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As the name itself suggests, the first light of the dawn reflects off the temple, illuminating it in a pearly iridescence. The Temple of Dawn in Bangkok, also known as Wat Arun, derives its name from the Hindu God Aruna personified as the radiating rays of the freshly rising sun. The full name of the temple being Wat Arun Ratchawararam Ratchawaramahawihan, the temple had been in existence from the early 17th century. However, its notable spires, which have made the Temple of Dawn not only a landmark but also a symbol of Bangkok itself, had only been constructed in the early 19th century, giving the temple a distinctly majestic appearance.
More popularly known as as Wat Chaeng, Wat Arun is located on the west bank of the Chao Phraya River. It is said that initially a basic temple had existed at the place of Wat Arun and it was King Taksin who established his capital in Thonburi near the temple, and who had restored the temple to a considerable state. The Temple of Dawn had once upon a time enshrined the Emerald Buddha before it was entrusted to to Wat Phra Kaew in the year 1785.
The central spire (phrang) encrusted with colourful porcelain is perhaps the most remarkable feature of Wat Arun. It is said that this imposing spire symbolizes Mount Meru of Hindu cosmology. The corners of this spire rising up to 86 meters is surrounded by four smaller satellite phrang, which are decorated with seashells and pieces of porcelain that had been used as ballast by Chinese boats coming to Bangkok. They are said to be dedicated to the wind god, Phra Phai. It is said that the Buddha statue presently enshrined in the Temple was molded by King Rama II himself, with the ashes of the king interred at the base of the Buddha statue. Also noteworthy are the formidable looking Yaksha (demon) figures ceremoniously guarding the adorned doorway of the temple. These figures are derived from the Ramakien, Thailand’s national epic, and are named Sahassa Deja and Thotsakan, the green one being the demon Ravana from the Ramayana.
It is always wise to reserve a Bangkok resort if planning to travel to this fascinating destination.
Accommodation would not be a problem as there are plenty of 5 star hotels in Bangkok that one could choose from. Anantara Bangkok Riverside Resort & Spa is a recommended hotel that allows its guests to unwind to their heart’s content while taking in huge gulps of culture and history that one can find in plenty in this spectacular city.
Angela Fernando is an impassioned travel writer who composes pieces under the pen name Sumaira Narayan. She loves writing about new and exciting places around the world and hopes to visit them all someday. Google+