The Golden Buddha, Bangkok

Thursday, 7 November 2013
One of the first tourist sites we went to in Bangkok was the Sukhothai Traimit or the Golden Buddha Image. Our tour guide snapped a shot of us in front of the portrait of the King of Thailand. The Golden Buddha is housed in the large temple behind the picture. 

The Buddha image is the largest in the world made out of gold. It is in a position called "mara conquering attitude" which was the typical style of Buddhas fashioned when Sukhothai was the capital of Thailand. 

The image is 12 feet 5 inches in diameter and weighs 5.5 tons!! It is approximately 700 years old and highly valued by the people of Thailand. 95% of the population of Thailand practices Buddhism and have small shrines in their homes. 

There's an interesting story to this Buddha. It was once covered in plaster to stop invaders from taking it to another land. Centuries later when someone was moving the Buddha, it was dropped and the plaster broke away.. That's when people discovered it was gold!

See above - even though it was 95 degrees, I had to wear a jacket in the temples because I was wearing a sleeveless blouse. Always wear sleeves as well as slip-on shoes when visiting temples. James had to lace up his sneakers every time and I had to fumble with putting on my jacket! 

Temple bells are lined up outside every Buddhist temple. Worshippers ring them as they leave the temple, as a way to continue worshiping. Each chime honors the Buddha. 

Outside the temple, there were scenes set up where people can buy food, drinks and robes for monks. The monks subsist on people's donations. If you give a donation to the monk, he will bless you. 

Lotus flowers were a typical offering to an image of Buddha. People would buy them and put them in a pot outside of them temples. Lotus flowers are a symbol of good fortune: literally they grow and bloom above the mud and muck in a pond. 

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