Wat Bowonniwet

Wat Bowonniwet

Wat Bowonniwet Vihara Rajawaravihara | First Class Royal Temple | Presiding Buddha Image: Phra Buddha Shinasri (front) and Phra Buddha Suwanakhet (back) | Temple of King Rama VI Phrabat Somdet Phra Poramentharamaha Vajiravudh Phra Mongkut Klao Chao Yu Hua

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According to Thai Royal tradition, every King of Thailand should have his Royal Temple after the coronation but during King Rama VI period, instead of building another temple he ordered the building of a school. He felt that there were already too many temples in the city but not enough school so Vajiravudh College was founded. King Rama VI later announced that Wat Bowonniwet Vihara was his First Class Royal Temple (Rajawaravihara) of Dhammayuttika Nikaya (a sect of Buddhism).

The temple is located just inside the old city wall on Phra Sumeru road next to Rang Sri Suthawat Temple. Its old name was “Wat Mai”, Phra Bowon Rat Chao Maha Sakpol Sep (king Rama III, Wang Nar) He wanted to build the temple in Thai tradition style of temple with a touch of Chinese style as to the liking of king Rama III.

The temple had its first monastic boundary in 1829. King Rama III asked his brother who was a monk at Wat Raja Thiwat to be an abbot to the temple in 1832. Later King Rama III renamed the temple to Wat Bowonniwet Vihara in order to announce that this was a Royal monk temple and the abbot of the temple would later be king Rama IV.

When King Rama IV was an abbot at Wat Bowonniwet Vihara, he introduced Dhammayuttika Nikaya (a sect of Buddhism) to Thai monks. The King Rama IV set up examples for all the monks in the temple to follow when he was a monk himself. The Dhammayuttika Nikaya has more strict rules of conduct for the monks. The temple has so many buddhist related arts works and objects for both Buddhists and monks to appreciate and learn. The temple also has a bridge to separate monks area and merit makers so they could follow strict rules of Dhamayatika Nikaya.

Location
Phra Nakhon, Bangkok, Thailand.

Transportation
Bus Nos. 12, 15, 33, 56, 68
Air-conditioned bus Nos. 5, 11, 38, 68, 183

Opening hours
The Temple is Open Daily from 09.00 A.M. - 05.00 P.M.

Special Thanks to Khun Naifah Chandrabhaya, Mr.Stephen Jaggs editor.

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