Welcome To My Beloved Country, Thailand part 19

The Reclining Buddha, Wat Po, Bangkok, Thailand on Thursday, July 13, 2017

Photograph by Ing-On Vibulbhan-Watts

I went to Thailand to visit my family for two months, from July and August 2017.  I did not visit home since 2006.  I was glad to see my family.  I enjoyed seeing all new development in Bangkok and loved eating authentic Thai food, especially Thai fruits.

I had a chance to visit my home town, Lopburi, where I was raised when I was young, before we moved to Bangkok.  I traveled to Ayutthaya to see the ruins of temples that were burned by Burmese soldiers, when the Burmese wanted to take over Thailand, The Burmese–Siamese War (1765–1767).  Ayutthaya was one of the former capitals of Thailand before moved to, Thonburi and then Bangkok.  I also traveled to, Chiang Mai, located in the Northern part of Thailand.  Chiang Mai is the second largest and second most popular city of Thailand.

John, my husband came to Thailand in August.  He joined me traveling to different part of Thailand.  I had a good time taking videos and photographs wherever I traveled around Bangkok and other part of Thailand.  I hope the viewers of my website will enjoy the photographs that I present in these projects.

Ing-On Vibulbhan-Watts, Thursday, October 26, 2017

Chinese guardian figure beside a gate in Wat Pho

“The temple grounds contain 91 small chedis (stupas or mounds), four great chedis, two belfries, a bot (central shrine), a number of viharas (halls) and other buildings such as pavilions, as well as gardens and a small temple museum. Architecturally the chedis and buildings in the complex are different in style and sizes.[19] A number of large Chinese statues, some of which depict Europeans, are also found within the complex guarding the gates of the perimeter walls as well as other gates within the compound. These stone statues were originally imported as ballast on ships trading with China.[19]

For more information please visit the following link:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wat_Pho

Wat Po, Bangkok, Thailand on Thursday, July 13, 2017

“Wat Pho was also intended to serve as a place of education for the general public. To this end a pictorial encyclopedia was engraved on granite slabs covering eight subject areas, namely history, medicine, health, custom, literature, proverbs, lexicography, and the Buddhist religion.[20][24]

“These plaques, inscribed with texts and illustration on medicine, Thai traditional massage, and other subjects, are placed around the temple,[25] for example, within the Sala Rai or satellite open pavilions. Dotted around the complex are 24 small rock gardens (Khao Mor) illustrating rock formations of Thailand, and one, called the Contorting Hermit Hill, contains some statues showing methods of massage and yoga positions.[19][24]

For more information please visit the following link:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wat_Pho

 

 Fish pond in small rock gardens (Khao Mor) illustrating rock formations of Thailand

Wat Po, Bangkok, Thailand on Thursday, July 13, 2017

 

Chinese guardian figure beside a gate in Wat Pho

 

Wat Po, Bangkok, Thailand on Thursday, July 13, 2017

 

Fish pond in small rock gardens (Khao Mor) illustrating rock formations of Thailand

Wat Po, Bangkok, Thailand on Thursday, July 13, 2017

The Reclining Buddha of Wat Pho

 

Photograph by Ing-On Vibulbhan-Watts

The Reclining Buddha, Wat Pho, Bangkok, Thailand on Thursday, July 13, 2017

“One of the most famous and impressive temples in Bangkok is Wat Pho. Also known as the Temple of the Reclining Buddha for the 46-meter long Buddha image it houses, it’s a must-see attraction when visiting the Thai capital.”

For more information please visit the following link:
https://blogs.transparent.com/thai/wat-pho-temple-of-the-reclining-buddha/

 

The Reclining Buddha, Wat Po, Bangkok, Thailand on Thursday, July 13, 2017

“Wat Phra Chetuphon Wimon Mangkhalaram Ratchaworamahawihan, more commonly referred to as Wat Pho, is one of the six temples in Thailand that are of the highest grade of first class Royal temples. Wat Pho serves as home to the massive 46-meter long reclining Buddha image, the size of which must be experienced in person as it is simply breathtaking. The amazing feeling of taking in the sight of the enormous golden figure of the ‘enlightened one’ cannot be explained with words, and even more rarely captured in photos due to its massive size. You have to visit this amazing site to see it for yourself.”

For more information please visit the following link:
https://yourthaiguide.com/temple-of-the-reclining-buddha/

 “The Reclining Buddha, Wat Pho, Bangkok, Thailand on Thursday, July 13, 2017

The Reclining Buddha standing at 15 meters tall and stretching 46 meters in length, it barely fits in the building.

The Buddha’s feet are 3 x 4.5 meters and are decorated in shiny mother-of-pearl. They also display the 108 auspicious characteristics of Buddha.”

For more information please visit the following link:
https://blogs.transparent.com/thai/wat-pho-temple-of-the-reclining-buddha/

The Reclining Buddha of Wat Pho

 

Mural at The Reclining Buddha Temple, Wat Po, Bangkok, Thailand on Thursday, July 13, 2017

Wat Pho , also spelt Wat Po, is a Buddhist temple complex in the Phra Nakhon District, Bangkok, Thailand. It is on Rattanakosin Island, directly south of the Grand Palace.[2] Known also as the Temple of the Reclining Buddha, its official name is Wat Phra Chetuphon Vimolmangklararm Rajwaramahaviharn[1]Wat Phra Chettuphon Wimonmangkhlaram Ratchaworamahawihan;  The more commonly known name, Wat Pho, is a contraction of its older name Wat Photaram .[4]

For more information please visit the following link:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wat_Pho

Mural at The Reclining Buddha Temple, Wat Po, Bangkok, Thailand on Thursday, July 13, 2017

Phra Mondop or the ho trai is the Scripture Hall containing a small library of Buddhist scriptures. The building is not generally open to the public as the scriptures, which are inscribed on palm leaves, need to be kept in a controlled environment for preservation.[36] The library was built by King Rama III. Guarding its entrance are figures called Yak Wat Pho (Wat Pho’s Giants) placed in niches beside the gates.[37] Around Phra Mondop are three pavilions with mural paintings of the beginning of Ramayana.

