|Local Name:||Phukhao Thong|
The Golden Mount forms an important part of the Wat Saket temple, which is a popular landmark of Bangkok, situated next to the Pom Mahakhan fort. Also known as ‘Phukhao Thong’, the history of the Golden Mount traverses to the 19th century, when King Rama III wanted to build a chedi on the location, to mark the doorway to the city. Nevertheless, the efforts proved futile, as the soggy land failed to support such a heavy structure. Finally, the Golden Mount saw completion during the reign of King Rama V. With a height of 100m and a base diameter of 500m, the Golden Mount brilliantly dazzles from a large distance.
They structure is notable not only for its shimmering beauty, but also for housing sacred Buddha relics inside it. The first Buddha relic was interred on its pagoda in the year 1877, during the regime of Rama V. The second interment took place in 1899, after Lord Curzon presented Rama V with Buddha relics unearthed from the Nepalese border. His Majesty encased these holy remnants of Buddha in a bronze pagoda and installed it on top of the Golden Mount. From then on, the Wat Saket, with its Golden Mount, has been a source of arcane reverence by Buddhists all around the world.
Though the top of the mount remains sheathed in concrete, its foundation is still a pile of rubble, thick with trees and bushes. Moreover, amidst the scattered foliage lies a graveyard, holding shrines commemorated to departed people. A stairway from the ground leads to the building and the rooftop terrace, which presents some enchanting episodes of Thai tradition and culture. The interior of the building is quite austere with large windows. A stairway in the center of each side leads up to the shrine that holds the sacred Buddha relics.
The huge chedi enclosed with glittery gold mosaic tiles juts out prominently in the rooftop terrace. One can also have a panoramic view of the wide vistas below, including the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, the Democracy Monument, Wat Ratchanadda and skyscrapers of Bangkok’s business district. Thus, Golden Mount is a welcoming retreat for all Bangkok visitors, especially during the annual fair held in November, when a carousing spirit assaults the whole place and wafts the monument with the aroma of frangipani trees blossoming in the temple premises.