Saturday, June 16, 2007

OUR TREASURES: Trimitr Golden Buddha

The jaw-dropping Golden Buddha of Wat Traimitr in Bangkok is the largest Golden buddha Image in the world. It stands 15 feet 9 inches tall and weighs approximately 5.5 tons of pure solid gold.

It is crafted in the typical artistic style of the days when Sukhothai (427 km from Bangkok) was the capital of Thailand in the 13th-15th century. It is now more than 700 years old.

The image was originally covered in stucco plaster and the story how it was discovered still awed people to this day:

In 1931, the East Asiatic Company extended their work (with official permission) on the grounds of the abandoned Choti-Naram Temple in Yannawa District of Bangkok. The principal image of the Buddha was moved to Wat Traimitr to be enshrined there. They were all dumbfounded why the the stucco image was so heavy, so it ramained untouched on one corner of the temple grounds for the next 20 years.

It was only in 1955 when they finally planned to enshrine the almost forgotten image of the Buddha to the main temple. When it was tried to be moved, they found it impossible. They have to use a crane to lift it and place it on the intended shrine.

The crane tripped over, dropped the image and a part of the stucco plaster fell off! They were all dumbfounded of what they saw; The image, as it turned out, was made of pure solid gold! And it was crafted in the typical artistic style of the Sukhothai period. Now the image is deemed on its artistic value, it's history and of course its worth in gold.

It is now enshrined in a discreet corner of the Trimitr Temple where it was originally placed in the 50's. Tourists asked why such precious image made of solid gold is not guarded at all. Well, it is too heavy to be stolen anyway and the temple gates are too small. If somebody wants to steal it, he would have to use a friggin' crane and demolish the temple gates too! Not a very discreet operation, is it?

Legend has it that the said image was covered in stucco plaster to conceal it from the invading Burmese. Burma has a habit of invading and sacking the Thai Kingdom in those days (where are they now? Ha!). *one eye brow raised as high as Mt. Everest*

How an image, as heavy as this, was transported from Sukhothai (in panic) to Bangkok over 700 years ago still awed scholars and historians to this day.

There is no other Buddha image in the whole world as precious and as mesmerising as this one. Come and see it on your next visit to Thailand. The Trimitr Golden Bhuddha image is truly one of our SE Asian treasures.



conan_cat said...

i'm bit bit confused...

is it a statue or an image? @_o

a statue being consealed in stucco plaster and it was revealed when they accidently drop off our Buddha, is that it? @-o

and pure gold, WOW. can you imaging how much money there?

aries said...

if i'd go there can i touch it?

*be linking u

Pisanu for BISEAN said...

Yup, of course you can! Most tourists do it! But I suggest you do it when no Thai is in the room. But nevertheless, it's perfectly ok.

Sanne Dee said...

Your eyebrow narratives are funny as hell!

Your blog covers from modern clubbing to ancient history! It's just getting better and better!

frostfire said...

Been there before. The temple is not as grand as the other temples in Thailand and so is the statue. But it's made of pure gold! So it's a must see. Are you buddist Pisanu? I heard that it's compulsary for thai boys to become monks at one point in their lives. Is it true?

Sofia for BiSEAN said...

Pisanu is a Ganapati.

Pisanu for BISEAN said...

HEY! Religion is out of context on this blog! Sofia, that's foul! I have to delete your comment.

Through history, there are ONLY 3 things that started WAR; Religion, Personal Agenda and Excessive Patriotism.

Take that!

Carlos Javier said...

I missed out on seeing this on the occasions i've been to Bangkok. Waah!

Based on the weight of its gold at US$752.60 per troy ounce, the statue would be worth about US$133,081,589. That's 133.1 million dollars! Wow.

But of course as a national treasure of Thailand it is priceless.

PS. So Pisanu, you're Buddhist, and a follower of Ganesh as well? Is that it? :)

the dreamer said...

im so awed of how pisanu shares the treasure of their country to the rest of the ASEAN nations,

and as for that i am sharing as well the treasures of our country(philippines) to the whole Southeast Asian citizens...

let us all be united in this region... love you guys!

keep up this blog, im lovin it!

ganesh statue said...

Hi your blog is cool.
I think it's a good point for debate. Looking forward to it.

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