Thursday, December 2, 2010

The Golden Mount.

The Golden Mount is an artificial hill constructed under King Rama III (1824-51). When the king tried to build a chedi here before the hill existed, it collapsed because of the soft soil beneath. He therefore made a strong pile of mud and bricks to support it.
It was Rama IV (1804-68) who crowned the new hill with the intended chedi. He also shored up the hill with 1,000 teak logs because it was already sinking into the swampy ground.
Rama V (1853-1910) added the chedi that stands today, enshrining within it a relic of the Buddha, said to be from India or Nepal, given to him by the British. The concrete walls were added during World War II to prevent the hill from eroding and the structure collapsing.

From the ground, a wide stairway spirals up and around the sides of the mount. There are about 300 very short steps in all. It’s not a strenuous climb, as the slope is quite gentle and there are numerous spots to stop and see something.

(Ringing the bell.
Praying at the bottom of the Pagoda.
The huge Chedi covered with thousands of gold mosaic tiles. From the rooftop terrace you have a 360 degree view of Bangkok.

Lower: a couple praying around it.

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