Wat Hong Rattanaram

Wat Hong Rattanaram

Wat Hong Rattanaram Rajawaravihara | Second Class Royal Temple | Presiding Buddha Image: Phra Buddha Laksana

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This a second class royal temple of rajawaravihara, an ancient temple since Ayuttaya period. Originally called wat chao sua hong or Wat chao khrua hong, because a wealthy chines named nai hong built it. During Krung thon buri period it was called wat hong a-wat wihan and during King rama I reign of Rattanakosin period the name was changed to wat hong a-wat worawihan, and in King rama II reign its name changed to wat hong a-wat worawihan (just only changed a thai alphabet letter of a-wat). Later, in 1915 during King rama VI reign, its name was finally changed as Wat Hong Rattanaram Rajawaravihara. In Thon Buri period, this temple was the centre for religious education because it was located near to the h.m. King Taksin the great’ palace, therefore, The King took it under his royal patronage. In Krung Ratanakosin period, a major restoration was done to the temple by King rama III. In the u-bosot (ordination hall), there is palai(veranda) designed in King rama III’s art style’ the door arch is designed with both Chinese and western art styles, the stucco sculptures on the door arch inside are admired for their intricate designs, also there are tempera paintings in the glass-frames, these paintings depicted the story of ratana pimphawong (the story of emerald buddha). They were the craftsmenship in the reign of king rama III and king ramar VI. On the door arch of hor trai (monastic Buddhist library) is carved in a krua thao-style scroll of floral motif by the craftsmenship in the early rattanakosin period. Inside the u-bosot (ordination hall), there is and antique golden Buddha image which was covered with lime.After breaking the lime covering, the golden Buddha image was discovered. It is a Buddha image from Sukhothai period, and old u-thong alphabets was found inscribed at the Buddha image. The fine arts department registerd the temple to be the national ancient monument in 1949.

The Uposatha Hall
The Uposatha Hall at Wat Hong is one of the biggest temple in Thonburi, the Western Bangkok. It was fi rst built in the end of Ayutthaya period by Che Krua Hong. After King Taksin the Great (1734-1782) enthroned himself as a Siamese king, he constructed the new uposatha as seen at the present time. The uposatha is 19.50 m wide, and 42 m long.

Phra Tong Boran
Ancient Gold Buddha image

This ancient Buddha of the Sukhothai Period is made of gold mixed with alloy. The image is seated cross-legged in the attitude of Subduing Mara. Its lap span is 160 centimetres and its hight from the base is 183 centimetres. In the past, the image was covered with cement making it resemble a Buddha image of the Ratanakosin art style. It was originally housed in the Viharn building behind the ordination hall of a temple in Sukhothai. As no historical account nor any document related to this Buddha image has been found, it is not possible to specify when it was brought to Bangkok or which monarch had it moved to the city. On August 26 th, 1956, Phra Sukhumthammacharn, the abbot of Wat Hongratanaram, found that the cement coat on the breast of the image had cracked revealing the gold inside. The cement coat was removed and an ancient gold Buddha image of the Sukhothai art style was revealed. There was an inscription on the base. On February 8 th, 1958, Professor Chum Thongkhumwan, a specialist in ancient alphabets and inscriptions at the Department of Find Arts, interpreted the inscription on the base of the Buddha image as follows:

"…erected in 1520, corresponding to the year of the Rabbit, in the third lunar month, on the first waxing Moon night, Somdetch Thaophraya Sriyostatch had the image made in homage to the Lord Buddha…"

The main Vihara building also houses replica a Buddha image from different periods, starting from the time when Buddhism arrived on the Suvarnabhumi Penninsular. These include Buddha image of the Dwarawati, the Srivijaya, the Chieng Saen, the Sukhothai, the Lup Buri, the Ayuthaya and the Ratanakosin art styles.

Phra Saen
Phra Saen is the bronze Buddha image created by Phra Kru Ponsamek (1631-1720), the supreme patriarch of the ancient Laos Kingdom called Lan Chang (meaning millions of elephants). The knee-to-knee size is 65 cm. Phra Pinklao (1808-1866), the younger brother of King Mongkut (RamaIV) and the Second King of Siam, respectfully engaged Phra Saen from Chiang Taeng (the ancient town in Champasak province) to Wat Hong in 1859.

Location
Bangkok Yai, Bangkok, Thailand.

Transportation
Bus Nos. 19, 40, 56, 57, 149

Opening hours
The Temple is Open Daily from 08.00 A.M. - 06.00 P.M.

Credits: Wat Hong Rattanaram Rajawaravihara

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