This is a large, busy temple complex, interesting more for its atmosphere than for its architecture. Dating from the 1700s, the wihan and bot were both rebuilt between 1844 and 1851. The mondop, which gives the temple its name – “temple of the great relic” – has a cruciform roof, a feature rarely found in Bangkok.
The wat is the national center for the Mahanikai monastic sect, and it holds one of Bangkok’s two Buddhist universities (meditation classes are offered here at 7am, 1pm, and 6pm in Section Five, near the monks’ quarters). There is also a traditional herbal medicine market, and, on weekends, numerous stalls selling a wide range of goods.