 

Mural at The Reclining Buddha Temple, Wat Po, Bangkok, Thailand on Thursday, July 13, 2017

The temple is first on the list of six temples in Thailand classed as the highest grade of the first-class royal temples.[5][6] It is associated with King Rama I who rebuilt the temple complex on an earlier temple site, and became his main temple where some of his ashes are enshrined.[7] The temple was later expanded and extensively renovated by Rama III. The temple complex houses the largest collection of Buddha images in Thailand, including a 46 m long reclining Buddha. The temple is considered the earliest centre for public education in Thailand, and the marble illustrations and inscriptions placed in the temple for public instructions has been recognised by UNESCO in its Memory of the World Programme. It houses a school of Thai medicine, and is also known as the birthplace of traditional Thai massage which is still taught and practiced at the temple.[8]

 

Photograph by Ing-On Vibulbhan-Watts

Mural at The Reclining Buddha Temple, Wat Po, Bangkok, Thailand on Thursday, July 13, 2017

“Wat Pho is open every day from 8am until 6:30pm.

Admission Price: 100 Baht per person (free entry for children under 120 centimeters).

Things you should be aware of when visiting the Wat Pho:

  • Respectful attire is required. Wat Pho is a functioning Thai Buddhist temple, and a such the management insists that visitors dress in a respectful manner. This means that men must wear long pants and short-sleeved or long-sleeved shirts (no tank tops or sleeveless shirts). Women must wear skirts or pants extending at least to the knee, and also should not wear a top that reveals bare shoulders.
  • Visitors are allowed to take photographs in any area of the complex.
  • It is recommended that you wear shoes that can be easily removed as you’ll need to take them off when entering any structure in the complex.”

For more information please visit the following link:
https://yourthaiguide.com/temple-of-the-reclining-buddha/

Go to the top

Welcome To My Beloved Country, Thailand part 18

Photograph by Ing-On Vibulbhan-Watts

I went to Thailand to visit my family for two months, from July and August 2017.  I did not visit home since 2006.  I was glad to see my family.  I enjoyed seeing all new development in Bangkok and loved eating authentic Thai food, especially Thai fruits.

I had a chance to visit my home town, Lopburi, where I was raised when I was young, before we moved to Bangkok.  I traveled to Ayutthaya to see the ruins of temples that were burned by Burmese soldiers, when the Burmese wanted to take over Thailand, The Burmese–Siamese War (1765–1767).  Ayutthaya was one of the former capitals of Thailand before moved to, Thonburi and then Bangkok.  I also traveled to, Chiang Mai, located in the Northern part of Thailand.  Chiang Mai is the second largest and second most popular city of Thailand.

John, my husband came to Thailand in August.  He joined me traveling to different part of Thailand.  I had a good time taking videos and photographs wherever I traveled around Bangkok and other part of Thailand.  I hope the viewers of my website will enjoy the photographs that I present in these projects.

Ing-On Vibulbhan-Watts, Thursday, October 26, 2017

Wat Po, Bangkok, Thailand on Thursday, July 13, 2017

 

“Wat Pho, also spelt Wat Po, is a Buddhist temple complex in the Phra Nakhon District, Bangkok, Thailand. It is on Rattanakosin Island, directly south of the Grand Palace.[2] Known also as the Temple of the Reclining Buddha, its official name is Wat Phra Chetuphon Vimolmangklararm Rajwaramahaviharn[1] Wat Phra Chettuphon Wimonmangkhlaram Ratchaworamahawihan; IPA: The more commonly known name, Wat Pho, is a contraction of its older name Wat Photaram (Wat Photharam).[4]

For more information please visit the following link:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wat_Pho

 

“Wat Pho: The temple is first on the list of six temples in Thailand classed as the highest grade of the first-class royal temples.[5][6] It is associated with King Rama I who rebuilt the temple complex on an earlier temple site, and became his main temple where some of his ashes are enshrined.[7] The temple was later expanded and extensively renovated by Rama III. The temple complex houses the largest collection of Buddha images in Thailand, including a 46 m long reclining Buddha. The temple is considered the earliest centre for public education in Thailand, and the marble illustrations and inscriptions placed in the temple for public instructions has been recognised by UNESCO in its Memory of the World Programme. It houses a school of Thai medicine, and is also known as the birthplace of traditional Thai massage which is still taught and practiced at the temple.[8]

“Wat Pho is one of Bangkok’s oldest temples. It existed before Bangkok was established as the capital by King Rama I. It was originally named Wat Photaram or Podharam, from which the name Wat Pho is derived.[4][9] The name refers the monastery of the Bodhi tree in Bodh Gaya, India where Buddha is believed to have attained enlightenment.[6][10] The older temple is thought to have been built or expanded during the reign of King Phetracha (1688–1703), but date and founder unknown.[6][11] The southern section of Wat Pho used to be occupied by part of a French Star fort that was demolished by King Phetracha after the 1688 Siege of Bangkok.[12]

 

“After the fall of Ayutthaya to the Burmese, King Taksin moved the capital to Thonburi where he located his palace beside Wat Arun on the opposite side of the river from Wat Pho. The proximity of Wat Pho to this royal palace elevated it to the status of a wat luang (royal monastery).[6]

 

“In 1782, King Rama I moved the capital from Thonburi across the river to Bangkok and built the Grand Palace adjacent to Wat Pho. In 1788, he ordered the construction and renovation at the old temple site of Wat Pho, which had by then become dilapidated.[1] The site, which was marshy and uneven, was drained and filled in before construction began.”

