Wat Arun - Morning Dawn Temple in Bangkok, history and guide

Undoubtedly, in the capital of Thailand - Bangkok, there are many temples and monasteries, but the temple Wat Arun is a Mecca for Buddhists. In Thai, "Temple of Dawn" or "Temple of Morning Dawn," in honor of the Hindu God of dawn - Arun, whose images, decorate almost all tourist brochures of the country.

General information and history

This is the only structure of its kind, built in the 18th century, after the defeat of the ancient state of Ayutthaya (Ayutthaya) by the Burmese - the modern Bangkok.

Legend has it that Thaksin the Great, ruler of Siam, during his descent along the Chao Praya riverbed, vowed that in the name of defeating the Burmese he would erect a temple dedicated to the god of dawn by the river, if a place of prayer came up along the way. In the first rays of sunlight, the soldiers saw the small temple of Wat Chaeng, and the general kept his word. And soon the Temple of the Morning Dawn was erected on its site, and not far from it, the lord built himself a residence.

The Temple of the Morning Dawn was built between 1782 and 1809.

During the reigns of Rama I and Rama II, the temple was reconstructed and enlarged to its present height. The main chedi (stupa) of Phra Bang, built in the 18th century, is still the tallest pagoda in the country at 79 meters. It represents Mount Meru and its floors represent the many worlds in the universe.

Flowers made of ceramic and porcelain shards were used as decorations. It is said that a Thai shipwreck transported provisions to the Celestial Empire, and on its return it took as ballast dishes, stone figures of deities, warriors and beasts, which decorate the entire territory of the monastery.

It is here that until 1785 the main attraction of Thailand - the statue of the Emerald Buddha - was kept. At present it is a separate temple of Wat Phra Kaew.

The main prang is surrounded by four smaller towers, which symbolize the continents of the world's oceans. Between them are the mondos, directed to the four sides of the world, in which sacred texts and other shrines are kept. The alcoves of the smaller towers are decorated with statues of the wind god Vayu in the form of horses. All entrances to the observation deck are guarded by motionless figures of guards and stone animals.

A beautiful view of Bangkok can be seen from the top of the pagoda. The main tower of the Temple of the Morning Dawn has two bypass terraces, which can be accessed by steps.

It is worth considering that the stairs are very steep - be careful.

The steps symbolize the difficulty of reaching higher levels of being, and the panorama that opens at a height of 20 meters is worth the experience.

On the grounds of Wat Arun, there are viharnas, gazebos, a library, a hall of dedications, monks' resting places, sculptures of Buddha and many amazing mythical creatures.

How to get there

The temple is located on the west bank of Thailand's largest river, Chao Phraya, on the opposite side from the Royal Palace and Wat Pho temple.

Wat Arun Temple on the map of Bangkok

It is more convenient to get to the Temple of the Dawn by ferry from Tha Tien Pier. The ticket price is 4 baht one way. If you live in Kaosan, you can get to Tha Tien Pier by ferry. First, walk to Chao Prayo promenade, then along it to Pra Arthit Pier and then swim to Tha Tien for 15 Baht.

You can walk from Kaosan, it takes 15-20 minutes.

To get to the temple of Wat Arun you can take buses: 19, 57, 83.

Time and cost of attendance

The temple is open to visitors from 8:00 to 18:00. The ticket price is 50 baht. If there are a lot of tourists from the main entrance - go around the temple to the right, there is the second entrance and most often there is no one.

Wat Arun temple

▣ The cost of visiting the temple.

The proceeds, according to local laws, are spent on grounds maintenance and charity.

Tips for tourists: what to look for

  • In the Temple of the Morning Dawn, it is forbidden to wear skirts, shorts or clothes with exposed shoulders. If you are not dressed according to the rules, you can rent clothes at the entrance.
  • At the entrance be sure to take off your shoes, and do not step on the threshold. The right thing to do is to step over it.
  • Before entering Wat Arun temple, you will be offered to wear the national dress and capture a photo.
  • In the spring and summer, daily at 7 p.m., 8 p.m., 9 p.m. and 9:30 p.m., they hold 15-minute light shows during which they tell the story of Wat Arun temple, accompanied by traditional local music.
  • In November, the main Buddhist Kathin ceremony is held at Wat Arun Temple. All Thai nobles and statesmen are sure to attend. During the event, honorary monks of Thailand are presented with special traditional robes called "kathin" by the king or his family members.

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