Due to my very strong affinity with the sacred Buddhist amulets from Thailand, i will bring you more articles about temples you always wish to visit, biography of the monks, forgetten legends and stories, fascinating rituals and all the other intriguing happenings of Thai amulet circle.
The Wat Phra Kaew ~ Temple of the Emerald Buddha, full official name Wat Phra Sri Rattana Satsadaram, is regarded as the most sacred Royal Temple in Thailand. It is located in the historic centre of Bangkok within the precincts of the Grand Palace.
The main entrace of Wat Phra Kaew complex as seen from the road. The Thai army are guarding at the entrance of Wat Phra Kaew.View of Wat Phra Kaew Complex from Northeast.
The former residence of the King, the Grand Palace, adjoins the temple. The King makes use of this Grand Palace for ceremonial functions such as the Coronation Day. The King’s present residence is to the north of this Grand Palace and is known as the Chitlada Palace.
The Chakri Mahaprasat is the largest hall in the Grand Palace, built in 1882 by British architects, the architecture of which is fusion of Italian renaissance and Traditional Thai architecture.The temple grounds also depict three Chedis to its immediate north, which represent the changing centres of Buddhist influence. One such shrine to the west of the temple is the Phra Si Ratana Chedi, a 19th-century stupa built in Sri Lankan style enshrining ashes of the Buddha.
Rama I also built a Phra Mondop library in Thai style, in the middle of the complex, known as the "Phra Mondop". The library houses an elegantly carved Ayutthaya-style mother-of-pearl doors, bookcases with the Tripitaka (sacred Buddhist manuscripts), human-and dragon-headed nagas (snakes), and images of Chakri Kings.
During the 19th century, the Royal Pantheon was built in Khmer style to the east of the temple, which is kept open for only one day in year, in the month of October to commemorate the founding of the Chakri dynasty.The entire complex, including the temples, is bounded by a compound wall which is one of the most prominent part of the wat is about 2 kilometres (6,600 ft) length. The compound walls are decorated with typically Thai murals, based on the Indian epic Ramayana. In Thai these murals are known to form the Ramakian, the Thai national epic, which was written during the reign of Rama I. The epic stories formed the basic information to draw the paintings during the reign of King Rama I (1782–1809). These paintings are refurbished regularly. The murals, in 178 scenes, starting with the north gate of the temple illustrates the complete epic story of Ramayana sequentially, in a clockwise direction covering the entire compound wall. The murals serve to emphasise human values of honesty, faith, and devotion.Ramakien statues holding the Golden Chedi.
The Chinese statues venerated in front the Yaksha statues.
The compound view near the Phra Mondop library.
Giant demon (Yaksha) guarding an exit to Grand Palace.The overview of the Ubosot.Garuda and Nagas, at the outside of the Ubosot Wat Phra Kaew.Phra Phuttha Maha Mani Rattana Patimakon ~ Emerald Buddha. Photography inside the Ubosot of Emerald Buddha is strictly forbidden. This is not just a requirement of the temple, inside the Ubosot taking pictures of Buddha images is against the law. This photo taken was outside the Ubosot. The Emerald Buddha statue venerated in Wat Phra Kaew is glittering in gold.
