Wat Pathum Wanaram
Wat Pathum Wanaram was founded by King Rama IV as a place for worship. This is why it was constructed very near his Sa Pathum Palace. During the time of its construction the grounds were situated on rice fields. It was only accessible by going through Khlong Saen Saeb (canal in Central Thailand that connects the Chao Phraya River to Chachoengsao and Prachin Buri). Its complete name is quite a mouthful: Wat Pathum Wanaram Ratcha Wora Viharn. In this temple lie the ashes of the Thai Royal family from the household of Prince Mahidol Adulyadej.
What to See
Among the various buildings that are found at the temple, visitors can come across a sala that was partially reconstructed from the crematorium of the late Princess Mother of Thailand. What is impressive about this crematorium is that it displays the ancient craftsmanship known in Thai as phra men. It represents Mount Meru, the dwelling place of Thai gods.
The trees that surround the temple have perplexing notes that hang from its branches. This is one of the most overlooked temples in Bangkok. It is also one of the oldest ones. There is a small park conducive for walking exercises or strolling. Looking closely at the temple and its surroundings one can appreciate it more by looking closely at its wonderful facet. This multi-layered temple is willing to reveal itself to anyone who wants to look in closer, bit by bit. Inside the higher outer wall of the temple lies a large pond and a parking area. Guests will pass by a second walled gate to see the actual temple proper. A wall separates the main temple from where the monks live. In the middle of a large prayer hall stands a paved plaza.
Recent Political Violence
This temple is the site where six individuals were killed during the 2010 political violence. Altercations between state authorities have resulted to fatal bullet wounds. The Courts said that victims were killed by high velocity bullets fired by soldiers that were positioned at the Skytrain on Rama I Road. After several weeks of clashes between the two groups it resulted in the killing of 90 people. It was also found out that the six people previously mentioned here did not carry any weapons with them as claimed by state authorities. Even so it did not lessen the impact of the temple’s peaceful and quiet ambiance.
How to Get There
This temple is located in between Central World Plaza and Siam Paragon Mall. The temple’s environs are so lovely. Take the Skytrain to Siam Square or Chitlom since this temple is located between these two stations. This temple is right in the middle of buzzing shopping district of Bangkok. It is a nice refuge from the hurly burly busy city life. It is surrounded by lush green trees. This is why it comes highly recommended as a place for meditation and a place for visitors to chat. As one recent visitor said, his day was made perfect by visiting such a peaceful place.