Thursday, May 20, 2010

Wat Im at Banglampu- Somdej Phra Buddhacara

If you happen to be visiting Bangkok or around Khao San or Banglampu area, do drop by at Wat Im (sorry, I forgot the full spelling). You can ask any locals around Khao San and they would be able to tell you where Wat Im is located. You will see many people going to pay respect to the Buddha statue here. You can give about 20baht as donation and with that, take a lotus flower, candle, jossticks and gold sticky paper.

Light the candle and jossticks- make your aspiration at the feet of the Buddha. After you placed the lotus flowers, candles and jossticks at their respective places, take the small gold papers and stick them at the feet of the Buddha. This is a way to pay homage to the Buddha- my teacher taught me that it's important to pay respect to the Buddha with sincerity. The Buddha is no longer physically with us but when we pay respect with our hearts, it is as if we are paying respect to him.

Above: The main Buddha statue, also known as Luang Phor Toh (Toh means large in Thai language and a some temples in Thailand with huge Buddha statues named the Buddha statues as Luang Phor Toh) located at the temple grounds. The statue faces east and measures 32 metres in height and 11 metres in width. I was told that a long time ago during the war, someone tried to fire a canon towards the statue- but even though it was ained directly at the Buddha statue, the canon just diverted by itself and dropped into the Chao Phraya river instead.

After paying respect, you can proceed to the meditation hall - it is a 8 angle one story chedi located near a large Bodhi tree (part of the original Sri Maha Bodhi tree in Sri Lanka).

During office hours, the meditation hall (fully air con) is opened for people to go in to meditate. There is continous chanting going on in the hall. I have been to this place a few times to meditate while visiting Bangkok and found that it is really peaceful.

Above: Life sized wax statue of Somdej Phra Buddhacara found in the meditation hall.
You may have noticed pictures of this teacher at many places around Thailand, but if you are not from local, you may not know his life story to fully appreciate the magnitude of this great teacher. He was born in 1776. For more accounts of his life, please read
Legends of Somdet Toh, translated from Thai by Thinassaro Bhikkhu, available at

After reading, you will understand why so many people still pay respect to him till this day.

1 comment:

Jessica P. said...

It's Wat In

Full name: Wat Indra Vihara