Here is a view looking down at the rest of the temple complex. The golden Mount was built by King Rama III, it was originally planned as a large stupa but it collapse forming the hill and small stupa was built on top.
These bells are at the temple on top of the golden Mount, the temple goes back the Ayutthaya era long before Bangkok was the capital city but was rebuilt and renamed when King Rama I made Bangkok the new capital.
The Emerald Buddha, like many revered Buddha images in Thailand, seems to have a rather mysterious history. The ubosot (chapel) housing the Emerald Buddha is actually the only original building in the temple. It was built at the same time as the temple in 1783 to 1785. Like most of the buildings in the compound, the ubosot's exterior is finished in colored mirror tiles and gilt carving. The eaves are lined with bronze bells which chime softly.
Entry to the chapel is on the east side. The doors are inlaid with mother-of-pearl designs from the Ramakian, the same epic which illustrates the gallery. Inside, the Emerald Buddha sits high up on a gilt alter. The image, which was carved from a solid piece of green jadeite, not emerald, is 26 inches tall and about 19 inches across at the lap. The image has three golden 'costumes' which are changed with the seasons by His Majesty the King or one of his children. You can see the various outfits in the regalia museum near the entrance to the temple.
On either side of the high alter are screens which create a private area for the royal family when visiting the temple. In front of the Emerald Buddha are several other Buddha images placed there by the kings of the dynasty. The two lowest images were placed there by the present king. One in 1987 on his sixtieth birthday, and the other in 1988 when he became the longest reigning Thai monarch.
As with all temples you must remove your shoes photography is not allowed inside the chapel.
On top of a small hill is a large (58 meter) Chedi which houses a relic of Buddha. The Chedi is a gold color hence the name Gold Mount. A set of stairs circle the Mount to ascend and is about 300 steps. Avoid going at midday because of full exposure to the sun and if it rains as the steps are painted and can get very slippery.
There are several platforms along the way which are lined with bells to ring and exiting the platform is a large gong that has a great deep sound. You ascend the 300 steps to a room with other Buddha statues then a short steep stairway going to the top. Many people come to make Lotus Flower donations and pray. There is a separate steep staircase to descend back to the room then back to the 300 exposed steps. It only cost 20 Baht to enter.
Definitely a worth while visit!
It is the perfect place to see the city Bangkok.
Wat Saket – The Golden Mount Temple is a royal temple located outside the city wall on Mahanak Canal and Rop Krung Canal, Ban Bat, Pom Prap Sattru Phai, Bangkok. It is an ancient temple called “Wat Sa Kae” dating back in Ayutthaya period. King Rama I renovated the temple and gave it its present name “Wat Saket”.
Among all the 'wats' or Buddhist temples in Bangkok, Thailand the Temple of the Emerald Buddha on the grounds of the Grand Palace is the most well known, and is always packed with tourists from all over the world. However, the Golden Mount at Wat Saket which was built on a man-made hill during the Ayutthya period is definitely worth a visit. There is no entrance fee and it is not as crowded as the Emerald Buddha temple. I lived in Bangkok for five years and have been to Wat Saket many times, mainly to show my friends from overseas when they came to visit me during my tenure as a teacher in a school.
For most foreigners Wat Saket is known as the Golden Mount which is actually a 'chedi' or pagoda on the summit of the artificial hill. The gilded pagoda is 260 feet or 80 meters in height. It is believed that a relic of the Buddha was brought from India and placed in the chedi.
To reach it one has to climb up some 300 plus steps which is not that difficult as the path is well paved. As you approach the top you will see a row of bells at a landing between the flight of stairs. Take a pause to ring the bells, and view the city below from one of the steps. The best vista is from the peak itself where you can enjoy a spectacular panorama of Bangkok.
