Wat Arun (Thai: วัดอรุณ, "Temple of the Dawn") is a Buddhist temple (wat) in the Bangkok Yai district of Bangkok, Thailand, on the west bank of the Chao Phraya River. The full name of the temple is Wat Arunratchawararam Ratchaworamahawihan (วัดอรุณราชวรารามราชวรมหาวิหาร).
The outstanding feature of Wat Arun is its central prang (Khmer-style tower). Begun in 1809, it may have been named "Temple of the Dawn" because the first light of morning reflects off the surface of the temple with a pearly iridescence. Steep steps lead up to two terraces. The height is reported by different sources as between 66.8 m (219 ft) and 86 m (282 ft). The corners are surrounded by 4 smaller satellite prangs. The prangs are decorated by seashells and bits of porcelain which had previously been used as ballast by boats coming to Bangkok from China.
The central prang is topped with a seven-pronged trident, referred to by many sources as the "trident of Shiva".
Around the base of the prangs are various figures of ancient Chinese soldiers and animals. Over the second terrace are four statues of the Hindu god Indra riding on Erawan.
At the riverside are 6 pavilions (sala) in Chinese style. The pavilions are made of green granite and contain landing bridges.
Next to the prangs is the Ordination Hall with a Niramitr Buddha image supposedly designed by King Rama II. The front entrance of the Ordination Hall has a roof with a central spire, decorated in coloured ceramic and stuccowork sheated in coloured china. There are 2 demons, or temple guardian figures, in front.
The central prang symbolizes Mount Meru of the Indian cosmology. The satellite prangs are devoted to the wind god Phra Phai.
The demons (Thai: Yaksha) at the entranceway to the ubosot are from the Ramakien. The white figure is named Sahassa Deja and the green one is known as Thotsakan, the Demon Ravana from Ramayana.
Most of the tour packages around Bangkok offer a stop at Wat Arun, and it is an easy place to access by public transport. For the foreigners, the temple charges an entrance fee of THB 50 (as of June 2009).
ASIA is probably one of the most enigmatic continents in the world. Not only is it rich in very diverse cultures, but it is also rich in history. You will never run out of wonderful places to visit in this wonderful and mysterious continent.