Also known as Temple of the Golden Buddha, Wat Traimit in Bangkok is known for housing a 5.5-tonne statue of a seated Buddha. The gold sculpture dates back to the 13th century and measures at nearly 5 meters in height. Located in Bangkok Chinatown, Wat Traimit is about 450 meters west of the Hualampong Railway Station.
In fact, no one knew that the Buddha image at Wat Trai Mit was made from gold as it was originally covered by plaster. Until one day, it was accidentally dropped during the transposition, showing a magnificent shining gold inside like a Sukhothai-style Buddha. Pieces of the plasters are also still kept at Trai Mit Temple.
There is no conclusive evidence as to where this Buddha image came from. It is assumed that the golden seated Buddha was made during the 13th -14th centuries, Sukhothai-style, though it cannot be confirmed. The head of the statue was created into an egg-shape which is typical of a Sukhothai-style Buddha. There is also an assumption that parts of the Golden Buddha statue may have been cast in India.
Wat Traimit also has a museum on the 3rd floor, where you get to learn about the history of the Golden Buddha. A video presentation provides a brief background on Buddha images, followed by the full story of the sculpture within the temple. Exhibits also cover the historical background of how it came to be at Wat Traimit. The 2nd floor exhibits 3D presentations detailing the history of the Chinese traders in Bangkok.
Wat Traimit Temple is mainly visited by Thais of Chinese descent, as it is located very near Bangkok Chinatown or Yaowarat, the biggest Thai-Chinese community in Thailand. It is definitely worth a visit to witness this world's largest golden Buddha with your own eyes! And if you're hungry, or just want to check out the local vibes of the Chinese community, Bangkok Chinatown is just a few steps away!
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