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Phar Prang  This is the most important monument in the temple. King Rama II considered that the original prang which was 16 meters in height should be reconstructed as the glory of the city, but he passed away shortly after the beginning the task. King Rama III completed the structure and crowned it with a multi-pronged bronze pinnacle. He died before the edifice could be dedicated.      

 

This task was performed by Rama IV. It is 81 metres high and is surrounded by smaller prangs and mondops on each side and in between. The Phra Buddha Prang, as the great central tower is called, has three circumambulatory galleries running around it, which can be reached by climbing any one of the four very steep staircases. Above each staircase there is a niche with a figure of Indra on his three-headed elephant  Erawan.

 

T he crown on the summit was originally made to be given to the presiding Buddha image at Wat Nang Nong. When the nine pronged finial was to be raised, King Rama III ordered the crown to be placed above it. It was rumoured then that this action of his was a sign indication to the people the Prince Mongkut ( meaning  Crown ) was to succeed him. Prince Mongkut did indeed become Rama IV. Four small prangs surround the main one in the centre. Statues of Phra Phai, the wind-god on his white horse are placed in each niche on these. Statues of giants and monkeys support the Mondop and the five Prangs as Caryatides. Kinnaras and Kinnaris are set in relief in niches all the way round of the first gallery.

 

On the ground around the prangs there are Chinese sculptures both in the forms of human beings and animals. In the eartern wall there are three gates and two along the western wall. On the top of these five gates the royal emblems of each king from King Rama I to King Rama V are to be seen. On the forth base of circumambulation are four replicas of the prang at each of the corners. e all decorated with pieces of broken porcelain of varieties of colours. Some are in Thai-style flame patterns while others are as flowers. Bencharong ware is also used to decorate the surface of the prang. This type of decoration on the surface of architecture has been popular since the time of King Rama III.

 

The Small Wihans  There are two of these both of which are in front of the prang and date from the Thon Buri period. The one in the north used to be the ordination hall, and now contains the royal couch of the King of Thon Buri made of one huge plank of teak. The Wihan in the south is older than the one in the north. At present a relic is enshrined here. On the door panels are gilt lacquer paintings depicting soldiers wearing hats and holding guns. These show workmanship of the time of King Rama V

Wat Arun, Phar Prang, The Small Wihans

Bangkok Page 58, Wat Arun, Ordination Hall,Phra Wihan Khot , Gallery of Cloisters, Video of Wat Arun
Bangkok Page 60, Wat Arun and the Bell Tower, the Mondop of the Buddha’s foot print, the Pavillion by the River, Monkut Entrance