Didem Doğan

Bangkok The Grand Palace and the Reclining Buddha, Wat Pho

This complex of buildings has been the home of the Siam Kingdom since the 12th century. When you enter it, you start walking under domes and through courtyards that seem to go on forever like doors that open to infinity. It has many ornamental and architectural styles. The golden domes and columns look brighter than they are when they reflect sunlight. It feels like you have travelled to Alice in wonderland. Because they are asymmetrical, it is possible to get a point of view that reveals a dome from behind another dome. They dazzle us like glittering golden hills that go up one after another. Perhaps the technique of illusion is one of the methods that contribute to the mystery of the East, which is a civilisation built by imagination as opposed to the rationalism of the West. Wat Pho is the name of the monastery in India where Buddha was believed to live. The Reclining Buddha is a surprisingly big statue of Buddha lying down, with his head resting on his hand and a peaceful expression on his smiling face. The peace on his face is meaningful because the statue symbolises the day Buddha attained Parinirvana. Mahayana Buddhists celebrate this day in February, as the day Buddha attained nirvana and died not to be reborn again, and they spend the day mediating on their own deaths in the future.