Wat Ratchanatdaram (Temple of the Royal Niece), Bangkok

Wat Ratchanatdaram (Temple of the Royal Niece), Bangkok

Wat Ratchanatdaram is a Buddhist temple situated in the Phra Nakhon district of Bangkok. The name "Wat Ratchanatdaram" translates to "Temple of the Royal Niece." This temple was commissioned by King Nangklao (Rama III) in 1846, specifically for his granddaughter, Princess Somanass Waddhanawathy.

Wat Ratchanatdaram's architectural centerpiece, Loha Prasat, means "iron castle" in Thai. It comprises five towers with black iron spires, including 37 golden spires symbolizing enlightenment virtues. Loha Prasat stands at 36 meters (118 feet) with three levels: 24 spires at the bottom, 12 in the middle, and 1 on top.

Two similar structures from the past, modeled after ancient ones in India and Sri Lanka's Anuradhapura, featured 1,000 rooms and golden spires. Unfortunately, these original structures no longer exist. Another Sri Lankan structure had nine floors, a thatched copper roof, and precious stone, wood, and ivory decorations.

The architectural style of Loha Prasat may initially appear Burmese, but it is, in fact, a reproduction of an ancient Buddhist design found in Sri Lanka. The construction of this remarkable edifice began in the early nineteenth century under the reign of King Rama III.

The outer building of Loha Prasat forms a pyramid-like structure, with each successive level getting smaller. The ground floor of the tower houses a labyrinthine space supported by numerous columns. Additionally, several corridors within the tower feature pictorial depictions of its history, added in late 2007.

Notably, Loha Prasat is modeled after the one in Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka, and it stands as the sole surviving example of its kind today. In 2005, it was nominated for inclusion in UNESCO's World Heritage Sites.

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Wat Ratchanatdaram (Temple of the Royal Niece) on Map

Sight Name: Wat Ratchanatdaram (Temple of the Royal Niece)
Sight Location: Bangkok, Thailand (See walking tours in Bangkok)
Sight Type: Religious
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

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