Friday, April 5, 2013

Thailand - Bangkok Temple Hopping 4 - Wat Ratchanatdaram (Loha Prasat)

While roaming around Khao San area, actually I was quite far from Khao San, a particular structure grabbed my attention. I saw it while walking along Ratchadamnoen Road. Initially, I thought that the structure was some sort of a royal palace. It never occurred to me that I was staring at one of the most unique Buddhist temple in the world.

This temple is the 3rd Loha Prasat (Metal Castle) in existence and built in 1846 during the reign of Rama III. The other two and built earlier can be found in India and Sri Lanka but they are in ruins. Because of this, this temple is not only one of its kind in Thailand but in the whole Buddhist world. Not to mention that this temple, unlike the other two Loha Prasat, was built as a Chedi rather than a monastery.

This temple has 37 metal spires signifying the 37 virtues leading to enlightenment in Buddhism.

It is a 3-storey structure. You would find a museum at the ground floor, a meditation area and library at the second floor while a breathtaking view of surrounding area would welcome you upon reaching the 3rd floor. You can have a 360 degrees view of the surrounding  areas from the 3rd floor. 

A metal spiral staircase is located at the middle of the structure. Likewise, the urn containing the Buddha's relics is secured inside the highest and central spire. 

This Wat can be considered as an off-the-beaten-path-unique-temple due to fewer tourists frequenting this place. You would seldom see this temple in many tourist maps. In fact, it was by chance that I passed along this area on my way to "The Golden Mount." Added treat for tourist, aside from free entrance, is the nearby ordination hall and in case you have sturdy legs you can even visit The Golden Mount nearby.

To know its exact location, you may refer to my post: Roaming around Bangkok - Part 2

You may check my Bangkok temple hopping posts:

Bangkok Temple Hopping 1 - Wat Po (Temple of The Reclining Buddha)
Bangkok Temple Hopping 2 - Wat Saket (Temple of Golden Mount)
Bangkok Temple Hopping 3 - Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn)
Bangkok Temple Hopping 4 - Wat Ratchanatdaram (Loha Prasat)
Bangkok Temple Hopping 5 - Wat Traimit (Temple of the Golden Buddha)

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