Wat Trimitr Witthayaram
Temple of the Gold Buddha, Bangkok
Wat Trimitr was originally called War Sam Chin Tai and is one of the oldest temples in Yaowarat, the name of Bangkok’s Chinatown. There were 3 Chinese men who were friends that helped construct this temple for the purpose of merit making. In 1939, the temple was renamed Wat Trimitr Witthayaram literary translated as 3 friends. The Dhamma school and Trimitr Witthaya school were added later to the temple complex.
Phra Phuffha Mahasuwan Patimakon, also known as Phra Sukhothai Trinutr, is a large Buddha image made from pure gold. The image is 3.01 meters in width and in 3.91 meters in height and can be separated into nine parts. The pedestal is made from 4% gold, the face from 80% gold and the head from 99.99% gold and weighs 45 kilogram’s.
The Buddha image was assumed to have been cast in the Sukhothai Period and was invited to many temples in Bangkok. As the image was not properly looked after during that time, it was covered in cement and sent to the deserted Wat Phrayakrai (Wat Chotikaram) for security reasons. Later a private company asked to rent the temple and used it as a sawmill. The image was once again moved and paced next to Phra Chedi. When Wat Trimitr had its new Ubosot and Wihan built, the image was invited back to be placed in the new Ubosot. Due to its weight and large size, the image was accidentally dropped on the ground during its moving by a crane. The crack on the chest eventually revealed the lacquer inside. When they opened the lacquer, the golden cast was exposed.
Many difficulties occurred during the moving of the Buddha image but all this came to an end when they found a key hidden underneath the image pedestal. The key helped separate the entire image into four parts: the neck, the two hands and the stomach. It was then finally moved to the new Uposot.
Paying respect to the beautiful Phra Sukhothai Trimitr is believed to give a worshiper an auspicious life. The worshiper also has to practice good deeds and Buddhist precepts to purify the mind as the pure gold used to cast the Buddha image itself.
How to get there
Wat Trimitr Witinayaram is located on Charoen Krung Road next to the Gate of Chinatown, Talat Noi Sub-district, Samphanthawong District, Bangkok. As I always say, a taxi is the way to get there, unless you’d like to join a group (or individual) tour. This temple will certainly be included with the Emerald Buddha and Reclining Buddha tours. If you’d like to experience some of the other forms of transportation around the city, here’s an alternative to consider. Tale the BTS (Sky Train) to an MRT stop, and transfer to the MRT headed towards Hua Lamphong and Bangkok Railway Station. From the MRT exit, it’s a short walk to Wat Trimitr but I’m going to recommend you just ask someone which way to way. After visiting this temple, why not journey over to Chinatown for a different food and shopping experience?
If you’d like to read a more in depth article about this Wat Trimitr, click on Gold Buddha.