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The incredible story of the Golden Buddha of Wat Traimit in Bangkok

The Golden Buddha is a 3-meter high statue of Buddha with a weight of 5.5 tons of solid gold that is located in Wat Traimit in Bangkok.

It’s the largest gold statue in the world!

The story of the Golden Buddha is really surprising and surpasses the other discovery of the Golden Buddha of Wat Ban Dan.

The discovery of the statue of the Golden Buddha

The story begins in the early 1930s, an old abandoned temple, located in the Chinatown of Bangkok, is to be destroyed during development work on the banks of the Chao Phraya River.

This old temple contained a large statue of Buddha in gilded stucco whose leaders did not know what to do, because all the representations of Buddha are revered in Thailand, they cannot be destroyed like that.

Golden Buddha's HeadIt was finally decided to move the statue to Wat Traimit, a small temple located nearby, still in Chinatown.

As the temple did not have a building to receive the statue, it remained outside for 20 years under a sheet metal roof.

In 1955, the monks built a new building and decided to put the statue in it.

When moving, every precaution is taken to avoid damaging the fragile stucco statue.

But despite a ceremony and the prayers of the monks, one of the crane cables eventually gave way, and the statue fell into the mud.

The accident was considered a bad omen, and the monks and workers left quickly, leaving the abandoned statue on the ground.

We can understand the mistake of the workers who thought they were moving a simple mass of stucco and not a massive solid gold statue!

Then, as if to confirm the bad omens, a big storm raged over the city, which was drowned in downpours.

The next day, the temple official went back to see the statue and began to wipe away the traces of mud, at which point he noticed a crack that revealed gold metal.

It was then that the statue of the massive Golden Buddha was discovered under the stucco and the news spread in the city and throughout the country.

The small and quiet Wat Traimit transformed into a world-famous temple and is now rich and highly visited.

Wat Traimit in Bangkok
Wat Traimit

The unknown origin of the Golden Buddha

No one knows where this statue comes from; it is assumed that it originated from Ayutthaya and was then transported to Bangkok.

Historians believe that several centuries before the discovery, when the Burmese army was about to invade Thailand, the monks, aware of the imminence of the attack, covered their precious Golden Buddha with a layer of stucco to protect this treasure from the Burmese.

Unfortunately, if the secret has been kept for so long, it is certainly because the Burmese have massacred all the monks and laypeople who know the secret.

What is certain is that the statue is of the style Sukhothaï (1238-1370) because the flame above Buddha’s head, which symbolizes the radiance of his spiritual energy, is an innovation of the Sukhothaï period, but it could very well have been made afterwards.

The mystery of the Golden Buddha therefore remains unresolved….

Golden Buddha in 1988

Go to Wat Traimit

It is located near Hua Lamphong Station in Chinatown.

Open from 09h to 17h

The entrance costs 40 baht.

Address

Wat Traimit, Mittaphap Thai-China Rd, แขวง ตลาดน้อย ตลาดน้อย เขต สัมพันธวงศ์ กรุงเทพมหานคร 10100, Thailand

Google Map


Source: wikipedia.org; Photos: Golden Buddha: Chirag Gupta, temple and head of the Golden Buddha: Di Ddalbiez, Golden Buddha

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Pierreto

Settled in Thailand since a few years (with trips to Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia), I love this country and its inhabitants, the real country of Smiles! Sorry for any translation errors that may occur. Feel free to mention them in the comments, I will correct them. Thank you.

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