Wat Benchamabophit, one of the youngest royal monasteries in Bangkok, was established in the early twentieth century. Its second name – The Marble Temple – the complex received because its walls are covered with gray Carrara marble. The Italian architect Hercules Manfredi took part in its design.
The temple is decorated with amazing stained-glass windows, made in the Victorian style and depicting scenes from Thai mythology. The building, where King Rama V lived during his period of temporary monasticism, has preserved murals depicting the events of his reign. One of the halls contains the ashes of Rama V himself.
In the courtyard of the wat are bronze statues of Buddha, including the famous Walking Buddha.
The main building of the Marble Temple is one of the finest examples of Thai architectural art of the late 19th century. Four entrances lead to the pavilion through four pediments (the main entrance is in the east). The western pediment is decorated with the text of the sacred song. The southern one has an image of the Buddhist Wheel of The Law. On the eastern pediment, a carved image of the god Vishnu, who sits on a stylized garuda bird, closely follows the pilgrims. The northern one is crowned by the traditional character of Buddhist mantras, the three-headed elephant.
But perhaps the main thing tourists come to the temple for is the sacred turtles and catfish. And it is true, where else in the vast city can you see 100-kilograms of fish swimming through the canal? Finally, it is worth a walk to the amazing ancient clock, made in the form of a set of drums. Each of them have their own tone, so the time on it a monk has to tap (it turns out quite musically).
Polite attire is required. Shoes must be removed and placed on a shelf before entry into the temple. The rules are similar to all the temples in Thailand.
The entrance fee to the Marble Temple – Wat Benchamabophit is 50 baht.
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WAT BENCHAMABOPHIT LOCATION
- Address: 69 Rama V Rd, Dusit, Dusit District, Bangkok, Thailand, 10300
OPENING HOURS: 6.00 am to 6.00 pm daily
HOW TO GET TO WAT MAHABUT
- By taxi. Ask a driver to take you to Wat Ben.
Scan this QR code to add Wat Benchamabophit to your phone
A little off the traditional tourist route, this temple cannot be left out of a visit to Bangkok. Very different from other temples, its Carrara marble construction is impressive as are the stained glass windows. The garden is very beautiful with many statues of Buddha in different interpretations.