Visit Wat Ratchanatdaram Temple
A visit to Wat Ratchanatdaram is part of our Best Temple in Bangkok series. While this may not be the best known or a popular stop, like other Buddhist temples, it’s a fascinating site to see. Stopping by will not break your bank account, in fact, admission is reportedly free. However, we’ve heard reports of a 20 THB admission which is rarely collected. Either way, the temple is an excellent find and won’t disappoint.
History and Legacy of Wat Ratchanatdaram
The temple’s name, Wat Ratchanatdaram, translates roughly to “Temple of the Royal Niece.” King Nangklao (Rama III) requested the temple be built for the Princess Granddaughter, Somanass Waddhanawathy, in 1846. Like others, this temple survived the test of time.
As with other temples, this is best known for its spires, known as Loha Prasat. The word “Loha Prasat” means “Iron Castle.” The Iron Castle is an incredible 36 meters (116 feet) with three levels. The so-called “Iron Castle” is made-up of three levels. The bottom with 24 spires, the middle level with 12, and 1 spire at the top level, for a total of 37. Take time to view the unique architecture of the Loha Prasat.
In the Buddhist religion, this gives reference to the 37 virtues to reach enlightenment. The temple is a Loha Prasada, meaning Brazen Palace, and the 3rd built. However, the design follows earlier palaces from both India and Sri Lanka. While two similar structures once existed, neither the Loha Prasada from India or Sri Lanka (Ceylon) exist today.
Once inside, there’s a golden Buddha which is absolutely stunning. Furthermore, like other temples, there’s many spectacular mural paintings and exquisite carvings.
The site was submitted to to UNESCO for consideration as a future World Heritage Site over 10 years ago and is still awaiting a decision.
Getting to Wat Ratchanatdaram
The temple is located at the intersection between Ratchadamnoen Klang and Maha Chai Road, in Phra Nakhon district, Bangkok
Whether traveling by taxi or Uber, the site is located easily. However, it’s always helpful if your hotel writes the temple name and address in both Thai and English on a business card. Depending on where you’re staying, be sure to obtain a hotel business card with their address in both Thai and English. Another temple, Wat Saket is within walking distance hiding behind a wooden house village.
The temple is located at:
Maha Chai Road
Bowon Niwet, Phra Nakhon, Bangkok