Wat Traimit – The Temple of the Golden Buddha in Bangkok


Located very near to Hua Lampong railway station (Yaowarad Road) and near to Chinatown and is one of the most popular attractions in the city of angels.

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The world’s largest solid gold statue

The attraction at Wat Traimit is undoubtedly the impressive the Golden Buddha, officially titled Phra Phuttha Maha Suwan Patimakon, is the world’s largest solid gold statue, with a weight of 5.5 tons (5,500 kilograms). The Golden Buddha has a perfect shape. According to the history, it has been presumed that King Ramkhamhaeng of Sukhothai Kingdom has called moulding specialists for a meeting about construction. After the construction was completed, he has ordered the construction of Phra Wihan Luang in Wat Maha That Temple in the middle of Sukhothai to house the Golden Buddha.

The Golden Buddha via Du Lich Thai Lan

In the past, artisans crafted the Buddhas in gold and disguised them from invading armies by a covering of stucco and plaster. For centuries the true identity and value of the image were not known, until by accident in the 1950’s it was discovered that the image was made of solid gold. The entire covering was then removed and the image restored to its current state. It is thought that the plaster covering was added to hide the true nature of the image from Burmese invaders.

The Golden Buddha was cast sometime in the 13th century and is an excellent example of the gracious Sukhothai style that is still very much in favor to this day. This theory was brought on by the observations made regarding the egg shaped head which means it has Indian influences. A typical characteristic of art made during the Sukhothai period. At some point, it was covered in plaster and lacquer, most likely in an attempt to hide the valuable icon from thieves or looters. This powerful image has such a bright, reflective surface that its edges seem to disappear, and it gleams with such richness and purity that even the most jaded are inspired by its strength and power.

The Golden Buddha sits in the Bhumisparsha Mudra traditional position (touching the earth with the hand in enlightenment). The flame above its head is a Sukhothai element that symbolizes his spiritual energy. The eyebrows, nose, and V-shape of the hair roots are all in accordance to the rules, and the most distinguishable element is no doubt the long ear lobes, which symbolize royal social status.

Wat Traimit Temple via Encircle Photos

The temple design

In 2010 the temple was completely renovated and four-storied structure was erected to house the Golden Buddha. The first floor of the building is the Yaowarat Chinatown Heritage Centre where tourists can learn the history of the Chinese immigrants in Thailand as well as their culture which has become part of the Thai culture. The 2nd floor of the building is home to the Phra Buddha Maha Suwanna Patimakorn Exhibition, which has exhibits on how the statue was made, discovered and came to arrive at its current home. And the top level is where the world’s largest gold Buddha image is enshrined.

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