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  4. Wat Pho

Wat Pho, Bangkok

Photo © Trey Ratcliff. View all images in our Wat Pho Photo Gallery.
Photo © Jan Koch.
Photo © Marius Watz.
Photo © Creative Commons License.
Photo © Marius Watz.
Photo © Sascha Majcenic.
Photo © Trey Ratcliff.

Wat Pho, or the Temple of the Reclining Buddha, is the oldest and largest Buddhist temple in Bangkok. It is home to more Buddha images than any other Bangkok temple and it shelters the largest Buddha in Thailand.

History

Wat Pho was built as a restoration of an earlier temple on the same site, Wat Phodharam, with work beginning in 1788. It was restored and extended in the reign of King Rama III (1824-51), and restored again in 1982.

Wat Pho is the birthplace of traditional Thai massage. Even prior to the temple's founding, the site was a center of education for traditional Thai medicine, and statues were created showing yoga positions.

During the Rama III restoration plaques inscribed with medical texts were placed around the temple, while in 1962 a school for traditional medicine and massage was established.

What to See

The Wat Pho complex consists of two walled compounds, bisected north-south by Sanamchai Road running east-west. The northern walled compound is where the reclining Buddha and massage school are found.

The southern walled compound, Tukgawee, is a working Buddhist monastery with monks in residence and a school.

Wat Pho is the largest and oldest wat in Bangkok and is home to more than 1,000 Buddha images, more than any other temple in the country.

It also shelters the largest Buddha image in Thailand: the Reclining Buddha (Phra Buddhasaiyas). Created as part of Rama III's restoration (1824-51), the Reclining Buddha is 46 meters long and 15 meters high.

His body is covered in gold plating and he is decorated with mother-of-pearl inlay on his eyes and the soles of his feet. The bottoms of the Buddha's feet are intricately decorated with 108 auspicious scenes in Chinese and Indian styles.

Quick Facts on Wat Pho

Site Information
Names:Reclining Buddha Temple; Temple of the Reclining Buddha; Wat Pho; Wat Pho, Bangkok; Wat Phra Chetuphon; Wat Phra Chetuphon Vimolmangklararm Rajwaramahaviharn (official name); Wat Po
City:Bangkok
Country:Thailand
Categories:Temples
Faiths:Buddhism; Thai
Dates:1788
Status:active
Visitor and Contact Information
Location:Bangkok, Thailand
Coordinates:13.746534° N, 100.493274° 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 Pho

Below is a location map and aerial view of Wat Pho. 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. "Wat Pho" - Wikipedia - some text incorporated under GFDL.
  2. WatPho.com
  3. Wat Po - Frommer's
  4. Wat Pho (Temple of the Reclining Buddha) - Columbus Attraction Guides

More Information

Article Info

Title:Wat Pho, Bangkok
Author:Holly Hayes
Last updated:07/30/2010
Permalink:www.sacred-destinations.com/thailand/bangkok-wat-pho
Link code:<a href="http://www.sacred-destinations.com/thailand/bangkok-wat-pho">Wat Pho, Bangkok</a>