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Photographer's Note

This is the full (well, almost..) view of the marvellous Wat Benjamabophit , also called the Marble Temple. It is the most modern and one of the most beautiful of Bangkok's royal wats.

To get this view, from this close, one would require a Wide Angle lens, which I do not have. So I resorted to the next best alternative to give the impression of a wide angle capture...Stitching. This is actually a Stitch of three photos which I had clicked. Funnily at the time when I had taken these shots, I did not have any idea about 'Stitching' & I am lucky that these three shots could actually be stitched with some tweaking (distort, rotate, crop etc). If you look very closely, imperfections of the stitching would be noticed.

Entering the main gate, one is struck by the dazzling sight of the ubosot or ordination hall (seen in the centre) made from white Italian polished marble slabs, the famous Carrara marble, which gave the temple the name, the Marble Temple.

The ubosot is an elongated building with glazed roof tiles, multi-tiered gables with gold eaves and bird-like chofahs protruding from the ends of the roof. Terraced roofs with gold edged gables descend from both sides of the ubosot.

The grand main entrance to the ubosot is framed in elaborate gold designs and flanked by pillars. The windows are framed by gold carvings, in striking contrast to the sparkling white marble walls.

The Marble Temple was built in 1899 by Prince Narai, the half brother of Rama V. Thailand's present king spent his days as a monk here before his coronation. Today, Marble Temple is not only a magnificent Thai temple, but a seat of learning that appeals to Buddhist monks with intellectual yearnings.

Many smaller buildings reflect amalgamation of European religious designs (such as stained-glass windows) with traditional Thai religious architecture. Even the courtyards are paved with polished white marble.

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Additional Photos by Angshuman Chatterjee (Angshu) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 7851 W: 324 N: 16060] (56760)
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