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Exploring Silver Pagoda in Phnom Penh

Ocated in the south position of the Royal Palace, Silver Pagoda Phnom Penh is the perfect place for those who want to dig into the religion, especially Buddhism. It holds great cultural and religious significance in the country and is a must-visit attraction for travelers. In this article, 365 Care Travel will guide you on a journey to provide you with a complete guide about this fascinating destination when coming to Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

History of Silver Pagoda Phnom Penh

The official name of the pagoda is Wat Ubaosoth Ratanaram which means Temple of the Emerald Crystal of Buddha, but people usually call it Wat Preah Keo for short. The pagoda used to be a place where the King worshiped, prayed, and practiced every Buddhist Silas Day. Besides, Buddhist ceremonies were also held by the royal family.

It was originally a wooden construction in 1892 under King Norodom. After 11 years, the opening ceremony was held, in other words, it was called the Banchos Khan Seima ceremony. Later, the temple underwent serious damage and Queen Kosamak Neary Rath asked for the repair.

Then the pagoda was dismantled and rebuilt in 1962 on the same site with reinforced concrete under the lead of Samdach Preah Norodom Sihanouk; who was the Queen’s son as well as the head of the state at that time. However, the Silver Pagoda has faced its fair share of challenges throughout history. It was damaged during the Khmer Rouge regime in the 1970s but was later restored to its former glory.

In the reconstruction, the structure has remained; yet the floor was laid with silver titles and the columns were covered with glass stone. It is a fact that 5,329 silver titles were used to cover the floor, and it is called Silver Pagoda like today.

What can you expect when coming?

Upon entering the Silver Pagoda, visitors are greeted by a serene and enchanting atmosphere. The temple’s architecture showcases a beautiful blend of Khmer and Thai influences, with intricate designs and decorative elements adorning its exterior and interior.

First impressive

Not only is the pagoda covered with more than 5,000 silver titles but the staircase leading to the pagoda is made of Italian marble, with the temple home to a life-sized gold Buddha dripping with 2,086 diamonds. The largest is said to weigh 25 carats.

Moreover, there are about 1,650 art objects which are mainly Buddha figures inside the temple. They are made of gold, silver, bronze, and other valuable materials. These statues are gifts from the King, the royal family, dignitaries, and other people worshiping at Preah Vihear Keo Morakot where they pray for peace and prosperity, for happiness, and the preservation of Cambodian cultural heritage for the next generation.

Main highlights

Objects of particular interest in the Preah Vihear Keo Morakot include the Preah Keo Morakot and the Emerald Buddha which sits atop the throne in the center of the temple. Despite its name, the statue is actually made of Baccarat crystal and is adorned with thousands of diamonds. The Emerald Buddha is highly revered by Cambodians, and it is believed to protect the country from harm.

Statues in other cabinets are the keepsakes and decorated objects for royal and Buddha ceremonies.

The surrounding of Silver Pagoda also impresses you with its lofty gallery. The wall of the gallery is hung with traditional paintings of the entire Ream Ke epic. It is said that these paintings were done by 40 Cambodian artists between 1903 and 1904. The 642-meter-long Ream Ke painting starts from the south of the eastern gallery and runs around the gallery. Therefore, visitors have to walk in a circle so as to understand the historical stories.

In front of Preah Vihear Preah Keo Morakot, there are two stupas and a statue under the roof. The south stupas hold the remains of King Ang Doung, the great-great-grandfather of King Sihanouk. The north stupas hold cremains of King Norodom, the great-grandfather of King Sihanouk. Both stupas were dedicated on March 13, 1980.

Besides, you also have a chance to admire:

Bell hat installed in the West of Preah Vihear Preah Keo Morakot, used in ceremonies and to mark the opening and closing of the Silver Pagoda.

Introduction to Tipitaka, the fundamental scriptural canon of Buddhism, including Sutta Pitaka.

Sutta Pitaka: A collection of discourse based on conversations between the Buddha and the people.

  • Digha Nikaya: A collection of long discourses.
  • Mijjhima Nikaya: A collection of medium discourses.
  • Samyutta Nikaya: A collection of grouped discourses.
  • Anguttara Nikaya: A collection of discourses on numbered topics.
  • Khuddaka Nikaya: A collection of miscellaneous texts.

Travel Tips Information

When visiting the Silver Pagoda, here is full information for your travel guide when coming:

Opening time

The destination is open to the public every day of the week on the schedule from 7:30 to 11:00 and from 14:00 to 17:00 (except for important events, the place is only available for the royal family or the government).

Note: In order to visit Silver Pagoda, you have to go through the Royal Palace. Therefore, your ticket includes the visiting fee for both places.

Silver Pagoda entrance fee

The entrance fee is US $3 and the fee will fluctuate depending on whether you take photos or not. US $2 is added for taking pictures. However, photography is allowed in the outside exhibition areas only. Visitors should remember that exposed knees and shoulders are considered disrespectful.

Dress Code Requirement

When visiting the Silver Pagoda, it is essential to dress respectfully as a mark of reverence for the sacred site. Both men and women should ensure their shoulders and knees are covered. Avoid wearing revealing or skimpy clothing, as it may be deemed inappropriate.

It is advisable to wear comfortable footwear as you’ll be walking within the temple complex and exploring its surroundings. Additionally, it is customary to remove your shoes before entering the Silver Pagoda and other religious buildings within the Royal Palace complex. Shoe storage facilities are available near the entrance for your convenience.

Remember, the Silver Pagoda holds great religious and cultural significance, so being mindful of the dress code and exhibiting respectful behavior will ensure a meaningful and enjoyable visit for everyone.

In conclusion, Silver Pagoda is a guide to help you understand about Cambodian culture and religion. Certainly, your horizon about Southeast Asia in general and Buddhism in particular will be expanded. Don’t hesitate, hit your road, plan your Cambodia tour package to visit Silver Pagoda.

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