Touring Wat Phra Kaeo in Ratanakosin Bangkok  » Travel  »
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Ratanakosin Bangkok
  • I believe Ratanakosin in Bangkok has a very refined feel to it if the above description of elegant and prestigious structures is any indication of it
  • Although you can consider them demonic symbols their true job is to guard Buddha against evil spiritual beings

    • by dawnmichel
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      Ratanakosin is a city of many canals and thus is considered a river city.

      There is a Grand Palace on the site referred to as the Royal Temple. The temple, in front has a cremation area referred to as Sanam Luang.

      Wang Na is also known as the National Museum. There are a good number of enormous and elegant palaces all built in the European architectural style: the grandiose structures are now the city’s governmental buildings and I believe fittingly so.

      The most significant center you’ll find as far as Buddhist education is known as Wat Mahathat: and to be more precise this is the most important foundation relative to Buddha in Southeast Asia.

      Other important sites include the National Gallery and National Theater.

      I believe Ratanakosin in Bangkok has a very refined feel to it if the above description of elegant and prestigious structures is any indication of it. I am certainly awed by the site of palatial presence however perhaps even more disarmed by the diversity of venue the city seems to master with relative ease.

      Along the river you will quickly grow accustomed to the cacophony of the markets, vendors and lazily curious patrons.

      The Royal Family who once resided here has now moved to Dusit; however Ratanakosin remains an interesting flourishing center with an attached ceremonious vibe.

      The cremation field, once again known as Sanam Luang provides a dual function of a park as well as the main core area for the city’s bus/transit system.

      The city has a great deal of vitality to it and enormous splendor.

      A terrific palatial site is Wat Phra Kaeo: The temple is lavish in arrangement


      and décor.

      It receives a generous amount of visitors as well as spiritual patrons however even with all the foot traffic I find a marvelous sterility to it even amidst its grand detail.

      It is structurally convoluted at first site; however after your eyes start adjusting, taking in the immense enormity of it you begin to understand the design.

      If you march toward the turnstiles located to the west, you will be able to capture the beauty of the Emerald Buddha.

      There is a terrace on the upper level and wonderful scenes in mural form of the Ramayana.

      Do not jump back in horror when you enter the turnstiles because right before you and standing watch over the Emerald Buddha is what is known as gakasha. They are around six meters in height and are just spectacular in their ghoulish yet ostentatious appearance. Although you can consider them demonic symbols their true job is to guard Buddha against evil spiritual beings.

      If anything grabs you more than the Emerald Buddha it is these unpleasant looking statues.

      If you journey to the southeast portion of the temple you will find graceful country scenes painted on the doors opening to the Chapel of The Gandhara Buddha.

      Inside there is a bronze imagery of the Gandhara Buddha. It sits in a way where it is suppose to be calling for the rain with its right hand and has its left hand cupped—I assume in order to catch the falling drops of water.

      The area is historically part of a ceremony where the King called for a week of chanting by Hindu Brahmins and Buddhist Monks.

      The bot is the temple’s largest ...


      • building and one of the few remaining original structures. It has received so many modifications you are at first a bit disturbed, I believe by the disharmony of its appearance.

        There are eight stones that provide the interpreted line of holiness that surrounds the bot. Each provides enclosure for what appears to be a multi-colored schemed castle which is accented by an adjoining low wall adorned with porcelain Oriental tiles. For me the appearance proved mildly nerve racking. I mean there are some absolutely hideous eclectic looks, although I certainly would not pick them out: however I rather did enjoy this menagerie. I was not quite certain what to think.

        The walls of the structure glistened of colored glass and gilt.

        In addition there were one hundred twelve golden birdmen also known as garudas. They are representative of the god known as Indra. Their purpose, it is my understanding is to kill the serpent (also a cloud) who has consumed all of the water. The golden representatives were part of ceremonies symbolizing and associated when the land was experiencing a drought. They were erected here to honor the ruler’s official title of rainmaker.

        Okay and now the story of the Emerald Buddha: What is the deal with it? I enjoy this story a great deal? I almost know it by heart.

        The Emerald Buddha is really quite small, really not what you may first expect. However within the bot there are nine meter pedestals that support it.

        The location of it draws pilgrims from all over Thailand. When visiting this area be particularly

        respectful and mind your manners. You will need to therefore sit with your feet pointing away from the Buddha.

        The tiny Buddha was originally manufactured in Sri Lanka. The discovery of it was made when lightning burst open a chedi in Chiang Rai in the north of Thailand. This event occurred in the early portion of the 1400s.

        The Emerald Green Buddha was then moved all over the north of Thailand; and rumored to have caused miraculous happenings wherever it was located.

        The Emerald Green Buddha was then taken to Laos and remained there for a two-hundred year span.

        The story circulated that the image (Buddha) would bring abundant prosperity to whoever possessed it. Therefore the future Rama I took back the Buddha when he was able to overtake Vientiane in the in the early days.

        The Wat Phra Kaeo is quite a site and there is so much more to it then what I’ve explained here. In fact, it would take several pages of review to fully fill you in; however I highly recommend you visit. I’d advise you dress conservative. Anything too sporty is taken as a sign of disrespect. The Wat Phra Kaeo and Grand Palace is open daily from 8:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. The Weapons Museum and palace halls are closed on the weekend days of Saturday and Sunday.

        They provide a two hour audio guide if you give them your passport or credit card in order to assure safe return of the equipment. You will receive a brochure and map and also admission later to Vimanek Palace in Dusit good for a one week period.




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