Wat Phra Kaew, The Emerald Buddha Temple And The Grand Palace

Upon entering the Inside palace complex one gets to witness numerous striking structures. The most important one is Wat Phra Kaew (Temple of the Emerald Buddha). Also, there is another structure that captures the attention of the visitors, it is the very prominent, renowned and well-regarded Emerald Buddha that dates back to the 14th century. 

The Grand Palace

Whenever people visit Bangkok, the most alluring sight that dazzles them quite much is the huge and monumental Grand Palace, indubitably it is the not only renowned but also a marvel of Bangkok. It is said to be built in the year 1782 - and for approximately around 150 years it has served as the home of the Thai King, the Royal court, moreover the administrative seat of government was also inside this palace. The Grand Palace of Bangkok is an outstandingly old testimonial. The tourists have always been in an awe with its stunning architecture and elaborate detail. It in all its glory, a proud salute to the creativity and craftsmanship of the Thai individuals. There were many other key offices such as the money mint, Thai war ministry and other state departments. Currently, the complex remains the spiritual heart and soul of the Thai Kingdom.

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Wat Phra Kaew

Wat Phra Kaew, or วัดพระแก้ว, is said to be the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, this temple along with the Grand Palace which is adjacent to it, create an ultimate manifestation all for the visitor to Bangkok. The entire compound is continually full of tourists, therefore the people are most of the times trying to avoid bumping in other people's photos. Still with all the jam-packed situation, people find it a thoroughly astounding place to visit. It comprises of more than 100 lustrously colored buildings, golden spikes and dazzling mosaics, they date back to the year 1782 and it's actually the year when Bangkok was originally created. As soon as you go in this compound, the very first thing to be seen is Wat Phra Kaew as well as the adjoining attractions, and then one eventually moves in to the Grand Palace later.

The Emerald Buddha

Wat Phra Kaew is considered as a chief attraction for the tourists visiting Bangkok. This is said to be Thailand's most momentous and sacred temple. In order to pay respect inside to the Buddha, many visitors go inside. Within the Emerald Buddha, there is a tiny (between 60 and 75 cm) Emerald Buddha. Fascinatingly it is situated high above the heads of the worshippers and tourists. Not a lot of things are known about the statue, moreover there is another very attention-grabbing fact linked to it, this Buddha isn't in truth made of the precious emerald but instead, green jade and Jasper are being used to build it. It is a real tough task to take a close look as it is perched at a great height inside a glass box. Capturing photograph is also prohibited inside the temple. 

It is supposed that it was constructed in the 15th century and became the reason for numerous wars before ending up in Bangkok in the year 1782. It is widely held that the image is a talisman and holds incredible implication for Thailand and the Thais. The 'robe' that is worn by it is changed categorically 3 times each year by the King himself, i.e. at the start of each season: A diamond enveloped in a gold robe during the summers, a solid gold robe in the relatively colder season and a gilded monk's robe if it's the rainy season. There are also numerous Buddha images that are kept inside the temple.

Wat Phra kaew history

Despite the name of it, the Emerald Buddha isn't in reality made from emerald as opposed to its name; in fact, jade or perhaps Jasper are being used to construct it.  People don't No know for sure since the composition has never been scrutinized. Archaeologists have not been allowed enough time up close to examine the precious image.

There is no doubt that it is one of the most famous monument but unfortunately, the exact origin of the Emerald Buddha still stays unidentified. The historical records that exist, claim that the statue surfaced adjacent to Chiang Rai in the year 1434, but it is somewhat older if we examine its creation explicitly. Records also go to show that the statue spent more than 200 years in the country of Laos. Traditional stories claim the statue to have been in Angkor Wat for a while, and even in the far-off Sri Lanka. The style and posture (not very prevalent in Thailand) specify that the Emerald Buddha may have in point of fact been engraved in Sri Lanka or India, however, nobody has found proves of it either.

Regardless, the fortune and affluence linked to Thailand are assumed to hinge on the Emerald Buddha and his blessings.

The construction of Wat Phra Kaew

The construction of the Wat Phra Kaew, also known as Temple of Emerald Buddha, was initiated when Rama I (King Buddha Yodfa Chulaloke) changed the capital from Thonburi to the Bangkok in the year 1785. Unlike many other temples, this temple doesn't offer living quarters for the devoted monks. It barely has intricately ornamented statues, holy buildings as well as pagodas. The focal building is the central 'ubosot' (ordination hall), within which Emerald Buddha is placed. Even though it is miniature, it is still the most significant icon for the Thai people. Other eye-catching points in Wat Phra Kaew embrace a model of Angkor Wat, it was constructed at the command of King Rama IV at the time when Cambodia was under the control of Siamese. The model was afterward modernized using plaster at the directive of King Rama V to celebrate the first centennial of the Royal City. Likewise, the Balcony should be seen, which can thereby be compared to the temple wall. On the pillars of the balcony, there are stone carvings of the verses cataloging the murals. 