 

 “Wat Pho: During its construction Rama I also initiated a project to remove Buddha images from abandoned temples in Ayutthaya, Sukhothai, as well other sites in Thailand, and many of these Buddha images were kept at Wat Pho.[13] These include the remnants of an enormous Buddha image from Ayuthaya‘s Wat Phra Si Sanphet destroyed by the Burmese in 1767, and these were incorporated into a chedi in the complex.[14] The rebuilding took over seven years to complete. In 1801, twelve years after work began, the new temple complex was renamed Phra Chetuphon Vimolmangklavas in reference to the vihara of Jetavana, and it became the main temple for Rama I.[15][16]

Photograph by Ing-On Vibulbhan-Watts

Wat Po, Bangkok, Thailand on Thursday, July 13, 2017

“The complex underwent significant changes in the next 260 years, particularly during the reign of Rama III (1824-1851 CE). In 1832, King Rama III began renovating and enlarging the temple complex, a process that took 16 years and seven months to complete. The ground of the temple complex was expanded to 22 acres, and most of the structures now present in Wat Pho were either built or rebuilt in this period, including the chapel of the reclining Buddha. He also turned the temple complex into a public center of learning by decorating the walls of the buildings with diagrams and inscriptions on various subjects.[9]:90 ] On 21 February 2008, these marble illustrations and inscriptions was registered in the Memory of the World Programme launched by UNESCO to promote, preserve and propagate the wisdom of the world heritage.[17][18]

For more information please visit the following link:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wat_Pho

 

“Wat Pho is regarded as Thailand’s first university and a center for traditional Thai massage. It served as a medical teaching center in the mid-19th century before the advent of modern medicine, and the temple remains a center for traditional medicine today where a private school for Thai medicine founded in 1957 still operates.[19][20]

 

“The name of the complex was changed again to Wat Phra Chetuphon Vimolmangklararm during the reign of King Rama IV.[1] Apart from the construction of a fourth great chedi and minor modifications by Rama IV, there had been no significant changes to Wat Pho since. Repair work, however, is a continuing process, often funded by devotees of the temple. The temple was restored again in 1982 before the Bangkok Bicentennial Celebration.[21]

 

“The Temple complex

Phra Mondop of Wat Pho. Beside its entrances are statues of Yak Wat Pho.

Wat Pho is one of the largest and oldest wats in Bangkok with an area of 50 rai, 80,000 square metres,[22] and is home to more than one thousand Buddha images, as well as one of the largest single Buddha images at 150 feet (46 m) in length.[23]

 

“The Wat Pho complex consists of two walled compounds bisected by Chetuphon Road running in the east–west direction. The larger northern walled compound, the phutthawat, is the part open to visitors and contains the finest buildings dedicated to the Buddha, including the bot with its four directional viharn, and the temple housing the reclining Buddha.[15] The southern compound, the sankhawat, contains the residential quarters of the monks and a school. The perimeter wall of the main temple complex has sixteen gates, two of which serve as entrances for the public (one on Chetuphon Road, the other near the northwest corner).[10]

 

“The temple grounds contain 91 small chedis (stupas or mounds), four great chedis, two belfries, a bot (central shrine), a number of viharas (halls) and other buildings such as pavilions, as well as gardens and a small temple museum. Architecturally the chedis and buildings in the complex are different in style and sizes.[19] A number of large Chinese statues, some of which depict Europeans, are also found within the complex guarding the gates of the perimeter walls as well as other gates within the compound. These stone statues were originally imported as ballast on ships trading with China.[19]

 

Photograph by Ing-On Vibulbhan-Watts

Wat Po, Bangkok, Thailand on Thursday, July 13, 2017

“Wat Pho was also intended to serve as a place of education for the general public. To this end a pictorial encyclopedia was engraved on granite slabs covering eight subject areas, namely history, medicine, health, custom, literature, proverbs, lexicography, and the Buddhist religion.[20][24]

“These plaques, inscribed with texts and illustration on medicine, Thai traditional massage, and other subjects, are placed around the temple,[25] for example, within the Sala Rai or satellite open pavilions. Dotted around the complex are 24 small rock gardens (Khao Mor) illustrating rock formations of Thailand, and one, called the Contorting Hermit Hill, contains some statues showing methods of massage and yoga positions.[19][24]

 

“There are also drawings of constellations on the wall of the library, inscriptions on local administration, as well as paintings of folk tales and animal husbandry.[20]

 

“Phra Ubosot (Phra Uposatha) or bot is the ordination hall, the main hall used for performing Buddhist rituals, and the most sacred building of the complex. It was constructed by King Rama I in the Ayuthaya style, and later enlarged and reconstructed in the Rattanakosin style by Rama III. The bot was dedicated in 1791, before the rebuilding of Wat Pho was completed.[26] This building is raised on a marble platform, and the ubosot lies in the center of courtyard enclosed by a double cloister (Phra Rabiang).”

“Inside the ubosot is a gold and crystal three-tiered pedestal topped with a gilded Buddha made of a gold-copper alloy, and over the statue is a nine-tiered umbrella representing the authority of Thailand.[19] The Buddha image, known as Phra Buddha Theva Patimakorn and thought to be from the Ayutthaya period, was moved here by Rama I from Wat Sala Si Na (now called Wat Khuhasawan) in Thonburi.[27][28]

 

“Rama IV later placed some ashes of Rama I under the pedestal of the Buddha image so that the public may pay homage to both Rama I and the Buddha at the same time. There are also ten images of Buddha’s disciples in the hall; Moggalana is located to the left of Buddha and Sariputta to the right, with eight Arahants below.[1][29]

 

“The exterior balustrade surrounding the main hall has around 150 depictions in stone of the epic, Ramakien, the ultimate message of which is transcendence from secular to spiritual dimensions.[10]

“The stone panels were recovered from a temple in Ayuthaya. The ubosot is enclosed by a low wall called kamphaeng kaew,[30] which is punctuated by gateways guarded by mythological lions, as well as eight structures that house the bai sema stone markers that delineate the sacred space of the bot.”

