Wat Phra Kaew houses the Emerald Buddha statue which though small in size is immense in spiritual value. Further, it is considered the guardian of the country and promises to usher in prosperity to the land in which it resides.
Though legend and history have different tales about the Emerald statue, both claim that it originated in India. History reveals that the image travelled to many highly acclaimed Buddhist destinations such as Sri Lanka, Cambodia and Laos before finally being enshrined in its present magnificent spot in Thailand’s historic and commercial centre; Bangkok. It is believed widely that the figure was created some 500 years after the Buddha attained ‘Nirvana’ and it came to rest in Bangkok during the reign of King Rama I in the year 1782. Emerald is only a reference to the colour of the figurine which is actually carved out of jade.
The temple itself is a stylishly decorated, ornate construction resembling the flair of Ayudhya. The gardens of the Temple of the Emerald Buddha contain hundred pagodas, spires and buildings that are an immediate attraction to tourists. The fields of grass that surround the structures dazzle in a bright emerald green too, adding a touch of liveliness to the environment and making it the ideal home for the venerated Buddha statue.
Even though there are no resident monks at this temple, that has not hindered the temple in propelling itself to the pinnacle of Buddhist ‘must-sees’. Its murals are not only exquisite, but also narrate the famous ‘jathaka stories’ or life stories of the ‘Bodhisatva’, its two libraries store some of the most vital Buddhist literature records and within the compound one can also see life size statues of the first seven rulers of the Chakri Dynasty.
The Wat Phra Kaew is a Buddhist’s paradise that should not be missed and an outstanding Bangkok resort that grants its dwellers a once in a lifetime experience would be the ideal companion for a refreshing break. Keep in mind the Anantara Bangkok Riverside for a vacation that really purifies your mind and soul. Being a riverside hotel , it has the added advantage of offering the soothing powers of water as well.