The Royal Viharn / Wihan / Phra Vihara Luang  at Wat Suthat Thepwararam Buddhist Temple Image loading now ...
 
On an unofficial count, there are probably 400-500 sizable Buddhist temples in Metropolitan Bangkok alone. While many of the foreign tourists may be more familiar with hot spots such as Wat Phra Keao, Wat Arun, Wat Pho, Wat Traimit etc. There are actually many other interesting locations equally possess strong Buddhist Interests but probably were less publicized and there are less presence of tourists. Temples such as Wat Rakang, Wat Borworniwet, Wat Intraviharn, Wat Paknam, Wat Prasat, Wat Suwannaram and Wat Suthat etc. may not have the rich background, brilliance of architecture or indirect association with previous reign of Thai Royalties but many of which are equally commanding the same respect among the locals. Interesting enough, most temples usually have a temple icon, either in the form of the main Buddha Image or via legendary Thai Guru monks that took charge of the temple during their services as Abbot. We cannot deny the fact votive amulets from these respective locations had its role help in promoting their popularity among the Thai as well as extending its reach as far as to many other countries in the far east.

When we mention
Wat Suthat Thep Wararam (or in short, Wat Suthat), we think of the huge and beautifully crafted Phra Sri Sakayamuni (or pronounced as "Si-Sak-kaya-mu-nee" or Sisakayamunee) Buddha image in the temple. To amulets collectors, Phra Kring from Wat Suthat has its magical appeal. This temple is located at Bamrungmuang Road, centre of Bangkok Metropolitan where sometimes locals called it as Krung Ratanakosin. It is actually not too far away from other tourist hot spots such as the Grand Royal Palace, National Museum etc. and within the few square kilometres, you can find the other temples of similar scales or interest such as Wat Boworniweithviharn, Wat Thepthidaram, Wat Mahannopphram, Wat Mahadhat, Wat Phra Chetuphon (Wat Pho), Wat Arun, Wat Rachapradit etc.

Wat Suthat was constructed in 1807 A.D. after the 27th anniversary of the founding of Bangkok by King Rama 1, the ruler of Ratanakosin. Over the last two hundred years, it has survived the test of time and overall, it is very well managed and maintained. There are many structures and artifacts in this temples which have been renovated, preserved, conserved and the sacred site is like acting as a centre for Buddhist study and dissemination. Wat Suthat also has other names such as being referred as Wat Maha Suthra Wad, Wat Suthat Thep Tharam, Wat Phra Toe or Phra Yai etc. A few of these names were given by the previous Thai King as its strategic center location in Bangkok resembles Suthat Sana Nakhon, a city located on the Mount Sumeru, the center of the universe, where Indra is dwelling and the given names simple implicates the temple is centered as the nucleus of all the good things for the Thai Kingdom that the King wished to rebuilt the brilliance of Ayutthaya, former capital city that capitulated and ruined by the invading of Burmese in 1767.

There is a very prominent structure that some termed it as a Swing, it was believed to be constructed in 1784 that locates mid between the busy traffic at front of the main entrance to Wat Suthat. The entire temple compound covering 45,000 square metres. Within, it has many interesting architectural, sculptural, and visual highlights reflective of original Thai Buddhism theme and philosophy.
 

Logo and emblem of Wat Suthat Thepwararam Buddhist Temple, Bangkok, Thailand  
Official Site of Wat Suthat (Thai); | Contacting the Temple Management |
Address: Wat Suthat Thep Wararam 146 Bamrungmuang Road, Rajborpit Sub-district, Phranakhon District, Bangkok. Thailand. 10200.
Location Map of Wat Suthat Thep Wararam, Temple Map (272k Jpeg)
Operating Hours: 3 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily Admission Fees: NONE for local, may be less than 200 bahts for foreign tourists
     

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Credit: To all the good people who have contributed their own experience, resources or those who are kind enough in granting us the permission to use their images that appeared on this site. For materials, I have used some scanned images of the winning entries compiled under the "Dictionary of Buddha's Small Images" - which is my inspiration and provides wealth of information to version history. Note: Certain content and images appeared on this site were taken by using a Canon PowerShot Pro-1 digital camera. Some materials appeared on this site were scanned from some leaflets, brochures or publications published by Wat Suthat and/or contribution from surfers who claimed originality of their work for educational purposes. The creator of the site will not be responsible for any discrepancies that may arise from such dispute except rectifying.