A prominent Buddhist institution with a dedicated in-house meditation centre, a Buddhist university, and an impressive history, the Wat Mahathat Yuwaratrangsarit in Bangkok is a must-visit spiritual site on your cultural tour of Bangkok. Make sure you invest in some Sukhumvit accommodation for direct access to world class dining, entertainment, and shopping options, and consider checking into the Anantara Baanrajprasong Bangkok for quality luxury Bangkok serviced apartments that expertly cater to both leisure and corporate visitors. One of the ten temples of royal repute, the Wat Mahathat Yuwaratrangsarit in Bangkok claims an impressive lineage back to the Ayutthaya period and miraculously managed to survive the Burmese invasions that razed the Ayutthaya Kingdom to rubble. At the time of its construction, it was known as Wat Salak. After Bangkok was made capital of the Siam Kingdom, it occupied a strategic spot between the newly constructed grand Palace and the Front Palace, which was the residence of the vice king. Thus, the temple functioned as primary host of all royal ceremonies and funerals. The past two centuries have seen the temple undergo a series of renovations and status upgrades by the Thai monarchs and various members of the royal family. It was named the Wat Mahathat of the city in 1803, and earned its current moniker more recently in 1996. A salient feature of the temple is that it houses an international Vipassana Meditation Centre, an incisive form of sharpening the mind’s concentration. The temple is home to the country’s oldest university for Buddhist monks, one of the most important educational institutions in Thailand. The complex is worth visiting on a Sunday, especially, as a large market offers one the chance to purchase traditional medicines, intricately carved amulets, antique objects, and of course, exquisite figurines of the Buddha.
Angela Fernando is an impassioned travel writer who composes pieces under the pen name Sumaira Narayan. She loves writing about new and exciting places around the world and intends to visit them all someday. Google+