Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Wat Bowonniwet Wihan : Bangkok

Wat Bowonniwet Wihan, or Wat Bowon for short, and its former name was Wat Mai, was built in the reign of King Rama III, by Somdet Phra Woraratchao Maha Sakdipollasep. In the reign of King Rama VI, the nearby temple Wat Rangsi Sutthawat and Wat Bowon were amalgamated into one temple in 1923.

Enshrining Phra Ubosot is a brazen Buddha image name Pha Phuttha Chinnasi in attitude of sudduing mara posture. The image was shifted from Wat Phrasi Rattana Mahathat in Phisanulok province.

During monkhood, King Rama 4, 6, 7 and 9 had resided this temple. There have been six abbots from the beginning to the present, three of whom have been Supreme Patriarchs including H.H. Somdet Pra Nyanasamvara, the sixth and present abbot from 1961.

In addition to Pha Phuttha Chinnasi, the temple hightlights are Uposatha Hall, the Main Gateway (known as Siew Kgang in Thai), Sala Dang [The Red Pavilions], Great Cetiya, Buddha Footprint, Vihara Geng & Vihara Pra Sasada, Bodhi Tree, Tipitaka & Karnparien Hall, Pra Tamnak Panya, Pra Tamnak Pet and the distinctive and unique murals painted by well known Thai painter, In Kong.

A small English library is available at Gana Soong (International Section). Mahamakut Bookstore, on Phra Sumen across from the temple, has many Buddhist books in English; closed on Sundays.



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