Photograph by Ing-On Vibulbhan-Watts

Wat Po, Bangkok, Thailand on Thursday, July 13, 2017

“Phra Rabiang – This double cloister contains around 400 images of Buddha from northern Thailand selected out of the 1,200 originally brought by King Rama I.[10] Of these Buddha images, 150 are located on the inner side of the double cloister, another 244 images are on the outer side.[29] These Buddha figures, some standing and some seated, are evenly mounted on matching gilded pedestals. These images are from different periods in Thai history, such as the Chiangsaen, Sukhothai, U-Thong, and Ayutthaya eras, but they were renovated by Rama I and covered with stucco and gold leaves to make them look similar.[29]

 

“The Phra Rabiang is intersected by four viharns. The viharn in the east contains an 8 metre tall standing Buddha, the Buddha Lokanatha, originally from Ayutthaya. In its antechamber is Buddha Maravichai, sitting under a bodhi tree, originally from Sawankhalok of the late Sukhothai period.”

 

“The one on the west has a seated Buddha sheltered by a naga, the Buddha Chinnasri, while the Buddha on the south, the Buddha Chinnaraja, has five disciples seated in front listening to his first sermon. Both Buddhas were brought from Sukhothai by Rama I. The Buddha in the north viharn called Buddha Palilai was cast in the reign of Rama I.[29] The viharn on the west also contains a small museum.[31]

“Phra Prang – There are four towers, or phra prang, at each corner of the courtyard around the bot. Each of the towers is tiled with marbles and contains four Khmer-style statues which are the guardian divinities of the Four Cardinal Points.[32]

“Phra Maha Chedi Si Rajakarn

This is a group of four large stupas, each 42 metres high. These four chedis are dedicated to the first four Chakri kings.[8] The first, in green mosaic tiles, was constructed by Rama I to house the remnants of the great Buddha from Ayuthaya, which was scorched to remove its gold covering by the Burmese. Two more were built by Rama III, one in white tiles to hold the ashes of his father Rama II, another in yellow for himself. A fourth in blue was built by Rama IV who then enclosed the four chedis leaving no space for more to be built.[33]

 

Photograph by Ing-On Vibulbhan-Watts

Wat Po, Bangkok, Thailand on Thursday, July 13, 2017

“Viharn Phranorn

The viharn or wihan contains the reclining Buddha and was constructed in the reign of Rama III emulating the Ayutthaya-style. The interior is decorated with panels of mural.[34]

Adjacent to this building is a small raised garden (Missakawan Park) with a Chinese-style pavilion; the centrepiece of the garden is a bodhi tree which was propagated from the Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi tree in Sri Lanka that is believed to have originally came from a tree in India where Buddha sat while awaiting enlightenment.[35]

 

Phra Mondop

“Phra Mondop or the ho trai is the Scripture Hall containing a small library of Buddhist scriptures. The building is not generally open to the public as the scriptures, which are inscribed on palm leaves, need to be kept in a controlled environment for preservation.[36] The library was built by King Rama III. Guarding its entrance are figures called Yak Wat Pho (Wat Pho’s Giants) placed in niches beside the gates.[37] Around Phra Mondop are three pavilions with mural paintings of the beginning of Ramayana.”

“Phra Chedi Rai – Outside the Phra Rabiang cloisters are dotted many smaller chedis, called Phra Chedi Rai. Seventy-one of these small chedis were built by Rama III, each five metres in height. There are also four groups of five chedis that shared a single base built by Rama I, one on each corner outside the cloister.[38] The 71 chedis of smaller size contain the ashes of the royal family, and 20 slightly larger ones clustered in groups of five contain the relics of Buddha.[19]

 

“Sala Karn Parien – This hall is next to the Phra Mondop at the southwest corner of the compound, and is thought to date from the Ayutthaya period. It serves as a learning and meditation hall.[39] The building contains the original Buddha image from the bot which was moved to make way for the Buddha image currently in the bot.[26] Next to it is a garden called The Crocodile Pond.”

 

“Sala Rai – There are 16 satellite pavilions, most of them placed around the edge of the compound, and murals depicting the life of Buddha may be found in some of these. Two of these are the medical pavilions between Phra Maha Chedi Si Ratchakarn and the main chapel. The north medicine pavilion contains Thai traditional massage inscriptions with 32 drawings of massage positions on the walls while the one to the south has a collection of inscriptions on guardian angel that protects the newborn.[40]

 

“Phra Viharn Kod – This is the gallery which consists of four viharas, one on each corner outside the Phra Rabiang.[41][42]

Tamnak Wasukri – Also called the poet’s house, this is the former residence of Prince Patriarch Paramanujita Jinorasa, a Thai poet.[43] This building is in the living quarters of the monks in the southern compound and is open once a year on his birthday.”

“Tamnak Wasukri – Also called the poet’s house, this is the former residence of Prince Patriarch Paramanujita Jinorasa, a Thai poet.[43] This building is in the living quarters of the monks in the southern compound and is open once a year on his birthday.”

