Silver Pagoda, Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Inside the complex of the Royal Palace in Phnom Penh, Silver Pagoda is located on the south side of the Royal Palace, Phnom Penh. The temple’s official name is Preah Vihear Preah Keo Morakot (Temple of the Emerald Buddha) which is commonly shortened to Wat Preah Keo. The pagoda itself is clearly influenced by Bangkok’s Wat Phra Kaeo, also home to a precious crystal Buddha to which the one in Phnom Penh bears an uncanny resemblance. Tours in Cambodia
Constructed in 1962 by former King Sihanouk to replace the wooden pagoda built by his grandfather in 1902, the Silver Pagoda is so named because of its 5329 silver floor tiles, each around 20cm square and weighing more than a kilogram.
Within the Royal Palace compound is the extravagant Silver Pagoda, the floor of which is covered with five tons of gleaming silver. The staircase leading to the Silver Pagoda is made of Italian marble. Inside, the Emerald Buddha, said to be made of Baccarat crystal, sits on a gilt pedestal high atop the dais. In front of the dais stands a life-sized gold Buddha decorated with 9584 diamonds, the largest of which weighs 25 carats. Visit Silver Pagoda with Indochina tours Cambodia
Created in the palace workshops during 1906 and 1907, the gold Buddha weighs in at 90kg. Directly in front of it, in a Formica case, is a miniature silver-and-gold stupa containing a relic of Buddha brought from Sri Lanka. To the left is an 80kg bronze Buddha, and to the right a silver Buddha. On the far right, figurines of solid gold tell the story of the Buddha.
The silver pagoda is unique in several ways. It is the pagoda where the King meets with monks to listen to their sermons and where some Royal ceremonies are performed. It houses a collection of priceless Buddhist and historical objects including the “Emerald Buddha”. And, unlike most pagodas, no monks live at the pagoda.
The silver pagoda opens daily from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. Entrance fee US$ 3 per person. Camera fee US$2. Videos fee US$5. Photography is allowed in the outside exhibition areas only. Visitors should remember that exposed knees and shoulders are considered disrespectful.
The Indochina Voyages team.
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