About Temple of the Emerald Buddha
The Temple of the Emerald Buddha (Wat Phra Kaew) is a sacred monastery in the grounds of the Grand Palace in Bangkok.
Made up of a series of incredible gold buildings, the Temple of the Emerald Buddha contains a legendary two-foot statue of Buddha in its assembly hall or ‘Ubosoth’.
The Emerald Buddha, which is actually made of jade, is thought to date back as far the fourteenth century and was said to have been kept in plaster casing in a Chiang Rai monument until it was uncovered when the monument was struck by lightning. It was discovered in 1464 and has since been the subject of many disputes and even wars.
King Rama I brought it to Bangkok in 1782 and it now resides on a throne in the Temple of the Emerald Buddha. Like other Buddha statues, the costume of the Emerald Buddha is altered according to the season in a tri-annual ritual under the auspices of the Thai king. The Temple of the Emerald Buddha also contains a series of murals depicting the Buddha’s life, painted in the Ayutthaya-style.
As with the Grand Palace generally, it can be beneficial to have a guide with you which you can book in advance. Note the strict dress code in the Grand Palace.