The Wat Traimit Temple, known as the Temple of the Golden Buddha, is home to a Buddha statue styled in Sukhothai style and composed of solid gold. The statue is officially known as ‘Phra Phuttha Maha Suwan Patimakon’ and is said to be the largest ever composed of gold in the world. The history behind the statuette is intriguing, for instance, though built in the style of the Sukhothai Empire, many believe that the statue was actually designed and made much later. It has also been hypothesised that it may have actually been made in India, given certain design features inherent in the sculpture.
An interesting historical fact attributed to the Golden Buddha statue is that it was covered in stucco, for a long period of time, presumably to prevent it from being stolen. The statuette was still encased in stucco when, in 1954, an attempt was made to move the it from under the simple tin roof at the Wat Traimit to a new Viharn building and lead to the movers accidentally dropping the statue. The impact of the fall caused the external stucco casing to crack and, adding to the shock of the movers, the statue underneath appeared to be made of gold. While the original plaster is still available on display at the temple, it is, understandably, the Golden Buddha statue that attracts many tourists and locals to the temple. The statuette itself is three metres in height, weighs a stunning 5.5 tonnes and is worth over two hundred and fifty million dollars. When the plaster was removed from the statue, it was also discovered that it could be disassembled into nine pieces, presumably for the purposes of transport. As of 2010, the temple also houses the Bangkok Chinatown Heritage Centre and tourist and locals have the opportunity to learn about the history of the sculpture via an exhibition on its origin that was opened to the public recently.
Located in Samphanthawong, Bangkok, the Wat Traimit Temple is a place that merits a visit by any tourist residing in a Bangkok hotel. For the discerning traveller who seeks hotels Bangkok that offers seclusion from the city after a tour of the temple, Anantara Bangkok Sathorn provides them with a beloved urban sanctuary.
Pushpitha Wijesinghe is an experienced independent freelance writer. He specializes in providing a wide variety of content and articles related to the travel hospitality industry. Google+