Bangkok Wat Sutat ( Great Swing ), Bangkok

Bangkok Wat Sutat ( Great Swing ), Bangkok

The Giant Swing is a religious structure in Bangkok and one of Bangkok's famous tourist attractions. In front of the temple is the huge Chinese-red frame of the giant swing. An annual ceremony took place here whereby young men would try to swing high enough to get a sack of gold tied to a pole about 75 feet in the air. After the death of many men during this attempt, this ceremony was banned in the 1930s.

The red colored Giant Swing, with a height of 21.15 meters, is a landmark of Bangkok. The existence of a red giant swing in front of Suthat Temple in Bangkok is an indicator of the once strong influence of Brahmanism in Thailand. The giant swing was built only two years after the establishment of Bangkok as the new capital in 1782. The story of its origin began when a Brahman named Kratai was granted an audience with King Rama I (1782-1809) and asked the King's permission to be the upholder of Brahmanism in Siam and to build a Brahmanic temple and a swing for conducting Brahmanic ceremonies. The King granted his requests and soon not one but three Brahmanic temples and a swing were built in the same area in the centre of the old city in 1784.

The original height of the swing is not confirmed to date. After over hundred years, when the old swing was decayed, it was replaced with a new one made of teak in 1920 in the reign of King Rama VI. The swing was renovated twice again in 1947 and 1970. For 36 years, the swing stood elegantly as one of Bangkok's landmarks. After its condition deteriorated again, the old swing was replaced with one made of teak in 2006.

In the early 19th century, a huge 25-foot tall Phra Sri Sakyamuni Buddha statue was brought from Sukhothai by boat. The Wat Sutat was built to house that gigantic Buddha image. One of Bangkok's tallest Wiharn housing that gigantic Buddha image sits in a large cloister whose outer wall is lined with more than 150 Buddha images. Many Chinese statues were shipped from China as ballast in rice boats. These statues are on display in the courtyard between the Buddha gallery and the wiharn. The walls are painted with murals depicting the last 24 lives of Buddha. The columns are also painted with murals showing the early life of Bangkok.

The Swing Ceremony was one of the 12 royal ceremonies held in each of the months of the Thai Lunar calendar. With a height of 21.15 meters from the base to the top, the swing is considered a giant and is a great memorial of an abolished ceremony in the history of Thailand.

This sight is featured in a self-guided walking tour of Bangkok, Thailand within the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" which can be downloaded from iTunes App Store or Google Play. Please download the app to your mobile phone or tablet for travel directions for visiting this sight. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Bangkok Wat Sutat ( Great Swing ) on Map

Sight Name: Bangkok Wat Sutat ( Great Swing )
Sight Location: Bangkok, Thailand
Sight Type: Religious
Guide(s) containing this sight: Wats and Temples of Bangkok   Bangkok Old City Walk  

Walking Tours in Bangkok, Thailand

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Bangkok Old City Walk

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Places of Worship Walk in Bangkok

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Before modern times, Thai sculptors focused exclusively on creating images of Buddha, leading to Thailand being one of the world's best locations for Buddhist art. By the end of the 19th Century and the beginning of the 20th Century, Western fashions had begun to influence classical Thai art forms, particularly architecture and sculpture. Take our tour to see the top landmarks of the Thai...  view more

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Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 6.5 km

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