Experiences - Asia

Golden Buddha Temple

Located at the end of Chinatown’s Yaowarat Road, the Golden Buddha Temple is famous for its gold Buddha statue, built over 900 years ago during the Sukhothai era. This 3-metre tall image was earlier concealed with plaster to keep it from the hands of attackers and was simply rediscovered inadvertently about 40 years ago.

Golden Buddha Temple

Image Courtesy: Allan Watt used under the Creative Commons Licence

Entitled Phra Sukhothai Traimit, this unique statue that can be divided into 9 pieces, is placed at the heart of Thailand – Bangkok.

In 1801 after King Rama I declared Bangkok as the new capital, he ordered the shift of all important Buddha statues from the North to Bangkok, as the northern region was not yet mollified. The Golden Buddha was one among the various statues that were moved, but it was concealed with stucco and placed at Wat Phraya Krai. During its scheduled removal in 1957, the statue was accidentally dropped, revealing the gold inside. This incident marked the beginning of the Golden Buddha temple.

Weighing a total of 5.5 tonnes, this famous statue consists 40% pure gold from the base to the neck, 80% from the chin to the forehead and about 99% in the hair and topknot.

This statue, whose true identity had been forgotten for almost 200 years, glistens with such opulence and purity that even the most jaded are inspired by the strength and power it exudes.

Note: The temple complex remains opened from 8 in the morning until 5 in the evening, except on Mondays. Admission to the temple is free and the visit to the Golden Buddha image costs 40 Thai Baht.

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