Buddha: " Whenever you see things, just see. Whenever you listen, just listen. Whenever you know, just know."
Wat Benchamabophit (The Temple of the Fifth Great Monarch), The Marble Temple, Bangkok, Thailand
Marble Temple, Wat Benchamabophit Dusitvanaram,
on the corner of Si Ayutthaya Road and Rama V Road,
Dusit District, Bangkok.
Wat Benchamabophit is open daily from 09.00 to 17.00, admission charge applies (20 Bht -2007)
We visited the Marble Temple, Wat Benchamabophit, which is a little way out of the centre of Bangkok, in November 2007 and found that this is a fully operational teaching temple and ordination hall with cloistered courtyard, drum house and bell tower, extensive gardens with water features and other beautiful buildings together with the plain dormitories of the monks.
Some people say it is best to visit early in the morning to hear the monks in prayer, chanting their mantras but there can't be a bad time to visit one of Bangkok's symbolic landmarks, close to the the Dusit Palace complex, Chitrada Palace and a stone's throw from the Royal Turf Club.
The main bot and cloisters are built, as might be expected from its referred name, from imported Italian Carrara marble and there are hints of the neo-classical in its design but strictly speaking it is in the tradition of high Thai Ayutthayan temple architecture.
Whilst we were there; there were ordinations taking place. White robed novice monks that had been learning there for three months or more were being 'tested' by their teachers, who if satisfied, completed the ordination ceremony. This is a family affair, with relations travelling from far and wide to witness the events and make merit at the Wat. Unfortunately this did put the inside of the main Bot out of bounds to visitors at that time.
Wat Benchamabophit was built in King Chulalongkorn's (Rama V) reign during the late 1890's the early 20th century and as a teaching temple has an extensive collection of Buddha images, mostly bronze cast copies of iconic statues from across asia, with examples from as far apart as India and Japan, in the traditional poses of the Lord Buddha, seated in meditation, walking, standing teaching, making peace and calming.
Even if you feel 'all templed out' in Bangkok then we would still recommend a relaxing visit to Wat Benchamabophit, The Marble Temple in Bangkok.
Much less crowded than other 'tourist' temples, probably because The Marble Temple is off the beaten track of down-town Bangkok.
Please remember to dress respectfully.
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