 

Photograph by Ing-On Vibulbhan-Watts

Wat Po, Bangkok, Thailand on Thursday, July 13, 2017

“Thai massage

The temple is considered the first public university of Thailand, teaching students in the fields of religion, science, and literature through murals and sculptures.[8] A school for traditional medicine and massage was established at the temple in 1955, and now offers four courses in Thai medicine: Thai pharmacy, Thai medical practice, Thai midwifery, and Thai massage.[47]

 

“This, the Wat Pho Thai Traditional Medical and Massage School, is the first school of Thai medicine approved by the Thai Ministry of Education, and one of the earliest massage schools. It remains the national headquarters and the center of education of traditional Thai medicine and massage to this day.”

“Courses on Thai massage are held in Wat Pho, and these may last a few weeks to a year.[19] Two pavilions at the eastern edge of the Wat Pho compound are used as classrooms for practising Thai traditional massage and herbal massage, and visitors can received massage treatment here for a fee.[48][49] Foreigners from 135 countries have studied Thai massage at Wat Po.[50]

There are many medical inscriptions and illustrations placed in various buildings around the temple complex, some of which serve as instructions for Thai massage therapists, particularly those in the north medical pavilion.[51]

 

Photograph by Ing-On Vibulbhan-Watts

“Among these are 60 inscribed plaques, 30 each for the front and back of human body, showing pressure points used in traditional Thai massage. These therapeutic points and energy pathways, known as sen, are engraved on the human figures, with explanations given on the walls next to the plaques.[52] They are based on the principle of energy flow similar to that of Chinese acupuncture. The understanding so far is that the figures represent relationships between anatomical locations and effects produced by massage treatment at those locations, but full research on the diagrams has yet to be completed.[53]

For more information please visit the following link:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wat_Pho

Go to the top

Welcome To My Beloved Country, Thailand Part 3

Photograph by Ing-On Vibulbhan-Watts

I went to Thailand to visit my family for two months, from July and August 2017.  I did not visit home since 2006.  I was glad to see my family.  I enjoyed seeing all new development in Bangkok and loved eating authentic Thai food, especially Thai fruits.

 I had a chance to visit my home town, Lopburi, where I was raised when I was young, before we moved to Bangkok.  I traveled to Ayutthaya to see the ruins of temples that were burned by Burmese soldiers, when the Burmese wanted to take over Thailand, The Burmese–Siamese War (1765–1767).  Ayutthaya was one of the former capitals of Thailand before moved to, Thonburi and then Bangkok.  I also traveled to, Chiang Mai, located in the Northern part of Thailand.  Chiang Mai is the second largest and second most popular city of Thailand. 

 John, my husband came to Thailand in August.  He joined me traveling to different part of Thailand.  I had a good time taking videos and photographs wherever I traveled around Bangkok and other part of Thailand.  I hope the viewers of my website will enjoy the photographs that I present in these projects.

 Ing-On Vibulbhan-Watts, Thursday, October 26, 2017

 

Wat at Chao Phraya River in Bangkok, Thailand
The Chao Phraya  Thai: Maenam Chao Phraya, pronounced [m???ná?m t?â?w p?rá?.ja?] or [t?â?w p?ra.ja?][1]) is the major river in Thailand,[2] with its low alluvial plain forming the centre of the country. It flows through Bangkok and then into the Gulf of Thailand.
The Chao Phraya begins at the confluence of the Ping and Nan rivers at Nakhon Sawan (also called Pak Nam Pho) in Nakhon Sawan Province. After this it flows south for 372 kilometres (231 mi) from the central plains to Bangkok and the Gulf of Thailand. In Chai Nat, the river then splits into the main course and the Tha Chin River, which then flows parallel to the main river and exits in the Gulf of Thailand about 35 kilometres (22 mi) west of Bangkok in Samut Sakhon. In the low alluvial plain which begins below the Chainat Dam, there are many small canals (khlong) which split off from the main river. The khlongs are used for the irrigation of the region’s rice paddies.
The rough coordinates of the river are 13 N, 100 E. This area has a wet monsoon climate, with over 1,400 millimetres (55 in) of rainfall per year. Temperatures range from 24 to 33 °C (75 to 91 °F) in Bangkok.
For more information please visit the following links:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chao_Phraya_River

Wat Arun in Bangkok, Thailand
Wat Arun Ratchawararam Ratchawaramahawihan  Wat Arun (Thai pronunciation: [wát ?arun], “Temple of Dawn”) is a Buddhist temple (wat) in Bangkok Yai district of Bangkok, Thailand, on the Thonburi west bank of the Chao Phraya River. The temple derives its name from the Hindu god Aruna,[1] often personified as the radiations of the rising sun. Wat Arun is among the best known of Thailand’s landmarks and the first light of the morning reflects off the surface of the temple with pearly iridescence.[2] Although the temple had existed since at least the seventeenth century, its distinctive prang (spires) were built in the early nineteenth century during the reign of King Rama II.
For more information please visit the following links:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wat_Arun
Wat Arun at Chao Phraya River in Bangkok, Thailand
Travel
Wat Arun can be easily accessed through the Chao Phraya River, and ferries travel across the river towards the Maharaj pier. For the foreigners, the temple charges an entrance fee of 50 baht (as of December 2016). During Kathina, the king travels to Wat Arun in a procession of royal barges to present new robes to the monks.
For more information please visit the following links:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wat_Arun

Wat Arun at Chao Phraya River in Bangkok, Thailand
Cosmology
The central prang symbolises Mount Meru of the Hindu cosmology.[9] The satellite prang are devoted to the wind god, Phra Phai. The demons (yaksha) at the entranceway to the ubosot are from the Ramakien. The white figure is named Sahassa Deja and the green one is known as Thotsakan, the Demon R?vana from Ramayana.
For more information please visit the following links:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wat_Arun

