Wat Chanasongkhram, Bangkok Province

The Ordination Hall

This royal temple of second grade is on Chakraphong Road. It is an old temple existing before the Bangkok period and was known as "Wat Klang Na" since it used to be surrounded by paddy fields. The younger brother of King Rama I reconstructed it and changed the name to "Wat Tongpu" after the name of a temple in Ayutthaya which was inhabited by famous Mon monks, who had been highly honoured by the King of Ayuttya and look part in the Royal ceremonies side by side with the Thai monks. King Rama I dedicated this temple particularly for Mon Monks to perform the ceremony of honouring the Mon soldiers who fought bravely together with Thai soldiers under the Prince of the Palace to the Front, and won three remarkable battles. It is said that when the Prince led the army back from the war, he stopped at this temple to rest in order to organize the Bathing Ceremony and to change his royal robes. He dedicated his robe to adorn the main Buddha image in the Ordination Hall and encouraged his officers to follow him in this act of merit making. When he renovated this temple he made the sculptors put plaster on top of the royal robes and his officers' robes, and remoulded the main Buddha image which resulted in its becoming much bigger than the original one. Then he conferred on this temple the title of royal temple. King Rama I then renamed it "Wat Chanasongkhram".

In the time of King Rama II, H.R.H. Prince Maha Senanurakse pulled down Phra Phiman Dusit in the Grand Palace and had it rebuilt in this temple. It was damaged during the World War II; only some parts of it still remain. The abbot of Wat Makok (old name of Wat Arun in Thon Buri bought it to build the prayer hall and the preaching hall. Later King Rama IV had the monks' quarters constructed in the compound of this temple.
King Rama VII built the place to contain the crematorial remains of the princes of the Palace to the Front behind the main Buddha image.
In the reign of the present King, the Ordination Hall, some monk's cells, the Prayer Hall and the Chedi were repaired. New cells for the monks were also built.
Important Buildings in the Temple

Main Buddha image in the temple


Window Buddhist temple

The Ordination Hall
It is rather large and is the work of the architects from the Palace to the Front during the reign of King Rama I, like Wat Mahatath. The carved gable board depicts Vishnu on Garuda surrounded by heavenly beings beautifully done in gilded lacquer. The eaves are in the shape of triple-tiered bird's wing and the roof decorations are in full form. The wall at the back, the windows and the brackets are like those Wat Mahatath. The boundary stones being attached to the walls of the hall and Vishnu on garuda on the gable board are also recall Wat Mahatath. Another special feature found in the brackets is the entwined "lai kanok" or flame-like floral design. This particular decoration can be found only at three places; Wat Mahatath, Wat Chanasongkhram and Wat Suwandaram in Ayutthaya. The exteriors of the porches are decorated with stucco reliefs and the door panels in the interior are painted with Chinese Gardians. The exteriors of the window panels are painted in gilded black lacquer while the interiors depict "Thepphanom" or gatherings of Celestial beings on the upper part. In the lower part the wall are painted with comic caricatures.
Inside the Ordination Hall, the main Buddha image is a work of King Rama I, covered in stucco and gilded tin on black lacquer. The image is in the attitude of Subduing Mara two and a half metres in width from knee to knee, with images of disciples on both sides. There are 15 other Buddha images surrounding the main one, all of which were built at the same time and in the same attitude as the main one. In the interior of the hall there are paintings in colour on the door and window panels.

Phra Chedi of Wat Chanasongkhram

Phra Chedi
There are two Chedis of the early Bangkok period in front of the Hall, nine metres wide and 15 metres high. There are two round Chedis at the back of the Hall, four metres wide and eight metres high.


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Information
: Hotel & Resorts in Bangkok
: Hotel & Resorts in Thailand
: The Sights of Rattanakosin, The Committee for the Rattanakosin Bicentennial Celebration Published on the Occasion of the Bicentenary of Bangkok, 1982, P. 233-235.