Phra Maha Suwanpatimagorn or Sukhothai Trimitr Golden Buddha Image is the largest Golden buddha Image in the world. It is a Buddha Image in the mara conquering attitude, the typical artistic style of the days when sukhothai was the capital of Thailand.
It is made of pure gold. The Image is unrivalled in beauty, measuring 12 feet 5 inches in diametre and has a height of 15 feet 9 inches from the base to the crown and it weighs approximately 5 tons. Now more than 700 years old, it is a valuable treasure of Thailand and of Buddhism.
Originally, this golden Buddha image was completely covered with plaster to conceal it from the enemy then invading Thailand and was installed as the principal Buddha image in the main temple building of Choti-naram Temple or Wat Phrayakrai, Yannawa District, Bangkok in the
third reign of the Chakkri Dynasty in the Ratanakosin era. When Chotanasam Temple was deserted in about 1931, the East Asiatic Company, with official permission, extended its operations into the land area of the deserted temple.
The Ecclesiastical Commission then move this golden Buddha image to the Trimitr Witthayaram Temple where it now remains, discovering in 1955 that it was made of pure gold. Reverend Phra Visutha-thibordee, the late abbot whose image is in the sitting position in front of this temple, joined in the construction of the temple building for the golden Buddha Image to be enshrined.
When the building was completed and while preparations were being made to move this Golden Buddha Image to the building, the covering plaster was partly broken. Only then did the people realize that it was golden Buddha Image. Thus, it has been treasured for its historical, artistic and cultural values to this day. Part of the covering plaster is also on display inside the temple building.
Phra Maha Suwanpatimagorn or Sukhothai Trimitr Golden Buddha Image consists of serveral large buildings including a fine bot with red doors and a crematorium. A driveway, wide enought for tour buses, winds round behind the bot to a small chapel reached by ascending a flight of steps to first-floor level.
Located not far from Hualampong Station in the backstreets at the edge of Chinatown, this wat is just off the Charoen Krung Road to the right from a roundabout with a fountain in the middle. Look for the chedi above the rooftops or ask someone. Just say "What try-mitd." Ii is open 8:30 A.M.-5:30 P.M. daily. Admission free. Bot : this is the most important and sacred building, immediately distinguishable by eight surrounding boundary stones called
bai sema (pronounced "by si-ma" or "by say-ma"). These stones mark the sacred area into which. They may be shaped simply or elaborately ornamented with serpents and similar carvings. Sometimes each boundary stone has a canopy for protection from the
elements. The stones' purpose is to ward off evil spirits. There is actually a ninth stone buried beneath th bot. Chedi : all bell-shaped, usually white, with a tapering pinnacle above, often decorated by chattra or "umbrella" tiers. Long ago, the chedi served the purpose of housing a sacred relic of Buddha and were regarded as more important than the bot.
They originated from central India via Ceylon. As time went by, chedi were erected as memorials for holy men and hings and contained their ashes or mementos. Naturally, the chedi lost their revered importance, until now they are regarded almost as mere decorative embellishments to the wat.
Some Thais will say, "It is just a symbol of Buddhism." For example Phamahathartjedi "Napapolbhumisiri & Napa maetaneedol" at Doi Inthanon, Chiang Mai. Wat : the center of Buddhist religious practice; includes both shrines to the Buddha (image halls and chedi) and the monastic residence of members of the sangha; thus, "temple-monastery."