Royal Buddhist temple unique in its kind in Thailand, Wat Arun or Wat Arunatchawararam is an emblematic symbol of the kingdom. The multicolored ceramics covering it gives it a very particular allure.
With Wat Phra Kaew and Wat Pho, Wat Arun is one of the most famous royal temples in Thailand. Even if its image, logo of the tourist office of the country (TAT), decorates the coins of 10 bahts. It is nevertheless a wonder to discover.
History of Wat Arun
Historical sources mention and indicate Wat Arun on French maps as early as the Ayutthaya kingdom, under the reign of King Narai (1656-1688). According to legend, in 1768, after the fall of Ayutthaya, General Taksin was descending the Chao Praya River in search of a site for a new capital when he saw the temple at dawn, from which it takes its name, and near which he founded the first settlement of Thonburi, which gave birth to the future Bangkok. For a time, a statue of the Emerald Buddha rested in the temple, then was moved to Wat Phra Kaew in 1785.
The story goes that its name originates from a Hindu deity, Aruna (the dawn). Located on the banks of the Chao Phraya River in the district of Thonburi, the temple of the dawn, whose first constructions date from the 17th century, is more imposing by its size (more than 70 meters high) than by its extent. The tour is quick but can easily be prolonged if you take the time to stop on the details that make the richness of this place. The Chinese porcelain (dishes offered by the inhabitants) and thicker ceramics enameling the buildings give a very particular character to the whole. The prangs (towers) of Khmer architecture, in the shape of corn cobs, are completely covered with it, except for rare spaces reserved for niches housing statuettes or bas-reliefs, such as that of this character of mythology, Kinnari, half-woman, half-bird. Demons and wind gods will also delight the amateurs of the genre.
Wat Arun is a Buddhist temple built in the shape of a prang, a Khmer architecture. The distinctive corncob of the main spire and the four smaller surrounding spires make it easy to distinguish. The main prang is 70 meters long and is reached by a sloping staircase, offering a beautiful view of the river and the nearby Grand Palace. This layout represents the five sacred mountains that were home to the gods according to Khmer, Hindu and Buddhist cosmology. The main prang represents Mount Meru, the center of the universe, and the other four represent the directions of the world. King Rama III then ordered that they be covered with colorful ceramics and porcelain in intricate patterns. This unusual design feature makes the prang glow in the sunlight and gives this temple a unique charm.
Further on, the constant religious activity (monastery, religious services, ordinations) around the chapel and bot attract the attention of visitors, as do the many statues in the inner courtyard of the cloister and the giant demons (Sahassateja and Tasakantha) guarding the entrance.
How to get there
Opening hours From 8:00 am to 5:00 pm
The entrance ticket is 50 baht
Amarin road Bangkok 158 Thanon Wang Doem, Wat Arun, Bangkok Yai, Bangkok 10600, Thailand