Wat Pho, the official name being Wat Phra Chetuphon Vimolmangklararm Rajwara Mahaviharn , is a first grade royal monastery, regarded as the most important one during the reign of King Rama I of the Chakri Dynasty. The importance of this is due to the King having managed the restoration of Wat Phodharam, an old monastery from the Ayutthaya period, and had it re-established as a royal monastery located near the Grand Palace. This is possibly the most interesting temple in Thailand as it combines history, medical science and is a center for meditaion and traditional massage training. Traditionally, temples were the schools as there was no formal education system, with monks providing basic lesson in both spiritual and secular subjects. King Rama III turned Wat Pho into a major centre for learning in botany, geography and history. The Vihara of the Reclining Buddha or Phra Buddhasaiyas (Viharn Phranorn), the building is constructed for containing the important Buddha image, the Reclining Buddha. King Rama III told his nobleman, Krom Muen Pumintarapakdi (Prince Laddawan), the head of department of the Ten Crafts as a construction team leader. After having moulded the image of the Reclining Buddha, the team continued with the hall.The image was made of stuccoed bricks gilded with gold leaves. This statue is 46 metres long, with the dimensions at the face of 15 metres high and at each foot of 3 metres high and 5 metres long. The serene face of the Reclining Buddha. The giant Reclining Buddha at Wat Pho. On the inner wall of this vihara, you will see mural paintings of three topics: “Mahawong” (Historical annals of Ceylon) up the windows; “13 Savida Atadagga Disciples (Priestess)”, “10 Upasaka Atadagga Disciples” and “10 Upasika Atadagga Disciples” between each window. The feet and the eyes are engraved with mother-of-pearl decoration, and the feet also show the 108 auspicious characteristics of the true Buddha. The soles of the statue's feet are inlaid with mother-of-pearl showing the 108 auspicious signs of the Buddha. This is the largest and most beautiful piece of fine arts of the Buddha image in a reclining position found in Thailand. The mother of pearl inlay at the feet of the image is of Thai-Chinese style, as indicated by 108 auspicious signs portraying natural scenes of both Indian and Chinese influences. Back of the Buddha's head and "pillow". Some Reclining Buddha amulets is for rent at the amulet counter of Wat Pho. The Reclining Buddha image amulet I chowed at Wat Pho during my visit in year 2008. The principal Buddha image venerated inside the Ubosot is “Phra Buddha Deva Patimakorn” in a gesture of seated Buddha on a three tiered pedestal called Phra Pang Samarthi (Lord Buddha in the posture of concentration), and some ashes of King Rama I are kept under the pedestal. Phra Maha Stupa or Phra Prang Chedi, there are 4 Chedis at the corners of outer-side of the chapel yard. This kind of pagoda is specially termed “Phra Agghiya chedi”. Each is tiled with marble, with 4 Khmer-style statues, tin gilded with gold leaves and decorated with glass inlay, of the so-called “Catulokapala” – the Guardian Divinities of the Four Cardinal Points- on its 4 corners. The stupa on the northeastern corner is called “Phra Buddha Manggala Kayabandhana Mahastupa”, the southeastern “Phra Buddha Dhammacak Pavattanapaduka Maha Stupa”, the southwestern “Phra Buddha Vinaiyapitaka Sucigkara Maha Stupa”, the north-western one “ Phra Buddha Abhidhamma Dharavasi Parikkhara Maha Stupa”. Wat Pho has 4 big chedis which were built on separate occasions to commemorate the first three kings of the Chakri Dynasty (two chedis for King Rama III). The bell tower of Wat Pho, next to the Ubosot.
The Western style statues at the one of the entrance in the temple compound.
This Standing Buddha in the East Vihara is a 10 metres high bronze Buddha image, “ Phra Buddha Lokanart Sartsadajarn ” which was brought from Wat Phra Sri Sanphet in Ayutthaya.
Wat Arun (Temple of the Dawn) is located on the western bank of the Chao Phraya River opposite Wat Pho and is the standout temple in Bangkok. Construction of the center Phra Prang chedi and four smaller ones was started by King Rama II (r. 1809-1824) and completed by King Rama III (r. 1824-1851). The photos taken - me and the center Phra Prang chedi during my visited in year 2008. The Phra Prang chedis are supported by rows of demons and monkeys.The Phra Prang chedis of Wat Arun are built of brick covered with stucco. The decorations are unique, thousands of pieces of multi-coloured Chinese porcelain. In niches in the central tower are green figures of the Phra Narai seated on Erawan, the traditional Thai three-headed elephant. This is the very steep and narrow steps lead to a balcony high on the center Phra Prang.The center balcony commands an impressive view of Bangkok across the river. From here you can see the Grand Palace, the Temple of the Emerald Buddha and the spacious Wat Pho. The main Ubosot of Wat Arun. Inside the Ubosot was venerated Phra Phuttharup Narumit Buddha.The row of Buddha statues at the right side. The Mondop of Wat Arun.
The Bell Tower of Wat Arun.
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