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Unseen in Bangkok

Temple of the Universal Symbol

Temple of the Universal Symbol

Located at the heart of the city, the temple took 40 years to complete, from the First to the Third Reigns. Its grandeur, plan, architecture, and artifacts symbolize the universe after traditional beliefs about a city foundation. The name “Suthat” denotes Suthatsa Nakhon, the celestial city of Indra atop the mythical Mount Sumeru , traditionally believed to be center of the universe. The temple plan also reflects the universe. The image and ordination halls surrounded by other architectural and artworks clearly depict a traditional plan of the universe.

The image hall was intentionally built to predominate and be landmark of Suthatsa Nakhon atop Mount Sumeru . The base is specially made to stand 6 meters high. On the gable of the image hall is the exquisitely carved woodworks in the motif of the god Indra atop the mythical 33-headed elephants called “Phra In atop the Hill.”

The ordination hall is the nation's longest. It's symbolizes “Chomphu Thawip” ( India ). The murals in the main image hall depict the life stories of the Buddhas. The hall itself enshrines a significant image. Phra Si Sakkaya Muni, which Rama I had drawn from Wat Maha That in Sukhothai.


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