The temple of Wat Ratchananda in Thailand is the home of one of the most unique structures in the world, the Loha Prasat. It is located at the entrance of the capital city of Bangkok and is one of a few metal castles in the world. Loha Prasat literally translates to mean “metal castle.” Designed to be a temple of enlightenment, the beautiful exterior shows remnants of ancient Buddhist culture. In fact, the Prasat is a replica of a holy temple found in Sri Lanka.
Built in the early 19th century by King Rama III, the overall appearance of the structure is very ancient. In fact, the building, which was built for Princess Somanas Vadhanawadi, is only a few centuries old. Additionally, although the temple’s construction began in the early 1800’s, it was just recently completed.
Design and Construction
As one of the only metal temples in the world, the Loha Prasat has an intricately designed interior. A twisting maze of passages was created in order to lead a person to enlightenment. Along some of the stairways there is a detailed explanation of the history of the Loha Prasat, but the description is written entirely in Thai.
Constructed with five square towers of varying heights, the temple is adorned with cast iron spires that show a beautiful contrast in color. These 37 cast iron spires give homage to the 37 virtues. There are also a set of towers that contain walkways with shrines along each side.
The Loha Prasat is a temple that is off the beaten path in Bangkok. Visitors should be warned that the Prasat is not easy to get to and is not typically known as a tourist destination. Visitors should also expect to make a donation of 20 Baht, which is the equivalent of about 67 cents.