WAT PHO - TEMPLE OF THE RECLINING BUDDHA
Petit Futé's opinion on WAT PHO - TEMPLE OF THE RECLINING BUDDHA
It is sometimes called Temple of the Reclining Buddha or Temple of Enlightenment. It is in the Chetuphon Road that General Chakri proclaimed himself king under the name of Rama I and in 1781 he had the old sanctuary already there enlarged. This temple, the oldest in Bangkok, is cut in two by Chetuphon where the entrance is located. On one side stands the temple proper and on the other the monastic quarter. Wat Pho is mainly known for its Buddha lying in wait for death; it is the largest image of Buddha in this attitude. The statue, erected by Rama III in 1832, is 46 m long and 15 m high. The soles of the feet, inlaid with mother-of-pearl, bear the 108 auspicious marks that Buddha wore at his birth.
Next to the viharn, the library, decorated with Chinese mosaics, preserves the sacred manuscripts. It is one of the largest buildings in the complex. One can still see four large chedi representing the first four reigns. The chedi covered with green mosaics is 41 m high and contains an image of Buddha from Ayutthaya, which was damaged by the Burmese. This chedi was built by Rama I. King Rama III built the white chedi in honour of his father Rama II and the yellow chedi in his own honour. The blue chedi was erected by Rama IV to commemorate Queen Sri Suriyothaï of Ayutthaya.
The traditional medicine pavilion, at the foot of these chedi, displays drawings of the human body with acupuncture points and recipes based on medicinal herbs.
Stone statues (brought from China in the 19th century) with beards and hats can also be seen, reminding visitors of European facial features. These are the "demons" that guard the temple. Remember that the Chinese call the Europeans the "red demons".
The main bot houses a bronze meditation representation of Buddha in bronze. On the walls are painted the biographies of 47 eminent disciples of Buddha. More interesting are the bas-reliefs on the balustrade that surround the statue and depict scenes from the Ramakian.
The four viharns at the four cardinal points that surround the main boot contain interesting images of Buddha, showing him sitting on a rock, or protected by the king of the Naga.
Information on WAT PHO - TEMPLE OF THE RECLINING BUDDHA
Open from 8am to 6.30pm. Input: 100 B. Possibility to have a massage on the spot at the Massage Institute of the temple.
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