Proclaimed as one of the oldest temples in Thailand, Wat Mahathat, also known as the temple of the Great Relic, was founded in 1782.
History has it that this wat was built before the foundation of the city of Bangkok.
It was only after one of its monks, Prince Mongkut, (later known as King Rama IV) became king that the place became more prominent and underwent renovation.
For many years now the temple is famous as seat of the Mahanikai sect of Buddhism and as a study center for learning for monks belonging to this particular sect.
Wat Mahathat is also the center of Vipassana meditation and a part of the Buddhist university curriculum which teaches its students the art of meditation.
Attractions – what to see
Visitors to the temple are greeted by large and sprawling gardens within the complex that house offices, monastic cells and schools and other buildings. It is a great place for those who are interested in Thai culture to have a good idea of the Buddhist monastic life.
The peace and tranquility surrounding the temple makes it a happy tourist destination.
The inner courtyard of the temple has an entire line of large Buddha statues with a column of the colonnade going around it. Interestingly, this is slanted inwardly, which gives a rather unique view to the hallway.
On the outside one can see an array of interesting drum towers and wiharns scattered around the courtyard. There is also a meditation center and a wiharn which is under a large bodhi tree (pious in Buddhism).
Opening Time: 8.00am – 5.00pm
Entrance Fee: 100 Baht per person
Location: Phra Nakhon
Phone Number: 02-225-9595
How to get to Wat Mahathat
Wat Mahathat is located on Na Phra That Road, which is near Sanam Luang Park in Bangkok.
Take the BTS Sky Train (Silom Line) to Saphan Taksin station and decend via exit 1 to Tha Sathon Pier. From there use the Chao Phraya River Express to Tha Chang. Get off, cross the street and walk up the road until you can see the Grand Palace. In between the Grand Palace and the National Museum is Wat Mahathat.