Wat Phra Kaew (Temple of the Emerald Buddha)

Temple of the Emerald Buddha (Wat Phra Kaew), the most famous temple in Thailand, as well as one of three great national treasure of Thailand, is located on the northeast corner of Bangkok Grand Palace. Because the temple worships the Emerald Buddha statue, it is named Temple of the Emerald Buddha.


The full name of the temple is Wat Phra Si Rattana Satsadaram

Wat Phra Kaew is named according to Indian language. It is the most important temple in the temples of Thailand. The Royal Pagoda has a wide area of 945,000 square meters, includes more than 100 high-rise buildings and is the only temple without monks. The entire architecture of the Emerald Buddha Temple is enormous and majestic with towering spires, long sparkling gold- plated corridors. We can find almost of the characteristics of the temples in Thai Land in this sacred temple.


The temple is sparkling at night

The architecture and art of this temple is the praised to be a valuable masterpiece in terms of painting, sculpture and architecture of Thai Buddhism. In the temple, the roof of the important sections are designed and decorated in shape of spikes, which has become the first character of a Thai temple’s architecture. A second character of the monastery is that it is decorated too sophisticatedly, splendidly, colorfully. The third character of this monastery is that it is surrounded by four 1km-long fresco corridors which include 178 beautiful color paintings, sophisticated graphics, aspirated by the "Ramayana" epic from ancient Indian literature.


The architecture of the roof

This temple was built in 1782 during the reign of King Rama I to worship the emerald Buddha statue. This statue, according to the legend, is said to have originated from India and carved 500 years after the Buddha's Nirvana. However, there was the theory that the statue originated from Cambodia and dated back to the fifteenth century, then the statue was taken to Vientiane, Laos in the sixteenth century, and was brought to Thailand in the eighteenth century. Also, some have argued that the statue originated from Sri Lanka. However, the art historians of Thailand asserted that the statue was carved in Thailand itself.


The sacred Emerald Buddha statue in Wat Phra Kaew temple

The pagoda is famous not only for the beauty of many styles of architecture, but also because of the jade Buddha statue which is one of the most sacred Buddha images in the kingdom of Thailand, one of the rare treasures on Earth. The Buddha statue is carved from a block of pure emerald, 48cm x 46cm in size, and is placed on a pedestal of 2m high. It is believed that the Emerald Buddha brings luck, prosperity and flourishing for the country. The Jade Buddha statue, along with the Reclining Buddha statue, and Golden Buddha statue in Bangkok are regarded as the three great Thailand's national treasures. The Jade Buddha is shimmering, carved skillfully and spotlessly.



The Emerald Buddha’s costumes

Each year, there are 3 times when the king presides changing the cloak of the statue: the expensive golden sleeveless gown with many diamonds are for the summer, the noble coat dotted by some diamonds is used in the rainy season, and the coat glazed with a light layer of pure gold are dressed in the cool season. There are two glass globes symbolizing the sun and the moon in two sides. The statue is placed in the central chamber where the Thai Buddhists and people goes to pray and respect most.

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