Monday, September 3, 2012

Wat Arun, Bangkok

Wat Arun Rajwararam–Temple of the Dawn–is located on the west bank of the Chao Phraya River, opposite the Grand Palace. The monastery is named after Aruna, the Indian God of Dawn, and it predates the Grand Palace. Abandoned for a long period of time, it was restored and rebuilt during the reign of Rama II and Rama III.

At the center of Wat Arun is a Khmer-style tower (prang), encrusted with colorful porcelain. The central prang symbolizes Mount Meru, the holy Hindu mountain.

The four corners surrounding the central prang are occupied by smaller satellite prangs, which are devoted to Phra Phai, the wind god.

Like the central prang, also the satellite prangs are decorated with seashells and bits of porcelain, and are supported by rows of demons and monkeys.

Very steep and narrow steps lead to a balcony high on the central tower.

From the tower, the views of Bangkok are spectacular.