The Grand Palace & Wat Phra Kaeo Bangkok

Bangkok or Krung Thep “the city of angels” as it is known to its inhabitants. Many tourists who travel to Bangkok are immediately overwhelmed by the sheer size of the city and the vast number of attractions Bangkok has to offer. One of them is The Grand Palace & Wat Phra Kaeo.

The Grand Palace

The Grand Palace & Wat Phra Kaeo Thailand
Constructed simultaneously with the establishment of Bangkok or Krung Rattanakosin by King Rama I the Great, the complex comprises 3 major quarters; namely, Phra Maha Prasat-the throne halls, Phra Ratchamonthian Sathan-royal residences and Wat Phra Si Rattana Satsadaram (Temple of the Emerald Buddha).

Formerly, the Grand Palace served as a residential palace for the royal family, with a similar floor plan to that of the Grand Palace in the Kingdom of Ayutthaya. The Temple of the Emerald Buddha is a palace temple just as Wat Phra Si Sanphet used to be in the Ayutthaya Period. A blend of Western architecture prevailed during the reigns of King Rama IV and King Rama V. Major throne halls include:
  • Phra Thinang Dusit Maha Prasat formerly named as Phra Thinang Inthraphisek Maha Prasat, is the first throne hall to have been constructed within the Grand Palace to house royal remains of the kings, queens, and members of the royal family. It is also for use in major royal ceremonies such as auspicious rites and merit-making.
  • Phra Thinang Aphonphimok Prasat located near Phra Thinang Dusit Maha Prasat served as the king’s mounting platform as well as a dressing area for a royal procession.
  • Phra Thinang Phiman Rattaya established in 1789 and served as the king’s royal chamber as well as an assembly hall for members of the royal family and audience hall for ladies of the court to receive royal decorations and title’s paraphernalia in the reign of King Rama VI. It was also where the bathing ceremony for royal remains of the members of the royal family before the urn would be placed inside the Phra Thinang Dusit Maha Prasat.
  • Phra Thinang Chakri Maha Prasat built in the reign of King Rama V in 1876 to receive royal guests who were monarchs or heads of state. There are also several other principal throne halls such as Phra Thinang Ratchakaranyasapha, Phra Thinang Munlasathan Boromma-at, Phra Thinang Sommutithewarat Upbat, Phra Thinang Borommaratchasathit Mahoran, Phra Thinang Chakraphatdi Phiman, Phra Thinang Phaisan Thaksin, etc.

Open: Daily (except during special royal ceremonies) from 08.30 a.m.-04.30 p.m. (Tickets are sold till 03.30 p.m.)

Admission: 500 Baht. (including a ticket to Vimanmek Royal Mansion or Anantasamakhom Throne Hall). Proper attire is essential Audio Guide in Thai, English, French, German, Spanish, Russian, Japanese and Mandarin: 400 Baht.


Wat Phra Kaeo or Temple of the Emerald Buddha

The Grand Palace & Wat Phra Kaeo Thailand
Wat Phra Kaeo (Wat Phra Si Rattana Satsadaram) is a royal temple situated on the northeastern corner of the Grand Palace compound. It is where the image of the Emerald Buddha is enshrined as well as royal religious ceremonies have been performed.

The construction of the temple was completed in 1784, and it has consistently undergone several times of restoration from the reign of King Rama I through to the reign of King Rama IX. The temple’s ordination hall-Phra Ubosot-and enclosing cloister house fine murals. Other interesting structures include a group of 8 Prang towers, Phra Si Rattana Chedi, model of Angkor Wat, Prasat Phra Thepbidon, etc.

Open: Daily (except during special royal ceremonies) from 08.30 a.m.-04.30 p.m. (Tickets are sold till 03.30 p.m.)

Admission: 500 Baht (including a ticket to Vimanmek Royal Mansion or Anantasamakhom Throne Hall). Proper attire is essential. Personal Audio Guide in Thai, English, French, German, Spanish, Russian, Japanese and Mandarin: 200 Baht per hour

The City Pillar Shrine

According to an old Thai tradition, a city pillar had to be built upon the establishment of a new city. King Rama, I had the Bangkok Wat Phra Kaeo or Temple of the Emerald Buddha city pillar erected near the Temple of the Emerald Buddha on Sunday, 21 April 1782, with the city’s horoscope inside. The original pillar was made of cassia wood known as Chaiyaphruek, measuring 75 cm. in diameter and 27 cm. high.

In the reign of King Rama IV, the old dilapidated pillar was replaced by a new one made of the same kind of wood, measuring 270 cm. high and standing on a base of 175 cm. wide, sheltered by a Prang-shaped shrine as it appears today. The shrine also houses images of protective deities including Thepharak, Chaopho Ho Klong, Phra Suea Mueang, Phra Song Mueang, Chaopho Chetakhup and Phra Kan Chai Si.

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