The precious shrine of Thailand
The temple, where the main relic of Thai Buddhists is stored, namely the Emerald Buddha, is located in the historical center of Bangkok on the territory of the Grand Palace.
In the photo: The temple complex of the Emerald Buddha is located on an area of 95 hectares.
During the Middle Ages, the temple was repeatedly destroyed and burned down, but it was restored every single time. In 1820, the sanctuary, as we know it, was redecorated.
In the photo: Once every 50 years, restoration work is carried out in the temple.
The main relic of the temple
The sculpture of the "enlightened deity" is made of a single piece of jade. Buddhists believe that the sculpture is over 2000 years old, made by one of the first Buddha followers: monk Nagasena.
In 1436, the sculpture of the Buddha was found by King Rama I on the ruins of the Cambodian temple. Rama I brought the relic to Thailand; now it is showcased in a separate chapel on the territory of the temple complex, personifying the unity of the kingdom. The Emerald Buddha sits on a high three-meter throne.
In the photo: Even the statue’s copy is “dressed” in golden robe.
The jade sculpture has several types of golden attire, which the king or the crown prince himself changes three times a year. There is a belief that if the statue is dressed on time, then everything in the life of the country will be good.
Buddhists are happy to tell visitors stories about the Emerald Buddha. According to one legend, the ship that transported the sculpture to Burma got caught in a storm and by some miracle reached the shores of Cambodia. According to another legend, when the king found a clay Buddha statue in the ruins of the Cambodian temple and took it in his hands, the clay fell to pieces, and a bright green gem started to shine. More legends: the elephants who carried the statue did not obey the drivers and stubbornly carried the goods in the opposite direction, to the city where the statue stayed for 32 years, before finding its home in Bangkok.
There are more than a dozen shrines with copies of the Emerald Buddha in Thailand, Laos and Cambodia.
The Emerald Buddha is an important relic and an integral part of the national culture.