Wat Arun at Chao Phraya River in Bangkok, Thailand
The main feature of Wat Arun is its central prang (Khmer-style tower) which is encrusted with colourful porcelain.[5] This is interpreted as a stupa-like pagoda encrusted with coloured faience.[6] The height is reported by different sources as between 66.8 m (219 ft) and 86 m (282 ft). The corners are surrounded by four smaller satellite prang. The prang are decorated by seashells and bits of porcelain which had previously been used as ballast by boats coming to Bangkok from China.[7]
The central prang is topped with a seven-pronged trident, referred to by many sources as the “Trident of Shiva”.[8] Around the base of the prang are various figures of ancient Chinese soldiers and animals. Over the second terrace are four statues of the Hindu god Indra riding on Erawan.[9] In the Buddhist iconography, the central prang is considered to have three symbolic levels—base for Traiphum indicating all realms of existence, middle for Tavatimsa where all desires are gratified and top denoting Devaphum indicating six heavens within seven realms of happiness.[9] At the riverside are six pavilions (sala) in Chinese style. The pavilions are made of green granite and contain landing bridges.
Next to the prang is the Ordination Hall with a Niramitr Buddha image supposedly designed by King Rama II. The front entrance of the Ordination Hall has a roof with a central spire, decorated in coloured ceramic and stuccowork sheated in coloured china. There are two demons, or temple guardian figures, in front.[9] The murals were created during the reign of Rama V.[9]
For more information please visit the following links:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wat_Arun

Wat Arun in Bangkok, Thailand
A Buddhist temple had existed at the site of Wat Arun since the time of the Ayutthaya Kingdom. It was then known as Wat Makok, after the village of Bang Makok in which it was situated. (Makok is the Thai name for the Spondias pinnata plant) According to the historian Prince Damrong Rajanubhab, the temple was shown in French maps during the reign of King Narai (1656–1688). The temple was renamed Wat Chaeng by King Taksin when he established his new capital of Thonburi near the temple, following the fall of Ayutthaya.[3] It is believed that Taksin vowed to restore the temple after passing it at dawn. The temple enshrined the Emerald Buddha image before it was transferred to Wat Phra Kaew on the river’s eastern bank in 1785.[4] The temple was located in grounds of the royal palace during Taksin’s reign, before his successor, Rama I, moved the palace to the other side of the river.[2] It was abandoned, for a long period of time, until Rama II, who restored the temple and extended the pagoda to 70m.[2]
For more information please visit the following links:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wat_Arun

WAT MAHA THAT, Ayutthaya, Thailand
Welcome To My Beloved Country, Thailand
Photograph by Ing-On Vibulbhan-Watts

“Architecture: Wat Maha That as Wat Phra Ram, Wat Phutthai Sawan and the later built Wat Racha Burana follows the Khmer concept of temple onstruction. We find nearly identical, but earlier built structures at Angkor. Phnom Bakheng, Preah Rup, East Mebon, Baphuon and Ta Keo were all Temple Mountains, consisting of a central tower surrounded by four corner towers, forming a quincunx, the latter also often was surrounded by a courtyard and a gallery.”

For more information please visit the following link:
http://www.ayutthaya-history.com/Temples_Ruins_MahaThat.html

WAT MAHA THAT, Ayutthaya, Thailand

“The design, architecture and decoration of a Khmer temple were modeled according to a series of magical and religious beliefs. Devotees moved from the mundane world to a spiritual one by walking along one of the four axes, each of which has a different astrological value. East, the direction of the rising sun, was auspicious, representing life and the sexual prowess of the male. Most of the Khmer temples were built with the entrance to the east, as this was the formal approach to most Hindu shrines. In general, however, west is considered inauspicious and epresents death, impurity and the setting sun. North is also auspicious, while South has a neutral value. The Khmers adhered to the Hindu belief that a temple must be built correctly according to a mathematical system in order for it to function in harmony with the universe. [11] The sanctuary or the abode of gods was built in the center of the city to imitate Mount Meru which the Khmers believed to be the center of the universe. The town layout, a square-shape, corresponded with the Mandala concept, arising from Hindu beliefs, which indicated the boundary of the universe. [12]”

“All temples in the early period of the establishment of Ayutthaya were clearly Khmer styled, consisting primary of laterite structures (instead of sandstone) and bricks, enhanced with stucco. Wat Maha That consisted basically of a large central prang surrounded by four subsidiary prangs at the four inter-cardinal points, standing on a raised square platform. The quincunx was surrounded by a courtyard and a roofed gallery, lined with a row of Buddha images. Typically for the Ayutthaya period is that often the gallery was penetrated by a monastic structure, being an ordination or an
assembly hall, or even sometimes both. An exception to this was Wat Phutthai Sawan.”

For more information please visit the following link:
http://www.ayutthaya-history.com/Temples_Ruins_MahaThat.html WAT MAHA THAT, Ayutthaya, Thailand
“The principal prang of Wat Maha That was constructed of laterite at the base. The top part of the stupa was of brick and mortar. Brick work at the four sides of the base indicates that the prang had porches in the cardinal directions, a feature not used in the Early Ayutthaya period (1351 – 1491). These porches could be reached by a staircase. Historians believe that these porches were added during the renovation of the temple
done in 1633 during King Prasat Thong’s reign. Mural paintings of Buddhas in the different postures were found inside the prang. The prang stood until the beginning of the 20th century, but finally the brick part collapsed as unfortunately no preserving had been done since the fall of the city in 1767. Fifty years after its collapse a crypt was found containing relics of the Buddha inside the stupa.”

For more information please visit the following link:
http://www.ayutthaya-history.com/Temples_Ruins_MahaThat.html

WAT MAHA THAT, Ayutthaya, Thailand

Wat Maha That was certainly not exempted from looting. From its destruction in 1767
until its restoration by the FAD last century, the temple has been prone of severe looting
and damage by illegal excavation.