Things to do in Wat Phra Kaew

On the Sidewalks, Wat Phra Kaew compound has a huge collection of mesmerizing artifacts.

The Healer

Precisely the darkened bronze statue on the west side of the temple is that of a hermit who dealt in medicine. Therefore healing is linked with this statue. The visitors who particularly come to pray for the sick ones offer flowers and burning joss as tokens of belief and respect.

Shiny Elephants

There are a number of elephants and their heads are rubbed often for good luck, thereby enhancing the luster. Kids customarily encircle the statues repetitively, if they fail in getting too much sugar. It is thought that children walk around the elephants three times for strength.

The Library

The beautiful library pavilion comprises numerous revered scriptures, but the original library was devastated by a massive fire.

Model of Angkor Wat

In 1860, King Mongkut had goals of taking to bits the “Angkor Wat in Cambodia” and shifting it to Bangkok as a clear demonstration of supremacy and power. Though his plan didn't work out really well, so he initiated the creation of the model of Angkor Wat as an alternative plan. The king died long before its complete execution; his son thereby completed the project.

Murals

There are countless murals create an association to be an all-embracing portrayal of the Ramakian, the Thai national classic inspired by the Indian epic Ramayana. This story comprehends the commencement of the world and also the depictions of Hanuman, who is the monkey king as well as the general.

The opening Hours: 8:30 AM - 3:30 PM

Location: Na Phralan, Phra Nakorn situated in the Grand Palace Complex, Old City (Rattanakosin) 

Entrance fee: 500 Baht

How to get there

When as a visitor, you go to the Grand Palace, Wat Phra Kaew can clearly be seen as positioned on the grounds in there. It is a well-known fact that the River taxi is the most low-priced and a pleasant way to get to the Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew. A visitor can simply get down from their boat at the Tha Chang Pier, the one which is with the elephant. The visitors can closely look for the adorned buildings of the palace. During your visit, there's a decent and bright chance that most of the people around you are also going to the same place. All taxis drivers will definitely know the route to make you reach the place, but regrettably, all the drivers will unfairly try to overcharge you. Since you will be new to the place and unaware of the details, some will even assert the Grand Palace is shut the day you plan on visiting. It perhaps isn't, but in order to make a confirmation, you can always call at this number +66 2 623 5500 with an ext. 3100, but only before 3:30 p.m.

Dress Code

There is a restriction about the dress up of visitors, a strict dress code has to be observed. The Grand Palace with “The Temple of the Emerald Buddha” is Thailand's greatest holy site. There is a need that tourists must be aptly dressed before so as to get the permission to access this temple. For the male visitors, men must dress in fairly long pants and shirts with sleeves that are not at all revealing, attires like tank tops aren't allowed because of their unsuitable cut. If in case you've chosen to wear some sort of sandals or flip-flops as shoes, you must always make sure that you wear proper socks, in short, no travelers shall enter bare feet. Likewise, women must make sure that they are not wearing anything inappropriate, they shall be self-effacingly dressed. It should be strictly made a point, that the clothes that are see-through must never be worn. 

If a tourist doesn't appropriately dress up, there is an arrangement of a booth near the entrance, it is specially made to provide outfits and attires to cover up appropriately, but to get the clothes, a certain amount of deposit must be submitted. About the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, it is the most noteworthy Buddhist shrine in Thailand. It is situated in the historic center of Bangkok, somewhere upon the lands of the Grand Palace, it has also judiciously preserved Phra Kaew Morakot or The Emerald Buddha. The exceedingly respected Buddha image has been precisely engraved out of a single huge block of jade. The Emerald Buddha is a Buddha image which is placed in a deep meditating position. It is sitting in the style of the Lanna School of the north which dates to the 15th century AD.

Other Etiquette to Know

One should strictly follow the customary Buddhist temple's etiquette while visiting at Wat Phra Kaew in Bangkok:

  • Take off your hat, headphones as well as the sunshades

  • You should not be snacking/munching, chewing gum or smoking cigarette

  • One should observe a respectful silence.

  • It's an extremely unethical thing to turn your back to, point or even touch the images of Buddha

  • Always remember: Wat Phra Kaew is a tremendously sacred place. You should always give the locals a room to enjoy. The actual worshippers shall not be disturbed.

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