The Reclining Buddha is the most impressive highlight for the tourists visiting Wat Pho. Buddha statue in a sleeping posture is world-famous. The historical Shakyamuni Buddha in his last moments of illness before nirvana manifested this iconic posture.
Its figures are as significant as 15 meters tall and 46 meters long covered in gold leaf. Mother-of-pearl illustrations of divine characteristics of the Buddha adorn the 5 meters long Buddha feet. Buddha attained perfection with significant 108 positive actions and symbols. These 108 panels stand for the 108 Lakshmana or favorable characteristics of the divine Buddha.
Dropping coins in these bowls attract good fortune and happiness. To attract good luck, try to buy a container of coins at the hall entrance and drop it in the 108 bronze bowls on the length of the walls. The dropping of coins generates a pleasant, ringing sound. This money goes into helping the monks and renovating Wat Pho even if your wishes do not materialize.
The architecture in Wat Pho is Ayutthayan in style. Many present-day structures were shifted and installed from the dilapidated temple town of Ayutthaya. Many buildings and chedis(stupas/mounds) in the temple complex depict other architectural styles.
The reclining Buddha with feet inlaid with mother-of-pearl and 108 auspicious symbols is the centerpiece in the complex. Over 1000 Buddha images, marble interiors, many Chinese stone statues, and the golden structures beautify the premises. Some sculptures have the Europeans guarding the gates within the compound.
This temple complex in Wat Pho is believed to have existed before 1782 because Wat Pho origins are widely unknown historically. King Rama shifted the capital of Siam (ancient name of Thailand) to Bangkok. He ordered the restoration of the dilapidated old temple site in 1789.
Multiple Buddha images from the abandoned temples in other areas of Thailand were shifted and installed at Wat Pho(old name Wat Photaram). King Rama III brought about sweeping changes at Wat Pho in the subsequent years to restore and expand the temple complex in 1832.
This restoration lasted 16 years. During these years, the king built or restored the most present structures. The same era witnessed the emergence of the temple as a center of art and learning. Wat Pho earned a memory of UNESCO's world award and evolved as one of the most prominent attractions of Thailand today.
Wat Pho was famous as the first public university of Thailand, and it is home to the relics of the first four Chakri Kings. Bodhi Tree and Reclining Buddha are the two of the highlights at Wat Pho. Bodhi tree is believed to have grown from a part of the sacred tree in Bodhgaya, India.
Wat Pho has preserved the Chakri dynasty's heritage and stands out as a repository of Thai art, culture, and knowledge.
The main chapel of Phra Ubosot has all the Buddhist rituals performed, and the principal Buddha statue sits on a three-tiered pedestal. This pedestal preserves the ashes of King Rama I.
Phra Rabiang, a double cloister, surrounds the Phra Ubosot. These cloisters house 400 of the 1200 statues of Buddha in Thai history.
Chedis Dedicated to the Four Kings
Four richly ornate pagodas make the Phra Maha Chedi Si Rajakarn(group). These pagodas are dedicated to the first four Chakri rulers, and decorative glazed titles cover these chedis and make them an architectural marvel.
Four giants guard the gates of Phra Mondop or the scripture hall. This hall keeps Buddhist scriptures, which are inscribed on palm leaves. Authorities have enacted a controlled environment, and the public is not allowed inside Phra Mondop.
Missakawan Park has a Chinese style pavilion and the Bodhi tree. This Bodhi tree is regarded as the descendant of the Bodhi tee from Bodhgaya in India. Gautam Buddha attained enlightenment under the Bodhi tree at Bodhgaya.
Vihara of the Reclining Buddha
Viharn Phranorn’s Ayutthaya style architecture and panels mesmerize beholders. The murals at Wat Pho on the inner columns and walls give the glimpses of the royal battles, court intrigues, and lives of Buddha’s disciples. These murals are 200 years old.
Timings are subject to change. You will be automatically booked into a time slot as part of the check out process. Please visit the official website to confirm the time slot before your visit.
Wat Pho became the first public university of Thailand with exclusive knowledge in traditional medicine and massage. Many inscriptions and illustrations in multiple buildings put out instructions for the massage therapists. Two pavilions in the complex act as classrooms for practicing the renowned skill.
You can experience massage treatment on payment of a fee. Thai massage technique has originated at Wat Pho. It is relaxing for you to get a massage here after exploring various attractions in Bangkok. Massage therapy is available until 6 pm.