Attraction 3 Thanon Maharat, Na Luk, Bangkok 10200, Thailand Published on: 17-06-2016
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Why Wat Mahathat Yuwaratrangsarit is special ?
The Wat Mahathat is a large and busy temple in the old Rattanakosin district of Bangkok, just North of the Grand Palace. Its full name is Wat Mahathat Yuwaratrangsarit Rajaworamahavihara. The temple is very highly revered; it is one of the six temples of the highest grade of first class Royal temples. The temple enshrines relics of the Buddha.
What to explore at Wat Mahathat Yuwaratrangsarit?
Ayutthaya era temple
The Wat Mahathat is one of the older temples of Bangkok; it was built during the time of the Ayutthaya Kingdom, before the city of Bangkok was founded in 1782. The temple was then known as the Wat Salak. During the centuries the temple was renovated and raised in class several times. It was later renamed to Wat Mahathat, a name often given to temples containing relics of the Buddha.
Center of Buddhist studies
The Wat Mahathat is an important temple for Buddhist studies, as it houses a well known meditation center and the first Buddhist University in the country, the Maha Chulalongkorn Raja Vidyalaya University where hundreds of monks study the teachings of the Buddha.
Next to the temple, on the other side of Maharat road is a large amulet market. Here you will find a number of stalls selling amulets from very cheap to very expensive.
Structures of the Wat Mahathat
The Wat Mahathat is a busy, crowded complex containing a large number of buildings. Surrounding the temple’s courtyard are the galleries that are lined with a large number of tall Buddha images on very ornately decorated pedestals. The base contains memorials to deceased people whose ashes are interred in niches.
The Wat Mahathat’s ubosot is one of the largest in the country. In this building new monks are ordained into monkhood. The principal Buddha image of the ubosot is gold plated. Other structures include a large viharn, several smaller viharns, a mondop, the kuti or monks living quarters, a drum tower and several Khmer style prang towers, with Buddha images enshrined in its niches.
Vipassana meditation center
The Wat Mahathat is home to a well known Vipassana meditation center. Thai as well as foreign students practice Vipassana meditation, also known as “insight meditation”.
This meditation method aims at gaining insight into the true nature of things and the realization of all things being temporary and nothing existing indefinitely. Vipassana meditation concentrates on the process of breathing while trying to dispel thoughts.
Classes are held in both Thai and English language. Daily 3 hour classes are held in English from 7 to 10 am, 1 to 4 pm and 6 to 9 pm. Although classes are free, a suitable donation should be made. The meditation center is located in Section 5 of the Wat Mahathat.
How to get to Wat Mahathat Yuwaratrangsarit?
The Wat Mahathat is located in the old Rattanakosin area on the East bank of the Chao Phraya river. It is found on Na Phra road across the street from Sanam Luang, a few hundred meters North of the Grand Palace.
The easiest way to get there is by Chao Phraya river express boat. Two piers are at walking distance from the temple, namely Tha Chang pier and Tha Prachan Nuea pier.
- The oldest Buddhist university
- One of the 10 temples royalist in Bangkok
- Feeling Buddahism
- Part of ayutthaya unesco site
- Temple of Peace
3 Thanon Maharat, Na Luk, Bangkok 10200, Thailand
Tips for you
I need to start by saying that I am a temple person and the serenity and peace that eminates from this temple is so good for the soul. Visually it is amazing and I believe it is worth going with a guide because they give you extra information about the structures and features. Make the effort to climb all the way to the top to see the Holy Relic - a piece of Buddha's bone - there really is a reverence to seeing it. An amazing temple, definately worth seeing. We were told that today was auspice and good luck for us because we saw an Ordination in progress, very interesting. If I had to pick a favourite temple - this is my 2nd favourite (Wat Pho being my first). Go, soak up the atmosphere.