that is dedicated to Thai and Chinese medicine and also plays host to a school of traditional Thai massage. The third compartment is home to the Buddha image that is most famous in Thailand while the last compartment contains a large hall that serves as a library.
The World's Largest Reclining Buddha
The Wat Pho Temple is also famous for housing one of the largest reclining Buddha images in the world. The Buddha spans more than 15 meters in height and 43 meters in length. This image artwork is made of brick and plaster, and it has been covered with shiny gold leaf. The soles of the Buddha's feet are decorated with intricate mother-of-pearl motifs, with each one depicting the 108 auspicious symbols of the Buddha.
The Temple's Importance to Thai Culture
The importance of the Wat Pho Temple to Thai culture cannot be overstated. Many Thais come to the temple to offer prayers for their ancestors or to seek the blessings of the various spirits that reside there. For tourists, the temple serves as a reminder of the rich, cultural legacy that is an essential part of Thailand.
Tips for Visiting Wat Pho Temple
When you visit the Wat Pho Temple, there are several things that you should keep in mind in order to make the best of your time there. One, it is important to dress modestly when visiting the temple, as revealing clothing is not permitted. You should also remove your shoes when you enter the temple, as is the custom in Thailand. Another important tip is that you should always keep your voice down so as not to disturb others who may be praying or meditating.
Other Sights to See Around the Temple
The Wat Pho Temple is situated in an area that is bustling with activity. There are a number of interesting sights around the temple that merit a visit. One such sight is the Grand Palace, which is a magnificent complex of buildings that served as the seat of the Thai royal family for centuries. Another sight to see is the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, which houses a small, but highly venerated image of the Buddha that was carved out of a single block of jade.