Located in Dusit District, Wat Benchamabophit Dusitvanaram, or Wat Benchamabophit is a famous Buddhist monument of Bangkok. Popularly known as 'The Marble Temple', it is one of the most exquisite of Buddhist architectural specimens and a major tourist attraction of the city. It is renowned amongst all Thailand visitors, for its aesthetic elegance, graceful symmetry and immaculate proportions. In fact, its decorative arts have led to its popularity as one of the finest monuments upholding the beauty of Thai craftsmanship.
The construction work of the temple started in 1899, at the request of
King Chulalongkorn (Rama V), and it saw completion ten years later.
Thus, the name of the Wat literally translates to 'Temple of the Fifth
King located nearby Dusit Palace'. The design of the temple owes credit
to Prince Narisranuvattivongse, half brother to King Chulalongkorn.
Though, the temple, with its well-maintained garden and bright-colored
monk quarters, looks extremely magnificent, yet its most prominent
feature is the Ubosoth Hall.
Ubosoth Hall (Bot or Ordination Hall) stands carved with Carrara marble
from Italy and reflects the best of the temple's overall architectural
beauty. There are four gables, with the east one serving as the main
entrance. The south gable displays a carved 'Wheel of Law'. The cloister
at the rear of the Ubosoth houses 52 Buddha images, each presenting
Buddha in a different posture and hand gesture. All the important Buddha
image styles from Thailand, including Dvaravati, Lopburi, Sukhothai and
Ayutthaya, are symbolized in these images.
Of all the Buddha images in the gallery surrounding the Ubosoth, Phra
Buddha Chinnarat is the chief one. Sculpted in bronze, the image has
blue lighting around it and represents the gesture of the Buddha
subduing Mara. Underneath the throne of Buddha lie the ashes of King
Chulalongkorn. Ubosoth also displays a few pictures of the king.
Besides, the temple compound includes buildings like Song Phanuat Hall,
Song Dharm Hall and the Bovornvong Bell Tower, which are connected to
each other by beautiful walkways.