Royal Wat Chetawan, Kuala Lumpur

high-definition creative commons photographs from one of the few Royal Thai temples outside of Thailand itself, together with further information about its foundation and development.


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King Bhumibol Adulyadej

Royal Wat Chetawan is a famous Buddhist Thai temple complex in Klang Valley, Malaysia. This temple is located at Jalan Gasing, Petaling Jaya, Selangor. Its official name is Thai Buddhist Chetawan Temple.

In 1956, Phra Kru Palat Vieng, a veteran member of the Sangha and a resident of Kuala Lumpur initiated the idea of building a Thai Buddhist Temple close to the federal capital of Kuala Lumpur.

After two acres of land was allocated by the Selangor State Government, an adjacent piece of land measuring two and half acres was acquired through donations collected from well-wishers, and also from His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand. The Government of Malaya also rallied to the good cause by giving a grant through the Prime Minister, Yang Berhormat Mulia Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al-Haj.

As the planned structure was to reflect the finest of Thai Temple architecture, the Fine Arts Department of Thailand in Bangkok was commissioned to draw up the architectural plans and to oversee the construction of the Temple building.

With a combined workforce of local builders and skilled craftsmen from Thailand, the main shrine hall or Vihara was completed in 1962. The structure, heavily gilded in gold leaves, intricately decorated with multi-coloured glass tiles, and crowned with a multi tiered roof trimmed with chor fahs, represented the most stunning Thai temple architecture in the Klang Valley.

His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand granted Royal Consent for His Majesty’s Royal Insignia to be mounted on the front gable of the building and also donated the main shrine Buddha image named Phra Buddha Thammeen, a rare honour that reflected His Majesty’s special consideration and compassion towards Wat Chetawan.

Today Wat Chetawan is one of the few royal sponsored temples outside Thailand, and stands complete as a temple complex with the distinctive structures such as the Sima, the Dhammasala, the Bell Tower, the Monks’ Quarter, the Danasala and the Mandapa.

Text adapted from Wikipedia (retrieved, November 3rd 2010)


Photographs by Anandajoti Bhikkhu

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