Situated just opposite to Wat Pho, on the banks of Chao Phraya River, is the magnificent Wat Arun or Temple of Dawn. Known to the locals as Wat Chaeng, this glorious structure was named after the Hindu God of dawn, Aruna.
Surprisingly, the best time to capture its famous glittering center prang is during sunset, when the sun’s orange rays will strike the colored broken ceramics and porcelain dotting its facade, making it shine like a guardian of the city.
It is said that the temple was established during the Ayutthaya Period, when King Taksin travelled to the Thonburi side of the river to create a new capital.
Back then, it used to house the emerald Buddha before it was moved to its new home in Wat Phra Kaew. While visitors only see the enormous central prang said to represent Mount Meru of Buddhist cosmology, the vast area of the temple also houses other shrines, lanes, buildings, as well as ponds.
Wat Arun is open to the public as early as 7.30 in the morning until 5.30 in the afternoon. If you’re on the other side where the Grand Palace and Wat Pho are located, just take a ferry ride across the river for 3 baht at most and you’ll soon be greeted by the awesome sight of this imposing temple.
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