Friday, August 9, 2013

The Reclining Buddha

After I left Wat Arun, I took the ferry back across the river to Wat Pho.  Wat Pho is the oldest and largest temple in Bangkok; it was built in the 1500s. It is supposed to have the biggest collection of Buddha statues in Thailand. 
The most famous of its Buddhas is the reclining Buddha.  I knew it would be big, but as I walked around the building it is in and glanced in the window, I could just see part of the shoulder.  A little bit of chest in the next window, another window filled with a gold expanse that must have been a part of his stomach.
The statue is 150 feet long and nearly 50 feet high.  It's made of a brick core, covered in plaster, with a final layer of gold leaf on the outside. 
The Buddha fills the building it's in. I entered by the main door and was looking at the golden curls of the top of his head.  I walked all the way around the statue. The bottom of the feet are covered with an intricate design, made of mother-of-pearl, showing the 108 characteristics of a Buddha.
I've seen an awful lot of Buddhas since I've lived in Asia, but this one is easily the most impressive one I've seen yet. 

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