The Phu Khao Thong or the Golden Mount is a temple formed from a man-made hill found inside the complex of the Wat Saket temple. The Wat Saket temple is located in Pom Prap Sattru Phai district in Bangkok and is one of the many important temples in Thailand. It is also one of the oldest, dating as far back as the Ayutthaya period, when the temple was still called Wat Sakae. It was only during the reign of King Rama I when it was renamed Wat Saket.
The Golden Mount in Wat Saket temple is a popular temple in Bangkok. Here are the reasons why:
- It is enriched with the city’s history. This temple is especially interesting because of its history. During the reign of King Rama III, it was decided that they were going to build a temple to add to the attractions of the Wat Saket and to mark the entrance of the city. Unfortunately, the soil on which it was built was too soft to support the structure and it collapsed in a mound of brick and mud. For almost a century, it was left alone and it took the shape of a hill and was even overrun by weeds. Because it looked like a mountain, the locals started calling it Phu Khao. Then during the reign of King Rama IV, a small temple was built on top of the hill. The structure was finished under the reign of his successor, King Rama V. And now the Golden Mount has become so popular that they even have a festival each year in this temple.
- The Buddha relics. When the temple was completed, Buddha relics from India were interred inside in 1877 during the reign of King Rama V. Then in 1899, the King was presented by Lord Curzon, a Viceroy of India, with Buddha relics found in Nepalese border where a Buddha was believed to have been born. The relics were encased in a bronze pagoda and installed on top of the Golden Mount.
- The 360 degree view of Bangkok. From the ground, a wide staircase spirals up and around the sides of the mount. The 300 steps of this stairway lead up to the roof of the mount, where visitors will be treated to a panoramic view of Thailand. You will also see the top of the temple covered with numerous gold mosaic ceramics. From the terrace you can see the whole of Bangkok. To the west, the Democracy Monument and the Wat Ratchanadda towers can be seen. You can also see the peaks of the Temple of the Emerald Buddha. To the east, the business district of Bangkok is visible.
Lastly, you may also opt to see the temple during its famous festival where a procession of people holding candles make their way up the golden temple in the early evening hours. The Golden Mount Fair is held annually in November and may be a good time to visit the temple.