Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Wat Chanasongkram, bangkok

Photo courtesy of bangkoktourist.com

Proof that the sacred can survive amidst the profane is Wat Chanagonkram. Its location in backpacker enclave Banglamphu, close to Khao San Road and mildly less frenetic Soi Rambuttri, belies both the ancient heritage and the tranquillity of this small temple and its shady grounds.

Its origins date back to the Ayutthaya period, but it was restored in 1787, during the reign of Rama I. This was after the famous victory at the battle of nine armies, which explains the name - Wat Chanasongkhram Rajaworamahaviharn, which translates as 'victory in war'.

In the past, this temple was known as Wat Tong Pu, however, King Rama I renamed it 'Chanasongkram' in honour of his younger brother, vice King Boworn Mahasura Singhanat, who stopped here on his way back from his victory in 3 great wars. In Thai, Chana means victory and Songkram means war.

Due to the temple's auspicious name, people pray for a trouble-free life and succesful career here when the pay homage to the principal Buddha inmage in the ordination hall.

At the rear is a sedate tree-lined courtyard, including temple housing where monks and lay workers still reside. Within the temple compound is a small courtyard. The windows and gable of the small 'Ubosot', or ordination hall, feature elaborately gilded wood, while inside at the altar sits a famous Buddha image in the subduing mara posture called Phra Phra Buddha Norasee Trilokachet, dating from the reign of Rama I. Around it sit 15 Buddha images from the same period, and also a pair of ebony elephant tusks.

There is also a statue of King Taksin, which predates the Chakri Dynasty. In front of the compound sit two chedis in the Jom Hae style, with wide base and sharp top.

Address:Chakkrabongse Road Banglamphu Sub-District Phra Nakhon District Bangkok 10200
Pier:1. Chao Phraya Express Boat: Phra Athit
Pier2. Passenger Boat: Phra Sumen Fort Pier (Phadung Krungkasem Canal)
Opening Hours:
Temple: Daily 5 am-8 pm
Ubosot: Daily 6 am-6 pm
Admission Fee:Free Admission

**This is one of the 9 temple i'll be visiting next month. will take more pictures to post it here.

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