The Golden Buddha Image at Wat Traimit in Chinatown
I went to see the Golden Buddha Image at Wat Traimit in Bangkok’s Chinatown about two years ago. I was very deeply impressed by the Golden Buddha. In fact, so much impressed that I nearly forgot taking photos of the Buddha and of Chinatown itself 😉
After strolling around in Chinatown, I went to Wat Traimit Witthayaram where the Golden Buddha Image is located. Hence, across the main entrance of Wat Traimit you find the prominent Odeon circle and the archway to Chinatown.
To come back to the the Golden Buddha, it is in fact the largest Golden Buddha statue in the world and more than 700 years old. The Buddha’s official name is Phra Phuttha Maha Suwan Patimakon (in Thai: พระพุทธมหาสุวรรณปฏิมากร). Thus, the Golden Buddha is in the Mara conquering attitude which is the typical artistic style of Sukhothai (i.e the period from the 13th century to the beginning of the 15th century). What is more, the Buddha’s head is egg-shaped which is also a typical feature of the Sukhothai period. Consisting of pure gold, this Buddha Image is unrivalled in size, value and beauty. It is more than 15 feet high and weights about 5,5 tons. The price value is 28,5 million pounds.
Golden Buddha Image
As a matter of fact, the Golden Buddha is one of the most valuable treasure of Thailand and of Buddhism. In addition, the temple also has some fine and stunning architecture to offer.
It is important to note that the Buddha was originally covered with plaster in order to hide and conceal it from invading enemies. In the third reign of the Chakkri Dynasty, the Golden Buddha was installed in the main temple building of Choti-naram Temple which is also known as Wat Phrayakrai in Yannawa District, Bangkok.
In the early 1930s, the Buddha was moved to Wat Traimit Witthayaram Temple by the East Asian Company. However, it was first in 1955 that people discovered that the Buddha was made of pure gold. When the Buddha was moved into the building, part of the covering plaster cracked and that was when the Golden Buddha Image was discovered!
Since the Golden Buddha statue was discovered very close to the commemoration of the twenty-fifth Buddhist Era, i.e. 2500 years since Gautama Buddha’s passing, the Thai news media was full of reports and hence it is no wonder that many Buddhists regarded the occurrence as miraculous.
Hence, the Buddha at Wat Traimit has been treasured for its historical, artistic and cultural values. When I went to this temple, my aunt gave to me a silver necklace with a small Golden Buddha pendant. I truly love this necklace and have been wearing it nearly every day since I’ve got it.
Have you ever been to Bangkok to see the Golden Buddha Image at Wat Traimit? Is not it majestic? 🙂
(*photo credit: Amporn Konglapumnuay)