Friday, 27 July 2018

The Golden Temple Mount (Wat Saket)



The Golden Temple Mount is somewhere I see quite regularly because I get off at the Phafna Bridge river taxi stop.   

The Golden Temple Mount is quite easy to see as it is high above things around it. But it was not always this big. The mount was initially built quite simply with the Wat Saket complex and was a Chedi but it is believed that the project was a little over ambitious and the Chedi was too big and the soil could not support it's weight - leading to it collapsing.



The ruins were left and grasses grew over them - during the reign of King Rama IV a Chedi was built on top of it. Then there was a gift of a Buddhist image from India which was placed on the hill and was were built around it. Then concrete was added to the hill to stop erosion any further. Relics of this period can still be found amongst the sides of the hill - for example Chinese gravestones. 


 At this point it is interesting to mention that the hill was also a mass burial ground in the late 18 century for victims of cholera... This practice of dumping dead bodies became the feeding ground for vultures. This spurned the practice of people bring the dead body and placing a coin in the mouth which was to be taken with them to assist them in the afterworld - this money was taken by the 'caretaker' to ensure the body was not eaten...
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There are a great many steps to get to the top.


Luckily there is a coffee shop on the way up the hill and it was pretty good as well. 



What made this site more interesting was the plethora of different things that you can go to see.

  1) Luang Por Dam  


  2) Fortune Buddha
  
  3) Lucky Buddha  


  4) Luang Por To

  5) The footprint of the Buddha  


  6) The vultures of Sakret Temple


You can get to the very top and there is a 360 degree view over Bangkok here - a wonderful opportunity. 



Then there was more...

There are a great many more places to see around here 
- try the Loha Prasart (Buddhist Complex).

TripAdvisor: https://www.tripadvisor.com - Wat Saket