Wat Paknam: Temple With a 69-Meter-Tall Buddha

Originally known as Wat Paknam Bhasicharoen, Wat Paknam is a Buddhist temple in Bangkok Thailand, at the Chao Phraya River. Fittingly, its name quite literally means “the temple at the mouth of the river.” The temple has a long history starting from the 1600s but the most interesting fact about it is the newly-unveiled Buddha statue which is 69 meters tall. While this makes the statue one of the tallest Buddha statues in the world, it also has given a lot of popularity to the temple and the surrounding area.

wat paknam statue

Few records exist telling the story of Wat Paknam in the 17th century. According to them, the temple originally belonged to the Ayutthaya Kingdom which lived in today’s Thailand for more than 400 years. The kings of the Ayutthaya tried to improve the temple which they called “the temple of heavenly garden palace.” However, during the time of the last kings of Siam, the temple fell into despair and was nearly in ruins. The revival of the temple started with Luang Pu who became its abbot in 1916. Luang Pu had a clear mindset about Wat Paknam. He believed that the temple was one of the most important temples in the country. Therefore, he quickly started to rebuild it. Pu turned the temple which had only 13 monks into an institution that had 500 monks.

Wat Paknam and the river

Although the Buddha statue of Wat Paknam looks golden, it is actually made of clad copper. Its construction lasted for 5 years, from 2017 to 2022, and it nearly cost 3 million dollars.

wat paknam temple

When Pu died in 1959, the temple officials decided to keep his coffin and remains on the temple grounds. Still to this day, the coffin of Luang Pu is one of the most popular sites in Wat Paknam. From an architectural standpoint, the temple is one of the finest examples of Buddhist architecture. The statues of Buddha, big columns, and huge halls drew inspiration from Buddhist amulets. Moreover, the halls are filled with paintings representing various stories from Buddhist mythology.

Wat Paknam temple during evening
Wat Paknam statue and the temple building
Wat Paknam from above
Mon Parinya
Wat Paknam and the road
the temple interior
the temple columns
the temple center
the elephant sculpture
the temple entrance