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The Grand Palace, Phra Maha Monthian

Continued from page 3

There is a depiction of the initial stages of the war waged by Rama of Aothaya to rescue his wife, Sita, who had been abducted by Thotsakan ( Ravana ) King of Longka. Further on there are a number of other episodes from the story; the building of the causeway from the mainland; the battle of Maiyarab, the magician who took the sleeping Rama to the underworld/ the battles of Kumpakan and Indrasit, the brother and son respectively of Thotsaken; and other battles waged by Thotsakan, his other relatives and allies. The significant battle in which Thotsakan loses his life is to be found just beyond the gate leading to the Royal Palace.

Phra Maha Monthian  -  This consists of three main buildings

(A) The Audience Hall of Amarin Winitchai, where ceremonies of the Court usually take place in front of the throne surmounted by its canopy of nine tiers of white cloth and backed by a boat shaped altar fronting the door leading in to the inner chambers.

(B) Paisal Taksin Hall where the coronation of a monarch takes place with its coronation chair and the octagonal seat where the monarch receives the people's invitation to rule; and in the centre among the seats an altar containing the symbolised figure of Siam, by the name of "Phra Syam Thewathirat" or shortly "Phra Syam" traditionally invoked for the good weal of the state.

(C) Descending from here we come to the antechamber to the Chakrapat Phiman building which was the residence of King Rama I, Rama II and Rama III. It has subsequently become customary for the soverign to past at least one night there after the coronation to signify his taking up official residence.

On either side of the door into the residence chamber of Chakrapat Phiman are depicted seals of state-- the Lion of the Minister of the Interior, the Elephantine Lion of the Minister of Defence, the Deity of the Crystal Lotus of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, etc.

Entering the living apartments of Chakrapat Phiman by mounting a series of steps we come to a hall, at the left of which on the east side is the royal bed chamber. On the west of the hall is a reception chamber where are now kept the regalia and other paraphernalia of kingship.


Phra Maha Monthian group

Grand Palace ( Bangkok ) Page 3, The buildings witin the complex Grand Palace ( Bangkok ) Page 5, Chakri Maha Prasat Hall
Grand Palace ( Bangkok ) Page 4, Phra Maha Monthian
Grand Palace ( Bangkok ) Page 4, Phra Maha Monthian