Bangkok, Dusit District, Page 76, Wat Benchamabophit Dusitvanaram, Dusit,  Bangkok, Thailand
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Wat Benchamabophit Dusitvanaram, Dusit,  Bangkok, Thailand

Wat Benchamabophit Dusitvanaram is a Buddhist temple ( Wat ) in the Dusit district of Bangkok, Thailand. Also known as the marble temple, it is one of Bangkok's most beautiful temples and a major tourist attraction. It typifies Bangkok's ornate style of high gables, stepped-out roofs and elaborate finials. Construction of the temple began in 1899 at the request of King Chulalongkorn after building his palace nearby.

The temple's name literally means the Temple of the fifth King located nearby Dusit Palace. It was designed by Prince Naris, a half-brother of the king, and is built of Italian marble. It has display of carrarra marble pillars, a marble courtyard and two large singhas (lions) guarding the entrance to the bot. The interiors are decorated with crossbeams of lacquer and gold, and in shallow niches in the walls of paintings of important stupas all over the country. The cloister around the assembly hall houses 52 images of Buddha.

Inside the ordination hall ( ubosot ) is a Sukhothai-style Buddha statue named Phra Buddhajinaraja, cast in 1920 after the original located in Wat Mahathat in Phitsanulok. The main Buddha image is a copy of Phra Buddha Chinarat that resides in Phitsanulok in northern Thailand. The ashes of King Chulalongkorn are buried beneath the statue. In the gallery surrounding the ordination hall are 52 Buddha statues each showing different mudras ( signs ), collected by Prince Damrong Rajanubhab for his king.

The image of the temple's facade is visible on the reverse side of the Five-Baht coin of the Thai currency. The site contains the Benchamabophit National Museum. Merit makers come to the monks of the temple for getting alms every morning. Between 6-7:30 in the morning, the monks line up on Nakhon Phantom with their bowls to receive donations of curry, rice, lotus buds, incense,toiletries and other essentials. The evening candlelight procession around the bot during the Buddhist festivals of Maha Puja ( in February ) and Visakha Puja ( in May ) are common for this temple.

The ubosot of the marble temple  The ubosot of the marble temple was designed by Prince Narisara Nuvativongse, half brother of King Chulalongkorn. It is built from carrara marble imported from Italy, hence the name marble temple. The entrance is marked by four impressive marble pillars, and even the large courtyard is made of shiny white marble. The temple is a magnificent example of the Bangkok architectural style with its multi tiered roofs, elegant chofahs at the top end of the roof and the beautiful gold carvings. The white marble and the golden decorated windows give the ubosot a delightful appearance, especially in the sunlight. On either side of the entrance is a large stone lion, guarding the temple.

Bangkok, Dusit District, Page 77, Wat Benchamabophit Dusitvanaram, Dusit,  Bangkok, Thailand