Wat Traimit in Bangkok has no particular architectural elements, far from the splendor of Wat Phra Kaew and Wat Pho, but is well known to the faithfuls and tourists thanks to its Golden Buddha, officially titled Phra Phuttha Maha Suwana Patimakon. The temple is located a few minutes walk from the Hua Lamphong Railway Station, right in the beginning of Chinatown. The history about Golden Buddha is rather bizarre. In the opinion of some historians, the statue was built during the period of Sukhothai Kingdom, and was located in a temple of Ayutthaya until the second half of the eighteenth century. During the last siege of Burmese, in 1765, before Ayutthaya falling into enemy hands, the immense value of the statue was masked by the Siamese with a thick coating in plaster, painted with gold paint, which made the statue ugly and awkward. In 1767, when Ayutthaya capitulated and was sacked by the Burmese the statue did not arouse interest among the winners, while destroyed or looted all the other beautiful statues in the capital. Most of Ayutthaya’s inhabitants were deported as slaves, others fled further to South, and so the statue was abandoned, keeping his secret for almost two centuries. During the reign of Rama III it was transferred to Wat Phraya Krai, in the Yaowarat area of Bangkok, as the main statue of the temple, although its gross aspect. In the 30s the temple was demolished and the statue was moved to the new Wat Traimit, built in the same area. The temple was of secondary importance and did not have a hall big enough to contain the statue, so it was placed under a temporary shelter in the courtyard outside. After 20 years, upon completion of the Wat Traimit, the Buddha statue was lifted by a crane to place it in its permanent location, but the Buddha statue turned out heavier than it needed to be, to the collapse of crane the statue fell in the mud, while a strong storm was raging. The fact was interpreted as a bad omen for the workers; everyone fled leaving the statue in the mud. The next morning the abbot checked the damage and saw that the surface was cracked; the glitter which had appeared by a piece of plaster had revealed to abbot that the interior was in gold. After a thorough cleaning the statue showed to all presents its beauty, a Buddha image four meters high in solid gold. It's the largest Buddha image in pure gold in the world, composed by 5.5 tons of 18 carat gold, 5,500 kilograms, at US$ 1,400 per ounce, the gold in the statue is estimated to be worth 250 million dollars. Despite the immense value, historical and weight in gold which make it one of the most precious treasures of Thailand and of Buddhism, the statue is one of the few in Bangkok where it is allowed to get close.
Admission fee & Opening hours: Wat Traimit is open daily from 08:00 to 17:00. Admission fee is 20 THB.
Getting there: The temple is located on Charoen Krung Road, a few hundred from the Hua Lamphong MRT Station, right at beginning of Chinatown, and so easily accessible from every area of city thanks to Bangkok's subway.Read More
Wat Traimit & Golden Buddha Events
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