Wat Mahathat, Bangkok Overview

Wat Mahathat is a significant meditation centre which trains pupils in meditation science and Buddhism. Situated in the old Rattanakosin district of Bangkok, Wat Mahathat is among the ten prominent royal temples of Thailand. Tucked away somewhere between the Grand Palace and the National Museum, this opulent edifice also houses the Insight Meditation Vipassana centre where tourist can avail classes in English and Thai language.

Names fully as Wat Mahathat Yuwaratrangsarit Rajawaru Mahavihara, its establishment dates back to the Ayutthaya period. Wat Mahathat was also declared as a UNESCO world heritage site in 1991. The ruins of this ancient temple are preserved in the Ayutthaya Historical Park in Ayutthaya town of Thailand. The Sunday market around the vicinity of Wat Mahathat is renowned for dealing in a range of amulets, talismans, traditional medicines and charms.

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Architecture of Wat Mahathat

Wat Mahathat is a huge complex which is mostly packed with visitors. The main courtyard is surrounded by a throng of galleries housing old Buddha images and encompassing some ornately decorated pedestals. The base of the gallery has the memorials of the deceased. There are other structures in the grand temple complex such as a big and several small Vihams, the Kuti where monks reside, a mondo, a drum tower along with several Khmer style prang towers. There is a Wat Mahathat Ubosit where young monks undergo induction to attain monkhood.

Wat Mahathat Bangkok
Buddha images at Wat Mahathat

History of Wat Mahathat Yuwaratrangsarit

Wat Mahathat was formerly named as Wat Salak during the Ayutthaya Period when it was first constructed. The city of Bangkok was founded in 1782, and this Buddhist temple has been there even before the birth of Bangkok. As Bangkok became the capital of Siam city, it was discovered wedged between the front palace and the Grand Palace. Due to its veristic location, Wat Mahathat was an effective ground for royal pomps and funerals.

Best Time to Visit

Morning hours are the best time to visit Wat Mahathat as the temple complex remains moderately crowded and the temperature is bearable and soothing. You also get to witness some early morning rituals and prayer sessions.

How to Reach

Nestled on the eastern bank of Chao Phraya river, Wat Mahathat is found in the Old Rattanakosin neighbourhood on Na Phra road. It can be easily spotted on the other side of the street from Sanam Luang, somewhat a hundred meters ahead of the Grand Palace.

The best way to reach Wat Mahathat Yuwaratrangsarit is to get into an express boat to travel on the Chao Phraya river. The Chang pier and Tha Prachan Nuea pier are the two nearest piers from the temple. If you book a tour operator, they will take you around without having you to worry about reaching.


Please remember to dress appropriately. Try to avoid wearing shorts, vests, or anything exposing too much of a body part. Anything beyond the knees and covering the shoulders properly will do just fine but it is strictly advisable that you wear clothes respecting the culture of a place, especially when visiting the revered temples.

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