The temples in Bangkok are well known for their splendid architecture and grandeur. These temples maybe one of the most crowded places in Bangkok but they are always a must visit. The carvings and the massive pillars are a sight to behold. I may not have visited all the 400+ temples in Bangkok, but I did get the chance to visit the main ones.
Wat Phra Kaew
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This was my first stop. After a security check up, get your entrance pass for 500Baht and enter the complex. There are audio guides available near the entrance or you can also hire a local guide. But there is nothing you can not find on the internet. You need to visit this place to see The Emerald Buddha, a dark green statue which is highly revered in Thailand. I tried to get a good photo of the statue but I was struggling to keep my phone steady to get the shot with so many people running around me. This statue does have an Indian connection; as per the local legend, the statue originated in India and was considered to bring prosperity to whichever country that houses this statue. Contrary to what the name says the statue is not made of Emerald, it is cut out of Jade. The surroundings of the temple are pretty clean, thanks to it being a major tourist attraction. But with the crowd pushing in, it is quite difficult to stay there for long.
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Also the majestic Grand Palace falls in the same complex. You may not be able to get closer to the palace as there were barricades all over the place. Probably because of the mourning for their King’s demise. But you can see from far that it is indeed an architectural marvel with intricate carvings adorning its walls.
To visit this temple, which is also known as The Temple of Dawn, you have to cross the Chao Praya river from the Grand Palace end and get to the other side. Entry Fee to this temple is 40Baht. Before my visit, I had seen photos which were taken from the top of the temple. The view looked really amazing in those photos. But unlucky me, the temple was under construction during my visit and no one was allowed to climb the steps to the top. So I had to click some pics from the base.
Again we have an Indian connection here. This temple was built after Aruna, the Indian God of Dawn. This temple is partly made up of colorfully decorated spires and stands majestically over the bank of Chao Praya river. The place looks at its best during sunset when it creates the perfect silhouette against the orange skyline.
Once I was done with Wat Arun, I searched in Google Maps to find the location for The Temple of the Reclining Buddha. It seems I had passed it on my way to Wat Arun. It was on the other side of the river near the Grand Palace. So I had to cross the river again. Well you know what this temple is famous for – The giant Buddha statue which is the most chilled out statue I have ever seen. This massive statue is 12m in hieght and 46m in length. The feet of the statue is also decorated with many gemstones. This temple is also considered as the birthplace of the traditional Thai massage which is still practiced there. The entry here is free, unlike the other 2 temples I visited.
Make sure you follow the dress code for entering temples; shoulders and knees covered. Or else you will be denied entry.
Well that is all about my Temple Run. I am not really a big fan of tourist spots but these temples are like a one-time visit if you are in Bangkok for the first time. You probably will not visit them on your next trip here. I was also curious to know what the word ‘Wat’ means. This word means a Buddhist temple or monastery, and the word originates from the Sanskrit word ‘Vata’, which is one of the many Indian languages. Good to see Thailand has so many connections with India.