A big Buddha
Published: 16th July, 2017
Standing 32 metres tall and 10 metres wide, the Buddha image at Wat Indraviharn is one of the largest in Bangkok.
Crafted during the reign of King Rama III and touched up on various occasions, the giant image stands exposed to the elements, covered in sparkling gold-tinted panels that twinkle in the sunlight. Drawing a mix of Thai merit makers and curious travellers, it’s one of several famous Buddha images in Thailand known as Luang Phu Toh. Relics of the historical Buddha were supposedly brought from Sri Lanka and enshrined in the image’s topknot.
The wat is quite small, with a surrounding cloister displaying a benjarong porcelain collection among other bits of curio. On the other side of the lane stands a large ordination hall sporting murals of early 19th-century Bangkok along with a vivid portrayal of the Buddha’s parinibbana (death and extinguishment into nirvana) on the interior walls. It also has air-con, but you can’t go inside unless dressed properly.
Wander around to check out small mortar chedis with floral designs held up by quirky pairs of men, one sitting on the shoulders of the other. Wat Indravihan (also spelt Intharawihan) is often included on the tuk tuk tours touted on the streets around Khao San Road.
Wat Indravihan is just off Samsen and Wisut Kaset roads, a kilometre north of the west end of Khao San Rd. You can access it from the west via Samsen Soi 10 or from the south through the temple gate off Wisut Kaset.
David Luekens first came to Thailand in 2005 when Thai friends from his former home of Burlington, Vermont led him on a life-changing trip. Based in Thailand since 2011, he spends much of his time eating in Bangkok street markets and island hopping the Andaman Sea.
These tours are provided by Travelfish partner GetYourGuide.
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