From the collection of the aerial photograph Peter Williams-Hunt, who took pictures
during reconnaissance missions of Royal Air Force in the 2nd World War, I choose two
photographs to indicated the state of the ruins of Wat Maha That in the year 1946
(photo 1 – photo 2). It is obvious that quite a bit of restoration had been undertaken by
the Fine Arts Department (photo 3).
For more information please visit the following link:
http://www.ayutthaya-history.com/Temples_Ruins_MahaThat.html

WAT MAHA THAT, Ayutthaya, Thailand

“Excavations: In 1956 the Fine Arts Department started excavations at Wat Maha That. At first
workers, found in the main chamber of the principal prang, half buried in the sand under
the pedestal of the pagoda, a solid gold lion, sitting in a fish-shaped container decorated
with a gilded motif and filled with other gold accessories.

At a later stage the smell of sandalwood oil hung in the air and the upper ventilation hole
of the crypt was found. A shaft was discovered in September, when a vertical
excavation from the floor of the relic chamber was performed.”

For more information please visit the following link:
http://www.ayutthaya-history.com/Temples_Ruins_MahaThat.html

 

WAT MAHA THAT, Ayutthaya, Thailand

“Aphivan Saipradist recounts the story of one of the workers, Mian Youngpradit, digging
for the crypt in its analysis as follows:

“It was both exciting and tiring. We had only a crow bar and a basket. And we
had to dig just a big enough hole to go through, layer by layer, until we reached
the main crypt 17 meters underneath. We had to use a lantern. But the ventilation
was so poor that breathing became more difficult. We had to lower leafy guava
branches down the hole to help with the ventilation. The noise of the crow bar
touching the stone in the tiny hole was heart wrenching. When it hit the box, the
compressed air suddenly burst out of the tiny hole was so violent that it seemed
like a big serpent jumping at us. If we had not been prepared, it could’ve killed us.
That was how many crypt diggers were killed.” [11]”

For more information please visit the following link:
http://www.ayutthaya-history.com/Temples_Ruins_MahaThat.html

 

WAT MAHA THAT, Ayutthaya, Thailand

“In the 17-m deep shaft a hollow stone pillar 3.20 m high with a lid buried in a cemented-
brick pedestal was found. Five days were needed to remove it. On 30 August 1956 the
stone container was opened in presence of authorities. The container was filled with a
small stupa wrapped in a lead sheet containing relics, gold ornaments, a large quantity of
bronze images, pewter votive tablets and other valuables.”

For more information please visit the following link:
http://www.ayutthaya-history.com/Temples_Ruins_MahaThat.html

 

WAT MAHA THAT, Ayutthaya, Thailand

“Jacobus van de Koutere or Jacques de Coutre, born in Bruges (Flanders) around 1572 and a merchant in gemstones gave in his manuscript La Vida de Jaques de Couttre a description of what was likely Wat Maha That. In 1595 de Coutre stayed about 8 months in Ayutthaya as part of an embassy sent to Siam by the Portuguese governor of Malacca. The description you can find here.”

For more information please visit the following link:
http://www.ayutthaya-history.com/Temples_Ruins_MahaThat.html

 

WAT MAHA THAT, Ayutthaya, Thailand

“The Royal Chronicles of Ayutthaya state that during King Songtham’s reign (r.
1610/1611-1628) the prang fell in decay and the upper part of the main prang came down.

“In that year the stupa of the Monastery of the Holy Great Relic collapsed right down to the [B: garuda rafters, the foundation and the steps] [CDEF: level of the garudas and its foundation settled].” [8]

Van Vliet although wrote in The short History of the Kings of Siam (1640) that the tower collapsed in the third year of King Prasat Thong’s reign (r. 1629-1656), thus
being 1631.

“In the third year of his reign the golden tower of the Nopphathat suddenly
collapsed without a crosswind, thunder, or lightning. He had it quickly erected
again, but before this tower was totally restored, the scaffolding (beautifully
durably made of bamboo) also collapsed unexpectedly during a rain to
consequence, strange omens were seen but were kept secret by the soothsayers.”
[9]”

For more information please visit the following link:
http://www.ayutthaya-history.com/Temples_Ruins_MahaThat.html

 

WAT MAHA THAT, Ayutthaya, Thailand

“Prasat Thong restored the stupa in 1633 and increased it considerably. Theprang was raised to 44 meters and reached at that time, with its finial, a height of 50 m.

“In 995 (1633 AD), a year of the cock, the King in His holy compassion had the
holy stupa of the Monastery of the Great Relic, which had been destroyed earlier, restored. Originally the main section had been nineteen wa, with a sky trident spire of three wa, so the King said, “The original form was extremely squat. Rebuild it so it is a sen and two wa high but retain the sky trident spire so that together they equal one sen and five wa.” When it was built it looked conical and it was ordered that makha wood be brought and added to the brick and that mortar be taken and added to it. In nine months it was completed and a ceremony to dedicate it was
ordered to be held on a grand scale.” [10]

Wat Maha That was restored again in King Borommakot’s reign (r. 1733-1758). Four porticos were added to the prang, which was restored at the same time as the royal vihara and the ordination hall. No evidence of restoration of the monastery could be found after. Obviously chedis, prangs, and viharns were added on several occasions in time. At the fall of Ayutthaya in 1767, the monastery was set on fire in the Burmese
attack.”

For more information please visit the following link:
http://www.ayutthaya-history.com/Temples_Ruins_MahaThat.html

 

WAT MAHA THAT, Ayutthaya, Thailand

“Wat Maha That housed before an unusual Buddha image of green stone believed to be
made in the Dvaravati style (Mon) dating from 707 – 757 AD. A governor of Ayutthaya
got this statue moved to Wat Na Phra Men during the reign of King Rama III, where it
still resides in a small vihara next to the ubosot.

