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Wat Benchamabophit, Bangkok

Photo © Darko Pevec. View all images in our Wat Benchamabophit Photo Gallery.
Photo © Tetsulaw Kimura.
Photo © Tetsulaw Kimura.
Photo © Jordan Wooley.
Photo © romsbells.
Photo © Nick Leonard.

Wat Benchamabophit (the Marble Temple) is named for the gleaming white Carrara marble (from Italy) of which it is constructed. The most modern and one of the most beautiful of Bangkok's royal wats, Wat Benchamabophit is also notable for its use of European designs.

History

Wat Benchamabophit was built in 1899 by Prince Narai, half-brother of Rama V. Thailand's current king spent his days as a monk here before his coronation. Today, it is not only a magnificent Thai temple, but a seat of learning for Buddhist monks with intellectual interests.

What to See

True to its name, the Marble Temple gleams with the polished white stone from Carrara's quarries, including the pavement of the courtyards. Unlike the older temple complexes in Bangkok, the Marble Temple has no central wihaan or chedi. Instead, it has many smaller buildings that combine European influences (such as stained-glass windows) with traditional Thai religious architecture. The main bot contains a golden Buddha statue against an illuminated blue backdrop.

Beyond the main bot is a cloister containing over 50 bronze Buddha images in many different styles, representing various Buddhist countries and regions. Behind the cloister is a large Bodhi tree, bought from Bodhgaya (where the Buddha found Enlightenment) as a gift for King Chulalongkorn.

Wat Benchamabophit is an excellent place to watch religious festivals and processions. Unlike most other temples, monks do not go out seeking alms but are instead visited by merit-makers from 6-7am. During the early mornings, monks chant beautifully and intensely in the main chapel.

Quick Facts on Wat Benchamabophit

Site Information
Names:Marble Temple; Wat Benchamabophit; Wat Benchamabophit, Bangkok
City:Bangkok
Country:Thailand
Categories:Temples
Faiths:Buddhism; Thai
Dates:1899
Status:active
Visitor and Contact Information
Location:Bangkok, Thailand
Coordinates:13.765959° N, 100.513465° E  (view on Google Maps)
Lodging:View hotels near this location
Note: This information was accurate when first published and we do our best to keep it updated, but details such as opening hours can change without notice. To avoid disappointment, please check with the site directly before making a special trip.

Map of Wat Benchamabophit

Below is a location map and aerial view of Wat Benchamabophit. Using the buttons on the left (or the wheel on your mouse), you can zoom in for a closer look, or zoom out to get your bearings. To move around, click and drag the map with your mouse.

References

  1. Fodor's Thailand, 8th edition
  2. Frommer's Thailand
  3. Wat Benjamabophit – Thailand for Visitors
  4. The Marble Temple (Wat Benchamabophit) – TripAdvisor reviews, articles, and resources

More Information

Article Info

Title:Wat Benchamabophit, Bangkok
Author:Holly Hayes
Last updated:04/13/2009
Permalink:www.sacred-destinations.com/thailand/bangkok-wat-benchamabophit
Link code:<a href="http://www.sacred-destinations.com/thailand/bangkok-wat-benchamabophit">Wat Benchamabophit, Bangkok</a>