Monday, April 30, 2007

Ramakien Mural Paintings : Wat phra kaew

In the gallery surrounding the ubosoth and other building, there are mural paintings which depict the story of the Ramakien, the Thai version of the Indian Ramayana.

Ramakien or Ramayana is very popular in Thailand and other Southeast Asian Nations. Many forms of Thai Art are inspired by the Ramakien and the admiration for it can be found in other areas of Thai life too. The name of the former capital city of Ayutthaya is a deravation from Ayodhaya, the capital city of King Rama. In the present we use the word “Rama” in English for titles of the Kings in the present Chakri Dynasty. And now we are under King Rama IX. The paintings consist of 178 sections. The first picture is located just opposite the Viharn Yod, and they proceed in a clockwise direction.

This is a poem describing the story in each section, inscribed on marble slabs. These paintings were first done in the reign of King Rama I but they have been restored many times.

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