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Wat Pho (Wat Po) or Wat Phra Chetuphon is not only a major attraction in Bangkok it is one of the city’s oldest temples. It is chiefly famed for the large Reclining Buddha it houses and for having the largest collection of Buddha statues in Thailand. It existed even before King Rama 1 made Bangkok the capital of Thailand. Wat Pho comes from the ancient name of the temple Wat Photaram or Podharam which is a reference to the Buddhagaya monastery in India where the sacred Bo Tree under which the Buddha attained enlightment is. Wat Pho became King Rama 1 ‘s chief temple and a part of his ashes are buried here.
The Wat Pho complex covers 08 hectares . Wat Pho is also designated as the National Headquarters for the teaching of traditional Thai medicine and Thai Massage. Plaques about Thai traditional massage and statues depicting yoga postions and massage methods can be found around the temple complex.
The Phra Ubosot is the Ordination Hall and is on a raised marble platform.
The massive gold plated reclining Buddha 46 meters in length and 15 meters in height illustrates the passing away of the Buddha into Nirvana. The statue is on a gold and crystal three tiered pedestal and a nine – tiered umbrella has been placed over it. The umbrella represents the authority of Thailand. This room also houses images of ten disciples of the Buddha including the two chief disciples Sariputta and Moggallana.
Other interesting sites at Wat Pho include the Phra Rabiang, a double cloister with about 400 Buddha statues from Northern Thailand, Phra Maha Chedi Si Rajakarn , a group of four Chiefs dedicated to the first four Chakri kings, and Phra Mondob, the scripture hall.
The Wat Pho can be accessed via Chetuphon Road and it is open daily from 8.a.m to 5 p.m . There is a break at mid day from 12.00 p.m. to 01 p.m.
A true believer that the pen is a mighty weapon, Amira Ghaffoor ventures into reaching the minds of every reader with the earnest hope of leaving an indelible stream of thought. Her interests include Politics, law and Philosophy. If you see Joanna James enchanting many readers, do know it’s her.