Monday, March 14, 2011

The Wat Pho Temple

Thailand is one of the exotic countries in Far East.The country has a very long history. We can see a bit of this past history from "Anna and the King" movie. Nowadays, Thailand has become the main tourism destination in South East Asia.In last post, we have discussed about the beauty of  Thailand nature in Phuket, now we will discuss abou the cultural heritage tourism in Thailand ,Wat Pho temple, which also have been registered by UNESCO’s Memory of the World (MOW) as MOW documentary heritage for Asia and Pacific Region.

It was built as a restoration of an earlier temple on the same site, Wat Phodharam, with work beginning in 1788. It was restored and extended in the reign of King Rama III (1824-51), and restored again in 1982. Actually,its official name is Wat Phrachetuphon Vimon Mangkararam Ratchaworamahawihan, although it is commonly called Wat Pho.

The Wat Pho complex consists of two walled compounds, divided north-south by Sanamchai Road running east-west. The northern walled compound is where the reclining Buddha and massage school are found.


The southern walled compound, Tukgawee, is a working Buddhist monastery with monks in residence and a school.
The main attraction for the tourist is The statue of the Reclining Buddha (Phra buddhasaiyas) which measured 46 meters long and 15 meters high, is covered in gold leaf and illustrates the Buddha’s passing into nirvana. Mother-of-pearl inlays decorate the feet and the eyes of the smiling Buddha and the feet are also adorned with 108 lakshanas, the auspicious characters of the Buddha (108 being a sacred number in Buddhism and in Hinduism.
Outside the viharn of the Reclining Buddha are hundred pagodas and several halls that contain a vast collection of Buddha statues. There are over 1000 images of Buddha images in this area.The main images are Phra Putthadevapatimakorn: the principle Buddha image is enshrined in the ubosot. It contains Buddha relics and the ashes of King Rama I.
Phra Phuttaloknatsasadajan: this image stands in an alcove. It is the tallest bronze standing Buddha image.

The other attraction is Wat Pho School of Traditional Medicine and Massage. In this place, the preparation of herbal medicines and diagnosis are taught here, as well as the traditional massage seen in the sculptures compiled on King Rama III’s orders. The teaching is practical, and every day large number of visitors, Thai and foreign come to study and to be massaged. For those interested in traditional Thai medicine, there is a pavilion that serves to both teach knowledge and give treatment. The walls have marble tablets describing basic anatomy and treatments. In the late afternoon, traditional medicine practitioners are there to dispense herbal mixtures. Nearby, there is a cloister where you can have a traditional Thai massage for a small payment.  Wat Pho is often known as the birthplace of traditional Thai massage. Even prior to the temple's founding, the site was a center of education for traditional Thai medicine.

2 comments:

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    thanks you very much.

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