Temple Architecture

   .: The Temple of Dawn
.: The Origins
.: Wat Arun Ratchavararam
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Awesome Thai Temple Architecture

This unforgettable landmark on Bangkok's River of Kings consists of a massive elongated prang or Khmer-style tower characteristic of Thai temple architecture, surrounded by four smaller prangs. The 79 meter high tower is decorated with ceramic tiles and fragments of multi colored porcelain which had previously been used as ballast by boats coming to Bangkok from China .The porcelain mosaic fills every conceivable nook, cranny, and wall, creating a brilliantly imaginative and visually stunning monument. The statuary is also replete with mosaic adornment. The outer four corners are Prangs which hold statues of Phra Phai, the God of Wind. The entrance to the temple building is guarded by a pair of impressive mythical giants, similar to the 12 giants in the Wat Phra Kaew or Grand Palace.

The long, elongated, Khmer-style Prang or tower, and four minor towers symbolize the terrestrial representation of the thirty-three heavens. It is possible to walk a limited way up the very steep stairs of the main prang, which gives a reasonable view of the Chao Phraya river. These steep steps lead to the two terraces that form the base of the Prang. The different layers, or heavens, are supported by Kinnaree or half-humans, and frightening Yaksas, or demon guards. Pavilions on the first platform contain priceless statues of the Buddha at the most important stages of his life. On the second terrace four statues of the Hindu god Indra or Erawan, his thirty-three headed elephant, stand guard. The main Buddha image inside the Bot is believed to have been designed by King Rama II himself, but the murals date from the reign of King Rama V.


Wat Arun at dawn
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