The Temple of the Emerald Buddha, commonly known as Wat Phra Kaew, is the most important and revered Buddhist temple in Thailand and houses the effigy of Phra Kaew Morakot carved from a single block of jade. Founded in 1785, the temple features intricate carvings, paintings, and pagodas, making it a spectacular visitor sight. Considering the importance of the Buddha statue, no one except the king can approach it. Located on the grounds of the Grand Palace, the area speaks of the forgotten past. Adorned with beautiful paintings and murals, Wat Pho is a busy year-round attraction with enthusiastic devotees and visitors.
The Temple Complex of Wat Phra Kaew
The most impressive of the structures within the Wat Phra Kaew temple complex is a model of Angkor Wat, built initially during the reign of King Rama IV. It belongs to the time when the Siamese controlled Cambodia.
The Hall of Justice
The Amarinder Hal, known as the Hall of Justice, is one such hall used for the coronation ceremony. Its walls and columns are an excellent example of Thai architecture. The ancient throne that was used before the current throne is also here.
The French-style Borombhiman Hall is famous for being the residence of all kings since King Rama VI.
The Emerald Buddha
The Buddha sits in a meditative position, and its origin is unknown. According to legends, the sculpture was cast in the 15th century and landed in Bangkok in 1782. However, their origin is still uncertain today. There are several speculations about this; The most famous among them is that it was found in Lanna in 1434 when the temple was struck by thunder. The statue was covered with concrete, and a jade statue was revealed when the cover was removed. Since then, he moved to different places until he finally found sanctuary at Wat Phra Kaew.
History of Wat Phra Kaew
King Rama, I ordered the Grand Palace’s construction in 1782. And the palace remained a residence for kings and an administrative seat of government for 150 years. Wat Phra Kaew is a small temple within the Grand Palace that has been the seat of the Emerald Buddha since 1784.
The temple complex of Wat Phra Kaew covers more than 100 buildings, each historically significant to the country, 94.5 hectares. Everything is designed in the traditional Bangkok style. The walls are decorated with murals depicting ‘Jataka’ stories. The roof is adorned with orange and green tiles that contrast with the columns embedded in mosaics. The temple has no living quarters for the monks, only containing statues, pagodas and intricate buildings. The temple complex is surrounded by a 2-kilometer wall adorned with murals depicting the Ramakian, the Thai version of the Indian epic Ramayana. Around the temple are 12 halls built by King Rama I. These halls are known for housing artifacts from regions such as Cambodia and Java.
- Photography is prohibited inside the temple from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
- You can rent a personal audio guide until 2:00 p.m. Many languages are available, including English, French, German, Japanese, Mandarin, Russian and Spanish. For your easy understanding.
- As this is a sacred temple, you are expected to dress conservatively. Legs and arms must be adequately covered. Suitable clothing is available at the counter, but there is usually a long line.
- While worshiping in front of the Buddha statue, your feet should be kept from the sculpture. It is considered disrespectful.