Wat Saket Ratchaworamahawihan, Bangkok, Thailand (31 December, 2002)
Wat Saket (GPS: 13.75391, 100.50843; Thai: วัดสระเกศ ราชวรมหาวิหาร ) is a Buddhist temple built by King Rama I. In fact a more ancient temple had been standing here since the Ayutthaya era, during which time it was known as Wat Sakae. King Rama I instituted the renovation of the temple, and renamed it Wat Saket Ratchaworamahawihan.
Wat Saket is located outside his new capital city of Rattanakosin, and situated just outside the second canal, Khlong Ong Ang, that forms a ring around the old city. Wat Saket served as the site for public crematorium of the poor and unnatural deaths including epidemics, murder, violent death, suicide and accidents. This was necessary to keep the city clean and holy. During the reign of King Rama II, a plague swept across Bangkok killing thousands. Over thirty thousand bodies of those too poor to afford proper burial were brought to Wat Saket.
According to Carl Bock, a 19th century author who wrote about Bangkok in "Temples and Elephants", the bodies of the dead were brought to Wat Saket to be fed to vultures.
Today Wat Saket is overshadowed by Chedi Phu Khao Tong, the stupa that stands in its compound, and better known as the Golden Mount. Quite often, visitors to the Golden Mount mistaken it for Wat Saket.
Wat Saket is located in Pom Prap Sattru Phai district, within the compounds of Wat Saket. There are no Skytrains or MRT to this area, so the best way to reach the Wat Saket is by taking the taxi. Tell the taxi to take you to Wat Saket. You should use your trip to visit other nearby sights.
Location: Chakkaphatdi Phong Road
Opening hours: 7:30am-5:30pm
Entrance fees: yes, to Golden Mount, donation box, at will, suggested amount: 10 baht.
Wat Saket Ratchaworamahawihan on Google Street View
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