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Published: January 15th 2008
The Grand Palace is a complex of buildings in Bangkok, Thailand and the official residence of the king of Thailand from the 18th century to the mid-20th century - the official royal residence to Chitralada Palace. Construction of the palace complex began in 1782, during the reign of Rama I.
Having read in the book 'Places to see before you Die' that this is one of the top places to visit in the world then I was definately not going to miss it whilst in Bangkok. And Wow, Wow and WOW - it proved to be a amazing day out. Accompanied by my friends Ricardo and Ben we wandered around the ornate buildings with our jaws dropping at the sheer scale and beauty of the place, and glowing yellow in the reflected light from all the gold buildings.
The Grand Palace is home to the Emerald Green Buddha.It is not known for sure when the Emerald Buddha was carved but is estimated at the fifteenth century or where is originated from.
"According to reliable chronicles, lightning struck a Chedi in Chiangrai province of Northern Thailand in 1434 A.D.and a Buddha statue made of stucco was found inside. The
abbot of the temple noticed that the stucco on the nose had flaked off and the image inside was a green color. He then removed the stucco covering and found the Emerald Buddha which is in reality made of green jade.
Two seasonal costumes were made for the Emerald Buddha by King Rama I, one for the summer season and one for the rainy season. King Rama III (1824-1851) had another costume made for the winter season. The ceremonial changing of the costumes takes place three time a year and is done by his Majesty the King." (Source: http://www.bangkokmag.infothai.com/emeraldhistory.htm)
The Buddha is surprisingly small compared to those found in other temples around Bangkok but my no means insignificant on an elaborate gold raised platform it is a commanding scene to behold. And the air is full of reverence of this little statue as Monks and Thai's pray and worship at his base.
It would be easily possible to wander around the elaborate halls and buildings all day but we only had a few hours and it felt like a whistle stop tour that did not give justice to the magnificiance of this place.
Words will never
be sufficient to describe this place and so I will let the pictures do the talking and say if you are anywhere near Bangkok then go there! It is definately a place to see before you die.
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