Thailand’s famous Temple of the Reclining Buddha has gained further global prominence following a 45-minute tour by U.S. President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during their visit to the kingdom.
By Sanjay Pahwa: Known as “Wat Pho”, the historic Bangkok landmark was the first stop on President Barack Obama’s Asian tour that also took him to Myanmar and Cambodia. Obama arrived at the temple straight from the airport after landing in Bangkok .
Bangkok is dotted with 400 glittering Buddhist temples ~ Why Wat Pho?
Founded during the 16th century and located right next to the Grand Palace, Wat Pho is one of the largest and oldest temples in Bangkok. The temple houses more than 1,000 Buddha images, as well as one of the largest single Buddha Images, the 150-foot long and 49-foot high gold-plated Reclining Buddha, with mother-of-pearl inlaid eyes and feet.
Wat Pho is considered the first public university of Thailand, teaching students in the fields of religion, science and literature through murals and sculptures. It is also known as the birthplace of traditional Thai massage and helps alive the long-standing wisdom of Thai traditional healthcare. In 2008, the historic marble inscriptions in Wat Pho have been registered with UNESCO’s Memory of the World (MOW) as MOW documentary heritage for Asia and Pacific Region.