Posted by Vi Warkentin on
In Bangkok’s Chinatown is Wat Traimit which is home to the world’s largest solid gold Buddha – weighing in at over 5 tons.
This solid gold Buddha has a very interesting history.
It was cast sometime in the 13th century and at some point after that, it was encased in plaster so that invaders or thieves would not steal the valuable Buddha. It would appear that over the years, what lay beneath the plaster was all but forgotten.
When Bangkok was established as the new capital of Thailand, King Rama lll had this Buddha among other Buddhas moved to Bangkok from the Ayutthaya region. This plaster Buddha was housed in a temple along the Chao Praya River which eventually fell into disrepair and was abandoned in the 1930’s. Then in the late 1950’s, it was decided to have this plaster Buddha moved to a new home at Wat Traimit and it was at this time that, while lifting the Buddha, a moving cable snapped and the Buddha plummeted to the earth below cracking off a piece of plaster only to reveal the gold beneath the plaster.
In 2007, the king of Thailand had a new home built for the Golden Buddha which opened to the public in 2010 where the Buddha resides today.