Friday, 10 July 2009

Wat Suthat Thepwararam :The Giant Swing

Wat Suthat Thepwararam is a royal temple of the first grade. It was King Rama I's intention to make Bangkok as glorious as Ayutthaya had been, so built a temple as large as Wat Phanan Choeng in the Old Capital to install a large image of the Buddha named Phra Sri Sakyamuni which had been brought down from the grand Wihan of Wat Mahathat in Sukhothai. When he had finished the foundation of the grand Wihan and placed the Buddha image in its proper place, he passed away. King Rama II went on with the building by continuing with the Wihan. He himself worked on the carving of the central door panels but he passed away before the temple was completed. During the reign of King Rama III the Wihan was finished and he added many more buildings all over the temple compound. He gave the name to the Buddha image in the grand Wihan, of Phra Sri Sakyamuni and the one in the Ordination Hall, of Phra Trilokachet and the name of the temple as Wat Suthat Thepwararam. Renovation took place in the reign of King Rama V. This temple is highly admired for its entire plan.
The Giant Swing and environs in the older part of Bangkok. The Swing Ceremony, entirely Brahmanical in origin, was last performed in 1935. Behind the swing stands Wat Suthat, an excellent example of Bangkok period architecture, the construction of which was initiated during the First Reign and completed in the Third Reign.


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