Wat Arun - Bangkok, Thailand



Wat Arun Ratchawararam Ratchawaramahawihan or Wat Arun is a Buddhist temple (wat) in Bangkok Yai district of Bangkok, Thailand, on the Thonburi west bank of the Chao Phraya River. The temple derives its name from the Hindu god Aruna, often personified as the radiations of the rising sun. Wat Arun is among the best known of Thailand's landmarks and the first light of the morning reflects off the surface of the temple with pearly iridescence. Although the temple had existed since at least the seventeenth century, its distinctive prang (spires) were built in the early nineteenth century during the reign of King Rama II.

The main feature of Wat Arun is its central prang (Khmer-style tower) which are encrusted with colourful porcelain. This is interpreted as a stupa-like pagoda incrusted with coloured faience. The height is reported by different sources as between 66.8 m (219 ft) and 86 m (282 ft). The corners are surrounded by four smaller satellite prang. The prang are decorated by seashells and bits of porcelain which had previously been used as ballast by boats coming to Bangkok from China. The presiding Buddha image, cast in the reign of Rama II, is said to have been moulded by the king himself. The ashes of King Rama II are interred in the base of the image.


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