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Updated by Joanna James on Mar 11, 2020
Headline for 11 General facts about Wat Arun – Spiritual, cultural and historical attributes of Wat Arun
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11 General facts about Wat Arun – Spiritual, cultural and historical attributes of Wat Arun

Wat Arun bears great significance as a religious site. It is a major landmark and an architectural wonder. Also called the Temple of Dawn, the temple is in its best form when the sun is about to set.


Entrance fee

If you are not a Thai national, you are expected to pay an entrance fee of 100 baht, the price is nothing compared to the architectural wonderment you are going to witness inside.


Open time

Tourists can visit the place starting from 8.30 am until 5.30 pm. However, the best time to visit is early morning when it is the quietest, and the evening when the sun shines upon the temple making its silhouette reflect on Bangkok River; this can be witnessed if you opt for a cruise in Bangkok, the ones arranged by Anantara Cruises for example.


The age of the temple

The temple is over 300 years old, though it was given its current outlook in the 19th century.


The main tower

The main tower has a height of 70 meters at least. If you are the type that never shies away from taking up a challenge, why not climb the steep staircase and enjoy the sweeping views of the area?


The design

The temple is constructed in Khmer style; in fact, Wat Arun is a great model of Khmer style. The signature feature of Khmer style is the steep stairway, and the temple has been given one. To the religious mind, the staircase denotes the pathway to heaven.


Name of the temple

The name of the temple pays tribute to Hindu God of Dawn named Aruna. Aruna personifies the glorious reddish glow of the rising sun; the locals believe it to have spiritual powers.


The central tower

The central tower of the temple signifies the symbol of Hindu cosmology which is Mount Meru. Mount Meru is thought to be the home of the Gods, and the centre of all spiritual, physical and metaphysical powers.


The four small towers

The small towers you see at the temple premises are devoted to the God of Wind who is known to Hindu devotees as Phra Phai. He is considered to be the God of Life and so attributed great significance. As you enter the temple, you'll see the four small towers supporting a statue of this deity.


Décor of the temple

This is the most striking aspect of the temple. The place is wholly decorated with seashells, coloured glass and Chinese porcelain which were once used as ballast for boats coming in from China. The idea behind the use of porcelain is to make the temple shine in the sun; the notion was indeed fruitful as you will see once you visit the place.


Royal Barge Procession

Royal Barge Procession is a prominent event that's hosted in Bangkok when there is a call for it; the event is important religiously, culturally and the royalty of Thailand takes a great interest as well. As it happens, Wat Arun is the final stop for this procession. This procession has been taking place in the country for 700 years, but it is not hosted regularly. Usually, the procession coincides with other significant cultural and religious events, the last Royal Barge Procession was held in 2012.


The main Buddha image

Another highlight of the place is the statue of Lord Buddha. The statue appears in its best form when viewed from a distance. It is said that King Rama II sculptured the statue by himself.