Adventures of a LuLu

Mischief and Mayhem in East Asia

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Steer away from the beaten track and leave a trail for others to follow.

23.10.05

Wat Po/Wat Phra Chetuphon

I visited Wat Po on my second day in Bangkok.

Wat Po/Wat Phra Chetuphon (originally Wat Potaram) is also known as the Temple of the Reclining Buddha, and recline is exactly what the statue did. The reclining Buddha image, like all other Buddha images depicts and reminds followers of various significant moments in Buddha's life. The reclining Buddha image is a very popular one, and represents the calmness of the Buddha as he reaches Nirvana. I did not take any photographs of anything else belonging to Wat Po, as it was raining and I was not in the mood.

The temple dates back to the 17th century, making it older than Bangkok itself, as we know it today. King Rama I enlarged the temple and renamed it Wat Phra Chetuphon, though it is more commonly known as Wat Po. Rama I recovered and placed many artifacts from Ayuthaya inside this temple. However it was Rama III who oversaw the construction of the Reclining Buddha, and making the temple Thailand's first university.

The Wiharn barely houses the statue; this and the the way the Wiharn is designed makes it almost impossible to take a wide shot of the whole statue. The feet of the statue are impregnated with Mother of Pearl images of the 108 auspicious signs that signify a true Buddha. I attempted to take a photograph of this but it came out too dark. The Wiharn is where people come to pray. Round the back of the statue I dropped one coin into a separate bowl each...each coin representing a different wish. There was also a large drum to beat to let the Buddha know that you are there (most if not all Buddhist temples in Thailand have this drum).

Follow the link above (click on the title) to see photos of the temple that I was too lazy to take myself.

3 Comments:

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