WAT PHO THE TIMELESS CULTURAL HERITAGE OF THAILAND

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C.YANO | G. F. Virgos
24/09/18   |   90   |  

Bangkok, the great city of angels, is the capital city of Thailand which full of culture and local wisdom. Nowadays, there are plenty cultural attractions which one of them is Wat Pho, the world top 17 landmarks and Asia top 3 landmarks of 2018 Traveler’s Choice by US Tripadvisor.com. Today, Tiewlasud would like to invite everyone to admire the cultural heritage. Let’s seek why this temple is the destination for many tourists. 

 

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Wat Pho or Wat Phra Chetuphon Vimolmangklararm Rajwaramahaviharn also known as Temple of the Reclining Buddha is Pra Aram Luang temple, a temple built by the king or the royal family. Wat Pho represents King Rama I. It was considered to be the first university of Thailand which gather history, literature, wisdom, and medicine altogether as a heritage for new generation of Thais to learn continuously making Wat Pho a well-known temple all across the globe as a destination for many tourists who travel in Thailand.

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In front of the entrance gate and also around the temple, there is a lot of Chinese style statues used as a Barque’s ballast in the past then later carved by Thai craftsmen consisted of 20 different forms; for example, 

  • Chinese style statue in a western cloth dispays Marco Pola, the first western person to enter China
  • Lanthan statue in a Chinese opera cloth as a noble warrior. He looks straight as he is starring at someone angrily.
  • Chinese guardian lion statue is usually situated at the foot of the stairs with stones carved as pearls in its mount.

These Chinese style statues represent not only the Chinese architecture, but also the craftsman's skill, wisdom, and philosophy.

 

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The Hall of the Reclining Buddha is filled up with murals which establish the story of past Buddhists in Siam. The Reclining Buddha is a beautiful Buddha statue which his soles were decorated with pearls. Thais along with foreigners usually visit the Hall of the Reclining Buddha to pay respect to the image of the Buddha. 

 

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Moreover, Wat pho is well-known for its knowledge of Thai ancient massage which can be seen through various parts of the temple as in the Contorted Hermit Mount where there are sculptures of hermit in the position as the Indian Yogi yoga, an exercise combined with an art. 

 

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Finally, the most outstanding feature of Wat Pho are these gigantic chedis called Phra Maha Chedi Si Rajakarn representing the reign of 4 kings of Thailand situated around the white wall with a Thai-Chinese architectural style gate.

  • Phra Maha Chedi Sri Sanpetdayarn (the green mosaic tiles) was built to be the place for Pra Sri Sanpet, the principle Buddha image from Ayutthaya era, to be enshrined, and represent the reign of King Rama I. 
  • Phra Maha Chedi Dilok Dhammakaroknitarn (the white mosaic tiles) represents the reign of King Rama II.
  • Phra Maha Chedi Muni Batborikharn (the yellow mosaic tiles) was built to worship the image of Buddha representing the reign of King Rama III.
  • Phra Maha Chedi Srisuriyothai (the blue mosaic tiles) was built to worship the image of Buddha representing the reign of King Rama IV. 

Additionally, King Rama IV told King Rama V that

“these chedis seem like a score for king if he always build a score then there will be no space left to build others. These four chedis should be together as the four king has met each other. Therefore, there is no need to build a chedi for each reign anymore” 

(The General View of Somedetch Phra Paramindr Maha Chulalongkrn, King Rama V: Memoirs of Narinthorn Princess) 
 

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Wat Pho is one of the historical, literary, intellectual, and medical landmark which tells the origin of Thai culture. This is the place that still waits for Thai and foreign tourists to experience the marvelous beauty of Thai culture. 

 

Operating hours : Everday 08:30 a.m. - 18.30 p.m.
Location : 2 Sanamchai Rd., Grand Palace Subdistrict. Pranakorn District, Bangkok 
Transportation : By Chao Phraya Express boat: get off Tha Tien pier (N8),
                        then continue walk around 150 m. 
Entrance Fee : Free for Thais 
                      100 THB for foreigners 

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C.YANO | G. F. Virgos

C.YANO | G. F. Virgos

Writer | Translator

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