Emerald Buddha Temple

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Welcome to the Grand Palace Complex. It is a drive from Sukumwit 8. Take bus no 25 pay 7baht, tuk tuk 300 baht or pillion on scooter 200 baht. The complex was established in 1782 after King Rama I accession to throne. It contains the Emerald Buddha and other palaces. As you enter the complex there is a huge garden. The Emerald Buddha complex is to your left ie what you see. The golden color building is a Chedi (stupa).

The black statue is Hermit Doctor, considered a patron of medicine, called Hor Phra Rajphongsanusorn. The monastery behind is where Emerald Buddha is kept. Devotees pray to the Hermit Doctor on entering. You take a left turn. The inner gangway has murals from Ramayana. No monks reside in the monastery. Take Grand Palace map, study it before u start walking around.

First comes the Upper Terrace. The monuments found are left to right golden chedi (stupa), the Mondop- a repository for Buddhist sacred scriptures inscribed on palm leaves, contained within a beautiful mother of pearl inlaid cabinet,Royal Pantheon- in which statues of past rulers of Chakri dynasty are kept. The chedi is called Phra Siratana Chedi. It is Sri Lankan style and houses the ashes of Buddha.

A close up view of Phra Mondop, the repository of Buddhist sacred scriptures. I wish that the boards that gave monument/mural description were also in English besides Thai. I made the mistake of not using the services of an English speaking guide.

You see a miniature Angkor Wat crafted at the order of King Rama IV. Angkor Wat in Cambodia is probably the largest temple complex in the world. Esamskriti has pictures of Angkor Wat.

Close to Angkor Wat saw these two structures. Look by Deepsthambs that we have in India. Saw similar deepsthambs at Wat Suthat Bangkok.

Close to the model of Angkor Wat saw this image. The board says it is `Tosakanth Ravana`.

Left of picture is the entrance to the monument that houses the Emerald Buddha. The Buddha is enshrined on a golden Thai- style throne made of gilded-carved wood, known as Busabok, in the ordination hall of the Royal Monastery. The Emerald Buddha is carved from a blockade of green jade and was first discovered in 1434 in a stupa in Chiang Rai. In Thailand always look at the top of the shrine, you will invariably find a Garuda. I made mistake of not seeing the image at entrance of Emerald Buddha.

The sacred image is clad with one of the 3 seasonal constumes which are changed 3 times a year in a ceremony presided over by His Majesty the King. The image remained in Laos for 226 yeas until 1778 when King Rama I captured the Laotian capital and brought the image back to Thailand. You see entrance to Emerald Buddha or Wat Phra Kaew.

Found the ceilings in all Thai wats to be very well painted. You see the ceiling of Emerald Buddha shrine.

The exterior wall of the Emerald Buddha shrine had these images of Garuda, the vehicle of Lord Vishnu. You see dead snakes in the hands of Garuda. To know why dead snakes please read the `Puranic Encyclopedia.

A side view of the hall where Emerlad Buddha is kept. Note the wood work and decoration of columns. The inner walls of the ordination hall are decorated with mural paintings depicting select events from Buddha`s life.

Thai devotees praying to Lord Buddha. They dipp lotus buds in water for luck.

You see an overview of The Royal Pantheon ie Prasat Phra Dhepbidorn. Here statues of past rulers of Chakri dynasty are enshrined. Very beautiful monument so sharing a few pictures. It has golden colored chedis (stupas) on either side.

A close up of the entrance of Phra Dhepbidorn. They have a tail and animal type feet. They could be some sort of a demi-God or may be Kinnaries.

A close up view of the demi-God. Hope a viewer can provide information on this.

A close up view of the Chedi (stupa). Behind that is `prang` (a elongated cone shaped tower).

Picture of a number of mythical beings providing support to `Golden Chedis`. Hope a viewer can provide information on this.

A close up of the mythical being.

Clicked from a different angle this picture gives you a view of Phra Dhepbidom, prang in the centre and chedis on right side.

Opposite the Phra Dehpbidom towards the exit are these two giants. Board says `Gatekeeping Giants`.

The grounds of the Royal Monastery are enclosed by galleries, the walls of which are decorated with scenes from Ramakien or Ramayana, first painted during the reign of King Rama I, since then restored many times. You see one such scene. It shows Hanuman who made his body into a pathyway and helped the the army of Lord Ram to cross over to Sri Lanka and fight the Danavas.

Another scene from Ramayana. It looks like the army of Lord Ram marching towards a palace. In Thailand is called Thotsakan, king of Longka. Ramayana or Ramakien "Ram-Akhyan"where Akhya is a Sanskrit word meaning `rendition of the story of`.

Another scene from Ramayana looks like a war scene. There were numerous murals but explaination was all in Thai. Wish the authorities also put English translation so that non Thais can read, after all we pay some 350 Baht as entrance fee to the Emerald Buddha complex.

You see The Borom Phiman Mansion. Built in western style by King Rama V in 1903. When King Rama VI renovated it one of the innovations was a quadrangular dome over inner chamber with frescoes depicting the Siamese conception of the Vedic gods of India, venerated as guardians of the universe. Beneath these gods are inscribed ten kingly virtues to be observed by the king.

You see the Chakri Maha Prasant Hall building that was built by King Rama V in 1882. It has a Central Throne Hall and two wings.

A close up view of entrance to the Chakri Maha Prasat Hall. The guard stands more like a statue, do not move an inch. I found elephants in most important Thai monuments. Elephants symbolise power and independence.

You see the Amphorn Phimok Pavilion. Very exquisitely made. The steps and design indicate it was a place where the King sat and gave audience to his subjects. Note the sphire in the centre, looks very nice.

In an adjoining building ie The Dusit Maha Prasat Throne Hall is placed this throne. It is in the open at an elevated height.

Right of the picture you see The Dusit Maha Prasat Throne Hall. It was built by King Rama I around 1790. It is still used for the annual Coronation Day ceremony. The hall has four wings and is surrmounted by a four tiered roof as you see and is topped by a seven tiered spire. The two sphies on the left belong to Chakri Maha Prasat Hall.

As finished seeing the Grand Palace saw this collections of cannons used by the Thais. Appreciate the collection and the fact that they are well maintained. I did Grand Palace on day one of reaching, was a mistake. First day familiarise itself with Bangkok then reach Grand Palace next day at 9am, you will be fresh and raring to click.

Towards the exit is Wat Phra Kaeo Museum where I saw this image of Lord Ganesh. Well laid out and maintained. Have taken utmost care in writing narrations. In case of any errors please mail me. I thank HinduWisdom/SacredDestination sites and other brochures of Thai Tourism for providing me with information that is reproduced in the narrations.

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