Wat Phra Kaew, or temple of the Emerald Buddha, is one of Thailand's most revered temples. The shrine is located inside the Grand palace, and is guarded by an almost mile-long wall. Inside the shrine sits the green Buddha on a gold altar, which can be approached only by the king during special ceremonies. The walls of the shrine are covered in a provision of murals depicting the life of Buddha. The compound itself has rich, flamboyantly painted images from the Ramakein, the Thai epic based on Ramayana. On the temple grounds stand a 19th century Sri Lankan style stupa housing the ashes of Buddha, a library with ornate mother-of-pearl doors, bookcases containing sacred Buddhist manuscripts and statues of kings. A model of Angkor Wat, statues of Elephants and the Royal Pantheon, are some of the other monuments.
Look at any "visit Thailand" poster. If there's a temple on it, it's probably Wat Arun, The Temple of Dawn. Built on the east bank of the river Chaophraya, building of the temple began in the 19th century, and it has at some point during King Taksin's rein, served as part of his palace. A blend of Khmer and Thai architecture, the temple's floral design includes Chinese porcelain and ceramic tiles. Making it quite unique.
Close to Vimanmek Mansion, the largest teakwood building in the world which served as King Rama's palace in the 20th century is the temple of Wat Benjamabopit (the marble temple). Known as the most beautiful temple in Thailand, this one has the image of Buddha set against a dark blue background and is framed by a golden "flame". The windows of the temple are made of yellow and white stained glass, the ceilings have beams of red and gold, and the cloister has several images of Buddha each painted in a unique pose. Behind the cloister is a Bodhi tree, Bought from Bodh Gaya in India.How to get thereMany airlines fly here from major Indian cities.Where to stay
The Bangkok Marriott Resort & spa is built by the Chaophraya River. At Rs 6500 a room, the five star hotel is quite affordable.Contact: 0800 2289290 or visit: www.mariotthotels.com