|The world's only remaining metal castle|
The world's last metal castle Loha Prasat, which literally means "metal mansion," is a major tourist attraction at Ratchanadda temple on Mahachai Road. It is the third of its kind to be built in the world and the only one that still exists.
Two other castles made of metal were in India and Sri Lanka. The Indian metal castle was built about 2,500 years ago by a Buddhist disciple named Visakha. It had two floors and 1,000 rooms and served as the residence of monks. The top of the castle was draped with gold. Another metal castle was built in Sri Lanka in 156 B.C. It had nine floors and 1,000 rooms as well. The roof was covered with golden plates and the wall was decorated with precious stones and ivory.
It was King Rama III who decided to build Loha Prasat, which has an architectural design reflecting Thai Buddhist philosophy. Work on this place of worship began in 1846, although it was completed years later during the reign of King Rama IV.
It was renovated during King Rama V's rule.
Loha Prasat is a place where monks study, meditate and live during the rainy season.
It has seven tiers with 37 surrounding spires that represent the 37 dhamma of enlightenment. All are 37 meters high and each one is made of bronze. Inside the castle are ancient Buddha images dating back to the Ayutthaya period. In the center is an alcove containing relics of the Buddha.
The circular staircases were constructed using thick wood and there are 318 treads that lead to the top.
GETTING THERE: Getting to Loha Prasat can be a bit difficult. It is not close to any tourist-friendly transportation, such as the Skytrain or river boat. The best option is to get a taxi from your hotel. That can sometimes be a bit difficult too, so you can also try taking the Chaophraya Express Boat to the Memorial Bridge pier, then take a taki or tuk-tuk from there.
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