This is a more detailed description of Wat Pho, click here for highlights of our day.
Thanks to Wikipedia for the background information.
Oh my Buddha, as our tour director, Phiem was fond of saying!!
Wat Pho is named after a monastery in India where Buddha is believed to have lived. Prior to the temple's founding, the site was a centre of education for traditional Thai medicine, and statues were created showing yoga positions.
Our first views as we wait for our tickets.
The temple has sixteen gates around the complex guarded by Chinese giants carved out of rocks. These statues were originally imported as ballast on ship trading with China.
The Reclining Buddha is 15 m high and 43 m long with his right arm supporting the head with tight curls on two box-pillows of blue, richly encrusted with glass mosaics. The 3 m high and 4.5 m long foot of Buddha displays are inlaid with mother-of-pearl. They are divided into 108 arranged panels, displaying the auspicious symbols by which Buddha can be identified like flowers, dancers, white elephants, tigers and altar accessories. Over the statue is a seven tiered umbrella representing the authority of Thailand.
Dropping the small pennies in makes a nice ringing sound and even if your wishes don’t come true, the money goes towards helping the monks renovate and preserve Wat Pho.
The northern walled compound is where the reclining Buddha and massage school are found. The southern walled compound, Tukgawee, is a working Buddhist monastery with monks in residence and a school. Outside the temple, the grounds contain 91 chedis (stupas or mounds), four viharas (halls) and a bot (central shrine). 71 chedis of smaller size contains the ashes of the royal family, and 21 large ones contain the ashes of Buddha.The four chedis are dedicated to the four Chakri kings.
Although the intricately detailed murals that cover the walkways around Wat Pho will require a book or guide to decipher, the exquisite murals are so detailed and intricate that even if you don’t understand all the imagery you can still appreciate the artwork.
Other sights include four chapels that contain 394 gilded Buddha images, long lines of golden statues from different parts of Thailand sitting in the lotus position.
The southern walled compound, Tukgawee, is a working Buddhist monastery with monks in residence and a school. There are many monks strolling around.