The main prang of Wat Maha That survived until the reign of King Rama V, as seen in a
photograph taken in 1903, early 1904. On 25 May, 1904, at 0500 Hr in the morning,
the main prang collapsed at the level of the niche. The prang fell further apart in 1911
during the reign of King Rama VI. The Fine Arts Department restored it partially. The
symmetrical base with staircases on the four sides is all what remains of the once
majestic prang.”

For more information please visit the following link:
http://www.ayutthaya-history.com/Temples_Ruins_MahaThat.html

 

WAT MAHA THAT, Ayutthaya, Thailand

Wat Maha That or the Monastery of the Great Relic is located on the city island in
the central part of Ayutthaya in Tha Wasukri sub-district. The temple is situated on the
corner of the present Chikun Road and Naresuan Road. The monastery stood on the
west bank of Khlong Pratu Khao Pluak, an important canal, which has been filled up
somewhere in the early 20th century. In ancient times the temple was likely fully
surrounded by canals and moats. The structure has been registered as a national historic
site by the Fine Arts Department on 8 March 1935 and is part of the Ayutthaya World
Heritage Historical Park.

or more information please visit the following link:
http://www.ayutthaya-history.com/Temples_Ruins_MahaThat.html

WAT MAHA THAT, Ayutthaya, Thailand

History: The exact date of the establishment of Wat Maha That is difficult to assess.

The Luang Prasoet version of the Royal Chronicles of Ayutthaya put its construction in
736 Chula Sakarat (CS) or 1374 of the Christian Era, during the reign of King
Borommaracha I (r. 1370-1388), somehow 23 years after the establishment of
Ayutthaya. The chronicles mention that the central prang had a height of 46 meter.

“In 736, a year of the tiger, King Bòromracha I and the Venerable
Thammakanlayan first erected the great, glorious, holy jeweled reliquary,
towering one sen and three wa, to the east of the royal lion gable.” [1]

Later versions of the Royal Chronicles of Ayutthaya state that Wat Maha That was
established by King Ramesuan (r. 1388-1395) after his attack of Chiang Mai in 1384
(746 CS). But this date is not corroborating with his period of reign.

“Then the King went out to observe the precepts at Mangkhalaphisek Hall. At ten
thum he looked toward the east and saw a Great Holy Relic of the Lord Buddha
performing a miracle. Calling the palace deputies to bring his royal palanquin, he
rode forth. He had stakes brought and pounded into the ground to mark the spot.
The great holy reliquary which he built there was nineteen wa high, with a nine-
branched finial three wa high, and named the Maha That Monastery. Then the
King had the Royal Rite of Entering the Capital performed and festivities were
held in the royal residence.” [2]

For more information please visit the following link:
http://www.ayutthaya-history.com/Temples_Ruins_MahaThat.html

 

WAT MAHA THAT, Ayutthaya, Thailand
“In general, historians bet on the two horses and take as granted that the construction of
the monastery was started by King Borommaracha I and completed in King Ramesuan’s
reign. In the second version the prang was 38 meter high with on top, a finial of 6 meter.

An earlier source (1), Jeremias Van Vliet, a chief merchant of the Dutch East India
Company in Ayutthaya, wrote in his Short History of the Kings of Siam in 1640, that it
was Prince U-Thong, the later King Ramathibodhi I, who built Wat Maha That.

“Then Thao U Thong began to re-establish the city on the fifth day of the waxing
fourth moon (in our reckoning being the month of March) in the Year of the Tiger
and called it Ayutthaya. He also built three temples which are still considered to be
the most important in the whole kingdom: the Nopphathat, the most holy;
Ratchaburana, the same size and shape as the Nopphathat but not visited by the
kings because of a prophecy that the first king who goes in there will die shortly
thereafter; and Wat Doem still the foremost [monastic?] school. After Thao U
Thong had built the aforementioned city, he had the entire population called
together and declared himself king.” [3]

The chronicles mention that King Borommaracha II (r. 1424-1448) attacked Angkor
in 1431 and had a large number of sacred images of oxen, lions and other creatures
removed from the temples there. These images were brought to Ayutthaya and installed
as offerings at Wat Maha That.”
For more information please visit the following link:
http://www.ayutthaya-history.com/Temples_Ruins_MahaThat.html

WAT MAHA THAT, Ayutthaya, Thailand
Welcome To My Beloved Country, Thailand
Photograph by Ing-On Vibulbhan-Watts
“Wat Maha That was one of the most important monasteries of the Ayutthaya kingdom,
not only because it was the religious centre and enshrined relics of the Buddha, but also
because of its proximity to the Grand Palace. It was a royal monastery and the seat of
the Supreme Patriarch of the City Dwelling sect till the end of the Ayutthaya period – at
par with the Supreme Patriarch of the Forest Dwelling sect, which had its seat at Wat
Yai Chai Mongkhon (called Wat Pa Kaeo in earlier times). Van Vliet wrote in 1638 in
his Description of the Kingdom of Siam that from the highest ecclesiastic regents,
namely the four bishops of the principal temples of Judia, “The bishop of the Nappetat
(2) has the supreme dignity” [5]

In the past, it was the venue of important royal ceremonies and celebrations. Van Vliet
describes the splendor of yearly Royal procession to Wat Maha That on the occasion of
Kathin, where the Ayutthayan Kings “made their offerings to the gods and prayed for
the welfare of the country”. An excerpt from The Description of the Kingdom of
Siam of 1638 can be read here [7].”

For more information please visit the following link:
http://www.ayutthaya-history.com/Temples_Ruins_MahaThat.html

Go to the top