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WAT PHRA KAEW
The Wat Phra Kaew or Wat Phra Sri Rattana Satsadaram is located ont the beautiful terrain of the Royal Palace (Grand Palace) in the middle of the historic center of Bangkok. For many Thai, the Wat Phra Kaew is the most important temple of the country. Among the tourists, this temple is often better known as the Temple of the Emerald Buddha. Internationally known as the Emerald Buddha. Contrary to what the name suggests, the Buddha statue is not made of emerald but of jade.
The Emerald Buddha
The Emerald Buddha, depicted in meditation form, dates from the 15th century AD. The statue first appeared in the year 1434 in Chiang Rai (Northern Thailand). The Emerald Buddha is a small 66 cm tall but for Buddhists this is a very important Buddha statue. Only the king of Thailand is allowed to touch the Emerald Buddha. Three times a year, according to the three seasons (rain, summer and winter) the cloak of the Emerald Buddha is changed by the king. An important ritual that should bring luck and prosperity.
The construction and surroundings of the Wat Phra Kaew
In 1785 during the relocation of the capital Thonburi to Bangkok King Rama I started the construction of the Wat Phra Kaew. At many temples there are also rooms built for the monks but that is not the case here. However, there are several beautiful buildings in the area around the Temple of the Emerald Buddha. The central hall (Ubosot) where the Emerald Buddha can be found, is the most important location of the complex. But be sure to take a look at the beautiful murals, the copy of Angkor Wat (built by King Rama IV) and the giant gatekeepers (Yaksi’s).
Information Wat Phra Kaew
Alternative name: Temple of the Emerald Buddha or Wat Phra Sri Rattana Satsadaram
Open: Daily from 08:30 – 15:30
Entrance: 500 baht (inclusive Grand Palace)
Address: Na Phralan, Phra Nakon (Grand Palace terrein)
District: Rattanakosin (Old Town)
Route from Khao San Road: 14 minutes walking distance