Mahathat is a well-known yet huge temple situated near the north of the Grand palace in the ancient Rattanakosin district of Bangkok. The full name is Wat Mahathat Yuwaratrangsarit Rajaworamahavihara. This temple is not only revered but it is placed in considered as one of the six temples of the premier grade of first class Royal temples. The temple preserves the precious relics of the Buddha.
Ayutthaya era temple
Way before the city of Bangkok was founded in the year 1782, The Wat Mahathat was built during the time of the Ayutthaya Kingdom. It is considered one of the oldest temples of Bangkok. This temple was then known as the Wat Salak at that time.
As Soon as Bangkok was recognized as the capital city of Siam, the temple became tactically positioned between the recently constructed Grand Palace and Front Palace which was the residence of the vice-king. Because of this, the temple was fundamentally used for royal ceremonies as well as funerals.
In those times, the temple was revamped and overhauled several times. In the later times, it was retitled as Wat Mahathat. This is a name which is often given to the temples comprising of the relics of great Buddha. It was given its present name in 1996. The temple also serves as a base for Vipassana Meditation center.
Center of Buddhist studies
The Wat Mahathat is an imperative temple for the Buddhist studies. It was also the first and foremost Buddhist University in the Bangkok. As per the figures, many monks study the teachings of the Buddha here. In addition, it is commonly known as Maha Chulalongkorn Raja Vidyalaya University among people.
Vipassana meditation class
If you are looking for an eminent meditation center then you shall go to Wat Mahathat, it is the home to one of the most distinguished Vipassana. Here several Thai and different foreign students perform Vipassana meditation, this is also known as “insight meditation”.
This style of meditation focuses on acquiring a deep vision and understanding of the world. Moreover, it helps you comprehend the temporary nature of all the material things, thereby making you realize that nothing exists eternally. The famous Vipassana meditation focuses upon the pattern of breathing in a way that eases minds off all the thoughts. The programs for these are generally planned both in the Thai and English languages. This happens 3 hours daily. The timing of the classes that are held in the English language is 7 to 10 am,1 to 4 pm and 6 to 9 pm. The total time required for the practice will differ with each person. Especially if there are an English-speaking monk assisting. Even though these classes don't charge anything, an appropriate donation has to be made. The details of the meditation center are present in the “Section 5” of the Wat Mahathat.
As soon as you cross this temple, there is an organization one of Bangkok's largest amulet market every Sunday. In this market, there is an availability of a wide range of charms, religious amulets, talismans as well as the traditional medicine. All these things are generally kept on the ground so as to be inspected by different buyers. These amulets are primarily purchased by the people want to attract either good luck or ward off evil. A wide range of amulets is used for definite purposes. For example, to get rich, to reinstate good health and to deal with an unreciprocated love interest. And most of them are bought shelter against your enemies away. So everyone shall choose carefully.
Structures of the Wat Mahathat
Originally Wat Mahathat is always swarming with people and visitors. This complex comprises of a lot of buildings. The temple's courtyard is visibly encircled by numerous galleries. Almost all of them are lined with many tall Buddha imageries placed on elaborately decked up plinths. Significantly important memorials, as well as the ashes of the departed individuals, are kept in the base of this place. Some ashes are also buried in niches.
It is believed that the “The Wat Mahathat's ubosot” is a unique place, and also the prime location in the country. The importance of this building can be gauged by the fact that the new monks are destined into monkhood here in this complex. The most attention grasping “Buddha image of the ubosot” is totally gold-plated.
There are many other noteworthy structures kept there. For instance, the large viharn, along with numerous smaller viharas, the Kuti or monks living quarters, a mondop and a drum tower and several Khmer style prangtowers. All of them have Buddha images hallowed in their niches.
How to get to the Wat Mahathat
Towards the East bank of the Chao Phraya River, The magnificent “Wat Mahathat” is positioned in the old area of Rattanakosin. If you get to visit this area, you will see that it is situated on Na Phra road. Merely a few hundred meters from the North of the Grand Palace, precisely across the street from Sanam Luang. This place is a few hundred meters from the North of the Grand Palace.
Reliably, the most stress-free way to reach this place is by the Chao Phraya river express boat. The two docks are almost at a walking distance from this temple, to be exact “Tha Chang pier” and “Tha Prachan Nuea pier”.
The opening hours for the temple grounds are from 7 am until 5 pm (daily).
A small donation at the time of entry is well-regarded as there is no admission is free.