One of the pleasures of traveling through Thailand is to experience the art and various temples of Buddhist faith. Less common in the West, Buddhism is very popular in Thailand and one great place to take it all in is Bangkok. Having two days before we moved on to Cambodia, we took in as much as we could. We will be back for a longer stay in February but for now, two days would have to do.
Our first stop was the reclining Buddha. A Titan of a statue, it is basically impossible for any photograph to do this statue justice. Between the columns of the housing building you can snap pictures or try to capture its length from either down from the head or more popular from the feet looking up. In either case, the pictures just don’t do it justice. To give you a sense of the size here, the smile of the Buddha is measures at 5 meters long. Now that is one big Buddha. Also, it’s a beautiful statue in that it shows the Buddha smiling. While I enjoy the serene calm appearance you often get in the sitting Buddha statues, the smile of this reclining Buddha appears quite natural and authentic. It is said this statue portrays the moment of Buddha entering Nirvana. Here, I would believe it.
|From Reclining Buddha|
In the royal palace you will find the emerald Buddha. It is actually Jade but the original story of the discovery and the initial impression of the Buddha face, peeking out from beneath its plaster encasing, as being made of emerald still stands. The Buddha itself is actually quite small but is declared the country’s most important Buddha by the King. And so it is. The king changes the Buddha outfit three times a year. At the time of our visit it was clothed in a gold robe to protect it from the winter cold. You can’t actually take a picture from inside so photos are quite poor here. Here is a good one that was taken with a much better camera than ours.
Solid Gold Buddha
Believed to be made in the 13th century but only recently understood to be made of pure gold, the solid gold Buddha is a five tonne masterpiece. Unlike must other gold Buddha statues, this one is solid gold. You can tell by the colour; it’s a dirty brown shade of yellow and not the shining bright yellow you get from gold leafed. Again, like the emerald Buddha, this one was hidden for a long time in plaster to protect it from theft. Although how anyone would mistake it for stone upon trying to lift it is beyond me. Now it sits proudly at the top of its temple in all its golden glory.
|From Buddha images of bangkok|