Buddha: " Whenever you see things, just see. Whenever you listen, just listen. Whenever you know, just know."
Wat Arun, Temple of the Dawn
Arunratchawararam Ratchaworamahavihara), Arun Amarin Road, Yai district, Bangkok 10600, Thailand, was formerly known as Wat
Wat Arun (Pronounced Aroon), the Temple of the Dawn is one of the images in the late Ayutthaya, Siam, style of Bangkok that is recognised around the world.
The best way of getting to Wat Arun is by local ferry from Tha Tien Pier on the east bank, where the Express Boat Service and the Chao Phraya River Tourist Boat stops, a three minute crossing, landing at Wat Arun Pier, costing buttons!
By bus numbers 19, 57 or 83.
We visited Wat Arum, Temple of the Dawn in October 2007 (small admission charge applies) and found that it is a fully working Buddhist temple, the prang (Khmer-style tower) is a single stupa that can be seen from the east bank of the Chao Phraya River and is surrounded by four smaller stupas. The temple is skirted by a major Buddhist monastery to the west.
Wat Arun, is a Royal Temple, known as Temple of the Dawn because the first rays of sunlight reflect off the ceramics embedded in the surface of the whole
temple with an unearthly iridescence. The temple is listed by the Thailand Fine Arts Dept as 'First Class Special' decorated with glazed pottery fragments
in flower and leaf designs and other traditional Thai patterns. The top is gilded and adorned with the trident of Shiva extending skyward from the top of each tower.
All of the towers of Wat Arun are brick built, covered with stucco. The decorations are almost unique, being made up from thousands of pieces of shaped, multicoloured, Chinese porcelain (that was used as ballast for boats arriving to pick up cargo in Bangkok from Cathay). Niches in the smaller towers contain figures of the Moon God, mounted on a white horse.
We climbed all three tiers. The first is only a few steps from ground level at a reasonable angle of tread and riser to platforms between covered, Buddha
alters but the next two flights are long and steep and longer and steeper! Each landing having a decorated walled walkway right round the stupa. The superstructure above has four niches containing statues of the Hindu god Indra on the mythological (three headed) elephant Airavata.
The views from the upper levels across Bangkok, the rest of the monastery and the Choa Phraya River, are well worth the climb (and in my case the shaking knees)!
Wat Arun is the location of annual ceremonies involving celebrations in the Buddhist festival calendar.
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