Wat Bowonniwet, Bangkok, Thailand
(built by Rama III)
high-definition creative commons photographs from Bangkok, showing the architecture and statues in this Royal Temple, together with further relevant information about its foundation and history.
Wat Bowonniwet Wihan Ratchaworawihan, is the center for the Thammayut Nikaya sect in Thailand and has been a major temple of patronage for the Chakri dynasty. Prince Mongkut (photo at right) arrived at the temple in 1836 and became the first abbot under the monastic name Vajiranano. He later ascended to the throne as Rama IV (King Mongkut), and was the founder of the Thammayut sect.
Wat Bowon is the Royal Temple par excellence, and is where many royal princes studied and entered the monastic life, including the following Kings: Rama IV, Rama VI, and Rama VII. King Bhumibol Adulyadej ordained at the Grand Palace (Wat Phra Kaew) and resided here for a short period after he became King (Rama IX), and his son and heir, Prince Vajiralongkorn, also ordained and spent a short period at this temple.
The golden chedi at the wat's shrine carries the relics and ashes of Thai royalty. The T-shaped Ubosot holds a magnificent Sukothai period Buddha, Phra Phutthachinasi, cast in 1257 A.D. to celebrate victory over the Khmers. The two viharas are normally closed to the public. There is also a large double footprint of the Buddha, measuring three and a half metres in length, which is very well carved out of a single block of stone.
text adapted from Wikipedia (retrieved, February 18th 2012)
Photographs by Anandajoti Bhikkhu
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