WIHAN PHRA MONGKHON BOPHIT
One of the largest Buddha statues in Thailand
The capital city of Thailand is always throbbing with an energy quite unlike any other. Bangkok sees bustling shoppers during the day and a vibrant party atmosphere after dark. Rooftop bars, high end restaurants and gleaming shopping malls dot the city’s skyline alongside gilded temples, bejeweled shrines and larger than life statues. Visit the infamous floating markets, sample exotic street food and treat yourself to a most memorable Chao Phraya cruises. It is possible to enjoy a quieter night out in this lively part of the country. You can sail along the River of Kings and admire the temples, palaces and other cultural sites from the water, while savouring some mouthwatering Thai cuisine. For a splash of romance book a trip on a luxurious restored rice barge and indulge in the very best Anantara Cruises has to offer.
The Phra Mongkhon Bophit is the name given to the Buddha statue that was sculpted in 1538 during the reign of King Chairacha. Soon after King Songtham began his rule, Wat Chi Chiang was struck by lightning. The King then had the statue moved and a square roofed structure, known as a ‘mandapa’, built for its protection. The mandapa has been destroyed on many occasions over the years due to lighting and fire. The statue within was also damaged multiple times. Both Buddha figure and protective structure have been restored each time. However, there is debate about the timelines during which restorations took place. The Mongkhon Bophit Foundation took steps to preserve Phra Mongkhon Bophit by plating it with gold leaf in 1992.
The country’s cultural heart is where you will find Wihan Phra Mongkhon Bophit. It is located in Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya, on the south of Wat Prasrisanpetch. The large bronze cast Buddha image is almost ten metres at its widest point and stands just under thirteen metres tall. The premises can be entered between 8am and 5pm.
Caleb Falcon is a travel writer who specializes in writing content based on the many exciting world adventures that await intrepid travellers. Google+