Talking about temples of Bangkok, most of us should have heard of/seen/visited Wat Phra Kaew in Grand Palace royal complex which has become the main landmark of the Thai capital. There is also the nearby Wat Pho where you can find the huge Reclining Buddha statue, and the equally famous Wat Arun which is located across the Chao Phraya River. But have you ever heard of Wat Benjamabophit? Perhaps this is not the most famous temple in Bangkok and not the most visited either, but it doesn’t necessarily mean this temple isn’t worth visiting. On the contrary, Wat Benjamabophit is one of the most beautiful temples in the city. Doesn’t believe me? Try to see the back of your 5 baht coin. Yes, it is this exact temple which is depicted in the coin.
Benjamabophit Temple is located in Dusit area of Bangkok, on a corner just across from Chitlada Palace, the Thai royal family’s residence. Unfortunately, there are no BTS or MRT stations nearby the temple. However it is not that hard to reach this temple. You can go to Phaya Thai BTS Station and then take a taxi along Sri Ayutthaya Road to the temple. This temple is also known as the Marble Temple, derived from the materials which the temple is made of. In fact, many part of the temple are made of marble, from the structure of the main buildings, the guarding shingha (lion) statues and even the vast court behind the ordination hall.
We can also get into the ordination hall, although we must take off our shoes to pay respect. Inside the hall, a Buddha statue is seated on a beautifully adorned altar. And like many other temples in Thailand, everything inside the hall is intricately decorated, from floor to ceilings, from walls to window panes. There is also another Buddha statue situated at the back of the hall, facing the marble court and guarded by another set of two marble shinghas. Around the areas at that time, there were some monks and a few locals going through some ceremony.
To the left side of the court, there is a small canal and a number of small bridges that leads to a lawn and to several other buildings in the temple complex. The bridges are also nicely decorated so you can also take some photos or selfies here. The nearest building next to the canal keeps several kind of drums in different sizes and materials. If we follow the path to the back of the complex, we will see a grass lawn to the left. And at the middle of the lawn there is a decorated bell tower.
Benjamabophit Temple is by far not the most famous temple in the city. But in my opinion, this is one of the most beautiful ones. The marble material also makes it unique and different from many other temples. And being less packed with tourists can be an advantage too. This way you can take nice pictures without being annoyed that a crowd of people has unintentionally photobombed your every selfies. My posts on other temples and place in Thailand will follow soon.