Wat Arun – Bangkok’s Stunning Temple of Dawn
Wat Arun is one of the most iconic landmarks in Bangkok, Thailand. It is a stunning Buddhist temple located on the west bank of the Chao Phraya River, whose most prominent feature is the central prang, which is a Khmer-style tower. The porcelain-covered tower was built during the early 19th century, but the history of the temple dates back to at least the 17th century.
The name of the temple indicates that it was built in honor of Aruna, the Hindu god of dawn, but despite this, the best views of the impressive monument can be caught at sunset, from the eastern side of the river, when its silhouette looks majestic against the horizon.
The temple (or “wat”) has an inherent mystical symbolism, being a representation of Mount Meru, which is considered to be the center of the universe in the Buddhist cosmology. Its tall prang is also a symbol of a specific state of mind sought by believers, best described as “single-pointedness”. The other four prang of the temple represent the guardian gods of the four directions, a detail which completes Wat Arun’s mystical symbolism.
Whether you are looking for spiritual enlightenment or just for a memorable sight, this unique Buddhist temple is a place worth visiting. It is rich with history and mysticism, and it is an impressive monument to look at. The amount of work that was put into its creation is something to marvel at indeed.