Our next place of visit was Wat Arun – The Temple of Dawn. This temple is named after Aruna – the Sun God or the God of Dawn. It stands magnificient on the banks of the Chao Phraya River. The first day evening when we went to the temple, we took the ferry – ferries run straight across the river to reach the other side in about 5 minutes duration to reach the temple side. Wat Arun can be reached by road too. The next day when we went during the day, we took a taxi.
The stunning view of the Temple of Dawn at dusk, is what makes it different. The image of the stunning Wat that falls on the river waters is truly captivating. As the sun gets ready to take some rest, we see people thronging the restaurants and filling up empty spaces wherever possible, on the other side of the river, to make the best use of their best of Cameras. Such is the view of WAT ARUN in lights with its image on water!
It is said that the royal fleet of King Taksin, the founder of the former capital of Thonburi, arrived at Wat Makok Nok precisely at dawn. He stopped his vessel and disembarked to pay homage to the Holy Relic inside the pagoda, and the temple was subsequently referred to as Wat Chaeng – the Temple of Dawn. When King Taksin crowned himself the monarch, the temple was designated a royal temple within the grand palace, as it was the first place in Thonburi to catch the morning light. http://www.watarun.net/the_origin.html
The tall tower of the temple is called ‘Prang’. It is a Khmer style tower ( style belonging to neighboring Cambodia). King Rama III raised the Prang and it remains the highest tower in Thailand even today.
Wat Arun temple had been founded in the early 17th century, some believe it to be earlier than that but most of the features present today were built by King Rama II and King Rama III through the 19th century. http://www.bestofthailand.org/thailandtourismguide/2012/09/wat-pho-temple-wat-arun-temple-other-bangkok-temples.html
This Wat or Buddhist temple is an architectural representation of Mount Meru, the center of the world in Buddhist cosmology. In the mythology of Tibetan Buddhism, Mount Meru is a place that simultaneously represents the center of the universe and the single-pointedness of mind sought by adepts. http://www.watarun.net/index.html
On the second terrace, the Hindu god Indra called Erawan, in Thai, is seated on his three headed elephant. There are four such statues.
The multiple layers of the towers are supported by Devas –
and Asuras –
The temple towers and the different layers are decorated with colourful porcelein plates (seen in above picture). These are said to be porcelein, which the Chinese ships used as ballasts and discarded on arrival at the port of Bangkok.
There is a huge Buddha statue with two statues of Brahma – the four headed Hindu God of Creation.
Wat Arun was truly an architectural splendour – but we had more to experience – at the Royal Palace which is very close to Wat Arun and Wat Pho.
On the way to the Royal Palace, a very bright and sunny day that was – couldn’t resist the coconut icecream, served in a different way altogether!
Coconut Ice Cream –
step one- scrap out a few layers of coconut from the already scrapped out, ready to be served coconut shell
step two – place 3 scoops of vanilla ice-cream or coconut ice-cream
step three – sprinkle some peanuts on top, which is optional
step four – choose your syrup chocolate or strawberry (I chose chocolate syrup)
step five – exquisite stuff ready!
After a cool-cool treat, we crossed the busy road and walked inside the Royal Palace. So, meet you next at the Royal Palace!