On the second day of our trip, we started a little early and Poom was at the hotel by 9 AM to pick us up. The first place for the day was the Emerald Buddha Temple. As we drove to the Emerald Buddha temple and Grand Palace, we saw some protesters on the road. Contrary to our concerns the protests were very peaceful and the tourist areas remained unaffected.
As we got down our car, we saw a lot of vendors selling colourful caps and sarong just outside the temple.As you enter the premises, you can see the beautiful temple complex at a distance and it is indeed very beautiful.
Unlike our expectation, the Emerald Buddha temple is not just one building where the idol is kept but a huge complex of buildings and pagodas. The walkway as well as the temple complex is spectacularly beautiful and a total photographer’s paradise. Bridges, colourful buildings and pagodas, artistically carved statues, I just couldn’t stop clicking 🙂
As you walk through the entrance, you can see a stone idol surrounded by beautifully craved sloping roof rooms. On the left is a place where people can pray. As in Wat Pho one can see many giant guard statues here as well decorated with gold and colorful stones. There were a lot of tourists and school kids visiting. I even saw a group of fine-art students sketching the temple.
Poom showed us large pagodas of different colours attributed to different kings. The first one was golden and belonged to King Rama I. The King was inspired by mosaic art and this pagoda is decorated with small square gold colour pieces. These pieces do wear and tear and hence the structure is maintained every 50 years. If you look around from here, you can see colourful building all around you. There was also a replica of the famous Ankor Wat. One feels awed by the sheer beauty of the place.
Before moving to the room where Emerald Buddha is kept, we saw a gallery full of paintings depicting stages in Buddha’s life. In the Emerald Buddha complex, one needs to remove their shoes before going in. Outside the room there is a pot of holy water with lotus flowers. People can sprinkle the holy water on their head and wish from the Emerald Buddha. At the base of the Ordination Hall are many idols of the Garudas holding Nagas. The motif of Garuda (King of birds and mount of Vishnu) holding a Naga (King of serpents) is believed to have the power to chase away evil spirits.
Photography is not allowed inside the hall, so we took a few shots of the emerald Buddha statue from outside. The green Buddha statue is adorned with golden dress which differs seasonally. As it was winter, the Buddha statue was covered in a golden shawl.
We then walked past the beautiful giant bonsai gardens towards the grand palace which looked like straight from a fairy tale. As it was already lunch time and we were behind our schedule, we couldn’t go inside the palace.
It was time to go to the local market to a deck to catch a boat to the Supatra … which was on the opposite side of the bank. After a short ride we reached the restaurant where a platter of food awaited us. The place was indeed very scenic. A sumptuous lunch later, we were headed for another round of pampering to the Rarin Jinda Spa Resort.
This trip I just blogged about was courtesy the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT).