Wat Ratchanatdaram Worawihan or “Wat Ratchanadda” is located in one of the most attractive areas in Bangkok, as it is also close to Wat Saket (Golden Mount Temple) and Mahakan Fort, and it is easily accessible due to its close proximity to Phan Fa Lilat Bridge Pier.
Although not as big as other important temples, it is another attraction that should not be overlooked especially in the mornings when the sunlight hits the golden top of the Loha Prasat. It is absolutely an outstanding and attractive image to behold.
History of Wat Ratchanadda
Wat Ratchanaddaram Worawihan is a third-class royal temple, which means that it is secondary in importance, and was decreed to be built by kings, queens, or their heirs, to honor nobles of a lower descent.
The temple was built in 1846, which coincided with the end of the reign of King Nang Klao Chao Yu Hua (Rama III), to honor his granddaughter, Her Royal Highness Princess Sommanat Wattanawad, on an old orchard that occupied an area of about 25 rai (approx. 40,000 sq.m.).
Attractions in Wat Ratchanadda
The temple’s most prominent structure is the “Loha Prasat”, or metal castle, so named as all 37 tops of the castle are cast from metal.
There are 3 such types of structures like this in the world. The first one was built in India, while the second is in Sri Lanka. Loha Prasat is the 3rd such structure and the only one currently standing.
The construction of the Loha Prasat started during the reign of King Rama III and was completed during the reign of King Rama V. However, the completed structure did not faithfully follow the design laid down by King Rama III.
Later, Wat Ratchanadda and Loha Prasat were renovated several times to make it resemble the original plans as laid down by King Rama III as much as possible. It was finally completed in 2007 during the reign of King Rama IX.
For someone who is a little older may recall that the structure’s metal roofs were previously black. The golden roof seen today was created by the gold gilding initiative of the Fine Arts Department between the period of 2012 – 2017.
The interior of the Loha Prasat consists of 7 levels, whereby each level has different uses. For example, some floors are used for walking and meditating, while some are used for reading books.
Visitors who would like to take in the full beauty of the top of the structure would need to go to the 5th floor.
The top floor enshrines the Buddha’s relics and also provides beautiful views of the surrounding area.
The Main Chapel Hall (Ubosot)
The structure is based on a particular design during the reign of King Rama III, while the gable is decorated with a pattern of the Pudtan flower vines, which was a new gable style of that particular era.
The ubosot enshrines a statue of Phra Phuttha Setthuttamamunin, a bronze Buddha statue with a graceful face as if smiling to welcome those who came to pay homage. The statue was excavated from Chanthuk District in Nakhon Ratchasima Province but bears no record of who sculpted it.
The ubosot also has a unique feature, that is the openings on the doors and windows are adorned with images of Hindu gods but painted in Thai art style. Each pane bears a name for each god (in Thai).
The Viharn is located behind the ubosot and its gable is a pattern of the Pudtan flowers and enshrines a statue of the Lord Buddha in the ocean pacifying posture (Parng Harm Samut).
The back wall of the Buddha image is a bas-relief depicting a three-headed elephant bearing the heavens (vimarn). Inside the vimarn are 3 Buddha images, 1 in the giving blessing posture and 2 in the meditation posture, each covered with gold patterns. This design feature is the royal symbol of King Rama III.
Unfortunately, on the day of our visit, the Viharn was closed, and we didn’t have the opportunity to take photos inside.
Sala Karn Plien (Sermon Hall)
The sermon hall in the past was previously used for conducting sermons.
It currently enshrines a statue of the Lord Buddha in the subduing Mara posture and is of the U-Thong art design. The statue of King Rama III, is a replica of the statue from the Prasat Thep Bidon in the Royal Palace and of the statue of King Rama V.
Enshrines a high-relief stucco statue of the Lord Buddha and his disciples. Also located nearby, is a mondop (pavilion) housing a replica of the Buddha’s footprint. However, there is no clear evidence of when it was built.
Khao Phrachai is located near Khlong Mahachai, outside the temple wall.
Maha Jetsada Bodin Courtyard
Originally, this area was the location of Sala Chalerm Thai, which is a multi-floor cinema hall that obstructed the views of Loha Prasat and Wat Ratchanadda. Thereafter, it was demolished to make way for the Maha Jetsada Bodin Courtyard in 1989.
Within the area are the royal monument of King Nang Klao Chao Yu Hua (or King Rama III) and a pavilion that was used by King Rama IX to receive guests.
From the courtyard, we can clearly see the Loha Prasat, which is considered another small but very attractive corner of Bangkok.
Location, Getting There, Opening Hours, and Entrance Fee
Wat Ratchanatdaram Worawihan
• 2 Maha Chai Rd, Wat Bowon Niwet, Phra Nakhon, Bangkok 10200
• The most convenient way to get there is by boat. The temple can be accessed from the Phan Fa Lilat Pier, which is the last stop along the boat route, so there’s no chance of getting off at the wrong pier.
• View all routes and piers at https://www.transitbangkok.com
• There is a considerable amount of parking space within the temple compound for a small fee.
• Visitors can also park at Wat Saket Ratchaworamahaviharn and then walk a small distance to Wat Saket.
• Daily 08.00-17.00 hrs.
• 10 baht for Thais
• 20 baht for foreigners
BearDuck, is a game designer and illustrator, who started out on a daring journey, interested in mindfulness, self-improvement, and street food.
We currently have over 160,000 followers on Facebook.