WAT PHO - TEMPLE OF THE RECLINING BUDDHA
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Wat Pho, whose full name is Wat Phra Chettupon Mangkhalaram Ratchaworamahawihan, is one of the oldest temples in the country. It is sometimes called the Temple of the Reclining Buddha or the Temple of Illumination. It is in Chettuphon Road that General Chakri proclaimed himself king under the name of Rama I and that in 1781 he made enlarge the old sanctuary which was already there. This temple, the oldest of Bangkok, is cut in two by Chettuphon where the entrance is. On one side stands the temple proper and on the other the monastic quarter. Wat Pho is best known for its reclining Buddha awaiting death; it is the largest image of Buddha in this attitude. The statue, erected by Rama III in 1832, is 43 meters long and 15 meters 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. Four large chedi representing the first four kingdoms can still be seen. The chedi covered with green mosaics is 41 m high and contains a Buddha image from Ayutthaya, which was damaged by the Burmese. This chedi was built by Rama I. King Rama III had the white chedi built in honor of his father Rama II and the yellow chedi in his own honor. The blue one was built by Rama IV to commemorate Queen Sri Suriyothai of Ayutthaya.
The traditional medicine pavilion, at the foot of these chedi, displays drawings of the human body with acupuncture points as well as herbal recipes.
There are also stone statues (brought back from China in the 19th century) with beards and hats, which remind visitors of European faces. These are the "demons" who guard the temple. Remember that the Chinese call the Europeans "red demons".
The main bot houses a representation of Buddha in bronze in meditation. 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 Ramakien.
The four viharns at the four cardinal points surrounding the main bot have interesting images of Buddha, showing him sitting on a rock, or protected by the Naga king.
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.