The temple compound feature many trees and typical Buddhist structures such as the main chapel, ordination hall and library. Although Wat Saket is not generally considered a notable temple in its own right, as most visitors come for the Golden Mount, it is interesting for its long history. And of course the Golden Mount itself, with its elaborate stairways, the great views of Thailand's capital city from the peak, the golden stupa with its Buddhist relics are indeed worth a visit during your trip to the 'City of Angels.'
The temple complex is open from 9am to 5pm, seven days a week. If you take a taxi, be sure to tell the driver 'Wat Saket' instead of Temple Mount.
This was also a place our Tuk-Tuk driver said he would take us to and he did so as promised immediately. He pointed away through at a gate and said go through there and climb to the top and he would wait for us. So, here is a fact - it's 318 steps to get to the top. Sounds like a lot but climbing the Arc d'Triomphe was much worse. You do have some really great views from the top. Another fact - the temple served as the capital's crematorium in the late 18th century. Creepy, huh?!
Golden Mount and Wat Saket
You can see all Bangkok from Golden Mount. Located in Ratchadamnoen Avenue. Very near is: Wat Saket Ratcha Wora Maha Wihan (Another important temple in Bangkok).
Name: Golden Mount
Theme: Monument, view to Bangkok centre
Location: Near Ratchadaemnok road
Pictures in the web: Golden Mount and Wat Saket
Last Visit: September 2007
First Photo: Golden Mount
Second Photo: Golden Mount
Third Photo: Entrance to Golden Mount
Fourth Photo: View of Bangkok from Golden Mount
Fifth Photo: View of Bangkok from Golden Mount
The Golden Mount is part of the Wat Saket temple located just outside the old royal city precincts, next to the Pom Mahakhan fort. The mount has a somewhat unusual history. It was started by King Rama III early in the 19th century, who wanted to build a large chedi on the site to mark the entrance to the city
Wat Saket sits on top of the Golden Mount which is not a natural outcrop, but an artificial hill. During the reign of King Rama III (1787–1851) the decision was made to build a chedi (stupa) of huge dimensions to add to the Wat Saket temple. However, the large chedi collapsed during the construction process because the soft soil beneath would not support it. The resulting mud-and-brick hillock was left alone for about half a century, taking the shape of a natural hill and becoming overgrown with weeds. Finally under King Rama IV, a small Chedi was built on the hilltop. This smaller structure was finished under King Rama V (1853–1910), when a Buddha relic from India was housed in the chedi. In the 1940s the surrounding concrete walls were built to prevent the hill from eroding.
Open: 8am-5pm. Admission: 20B.
Wat Saket is a temple with a golden Chedi know as the Golden Mount. It is a bit of a climb up the man made hill to the Golden Mount so prepare to sweat a little if you think it is worth it.The hill offers a nice view of Rattanakosin Island and the roof tops of the surrounding area.At night the mount is lit up and looks especially beautiful.
*Every November during Loy Kratong there is a large festival in the grounds of the temple,including a candle procession up the Golden Mount.This is very popular with the locals with lots of food stalls,games and fireworks.I went once and it was too crowded for my liking .Not a traffic jam but a people jam.However its a good chance to see a real down to earth Thai temple fair.
Wat Saket or Golden Mount was once the highest point in Bangkok. This 80-meter tall artificial hill, also known as Phu Khao Thong, features an impressive golden chedi at its summit and is part of Wat Saket.
Wat Saket is not generally considered a notable temple in its own right, and most visitors come for the Golden Mount. However, it is interesting for its long history and its use as a cremation and burial site for so many people. To the reach the top of the Golden Mount, you must ascend an exhausting 318 steps. On a clear day, the view from the top includes old Rattanakosin Island and the rooftops of Bangkok. At north of Wat Saket is where you can catch canal boats back to the town center, Siam or further up Sukhumvit.
Be ware of any tuk-tuk drivers who tell you the Mount is closed for a holiday; they just want to take you to their brother's gem shop!
Hours: Daily 9-5
Cost: Entrance to wat and the Golden Mount is free; admission to the chedi is 10B