Construction on this temple started in 1785,
only a couple of years after construction began on the Grand Palace
itself. The Emerald Buddha Temple was being built on the same grounds as the
Grand Palace at the same time. This temple is different then other temples
because it does not house monks. Rather,
it has only pagodas, statues and holy buildings.
There is a very long history that goes with this particular Buddha. It is said
that the Emerald Buddha was made in India around 43BC (only about 400 years
after Buddha had left his earthly body).
It was then taken by a prince of the Siamese (remember the movie “The King and
I” with Yul Brynner? I might be showing my age a bit here, but Brynner was the
King of the Siam Empire which is now know as Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Viet Nam
and parts of Burma) regime, then taken by the Haw, then taken back when King
Rama the 1st retook it and brought it to Phnom Penh, Cambodia, eventually bringing
the Emerald Buddha to the Grand Palace, where his grandson King Rama the 3rd
built the Temple of the Emerald Buddha.
it or not, the Buddha is not made from emerald…it is made from Jade.
Early on, a Buddhist monk mistakenly said it was made of emerald, and
that mistake stuck.
cannot take pictures inside the temple, which is unfortunate, because
it is a very moving site. The Emerald Buddha sits on a platform about
thirty or so feet above the temple floor. I was deeply moved by the
sacredness inside the temple. The Buddha itself is dressed in a golden
outfit of real gold. The Buddha has three different sets of gold
clothing, which are changed by the King of Thailand, himself, in a
ceremony at the changing of the country's three seasons: hot, rainy and
cool. Most Thais and other Asians were in deep prayer. As a tourist, I
tried to be quiet and take in all that the temple had to offer.
Because I couldn't take pictures inside the temple, below is a picture I pulled up from the web:
are some pictures of temples Liz and I visited in northern Thailand,
after we completed our four-day trek in the mountains visiting the Hill
The entrance to a temple in Chaing Rai
the ceiling of the temple. Lots of temples have these murals on the
ceiling or on the walls. In many cases, the murals on the walls tell
the whole story of Siddhartha and The Buddha.
This is one of three altars at this temple.
Next week: Angor Wat
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