Wat Ratchapradit Sathitmahasimaram
Pasanna Chedi (left) and the Khmer Prang
This royal temple of the first grade stands in Saranrom Garden.
It is the first temple of the Dhammayutika school of Buddhism which was erected by King Rama IV
in the Tea Garden in the Grand Palace in A.D. 1864 to donate it especially to the monks of that school.
Later King Rama V King Chulalongkorn) repaired the temple on a grand scale and
enshrined some of the ashes of King Rama IV in the throne of the Main Buddha image in the Wihan. King Rama VI
(King Vajiravudh) built the new library on one side of the Wihan and Phra Chom Hall on the other side. These two halls are particularly beautiful with prang-shaped roof.
Objects of Interest in the Temple
On a raised base, the structure is strikingly beautiful with the marble decoration all over. The gable boards both in front and at the back
are in wood, carved with the finest decorative mofifs which can be considered to among the best Thai architectural pieces.
The teak door and window panels are carved into double layers of intertwisted plant motifs in gilded black lacquer, very beautifully
decorated with coloured glass mosaic. Above these panels there are decorations in stucco.
At the rear of the Wihan there is a niche made of carved marble, inside which inscriptions are found. Two royal proclaimations are
inscribed, the first being the dedication of the building to the use of the monks of the Dhammayuttika school, dated A.D. 1864
The other is the announcement the establishment of the boundary stones, dated in A.D. 1865.
The main Buddha image of the Wihan Luang is called "Phra Buddha Sihangkha Patimakon" in the attitude of medittion with
the width of half a metre from knee to knee. King Rama IV ordered it as a duplicate of the "Phra Buddha Sihang" which is enshrined
in the Phutthaisawan Chapel in the National Museum which used to be the Palace to the
Front of the Prince-successor from the beginning of the Rattanakosin Period.
On the same pedestal with the main Buddha image, there are some other important images; another duplicate image of Phra
Buddha Sihang in front of the main one; a duplicate image of Phra Buddha Jinasi on the left; a duplicate image of Phra Buddha Jinaraja
on the right; a duplicate image of Phra Sasata behind the main one; on the altar in front is a Buddha image called "Phra Buddha Nirantarai".
On the walls inside the Wihan Luang there are murals portraying various guardian angels in the upper part, and in the lower part
The Royal Ceremonies of 12 months painted during the reign of King Rama V when he was repairing the temple. Another painting
depicts King Rama IV observing the solar eclipse in an open-sided pavilion. It shows that King Rama IV was an astronomer who could
calculate eclipses. He observed an eclipse at Wako district in Prachuap Khiri Khan Province
on the 18th August A.D. 1868 towards the end of his reign. This painting reminds us of one of the capacities of the King.
A little distance behind the Wihan Luang is a brick and mortar building covered with marble. At the bottom of it there is a
niche in the north in which the statue of the Supreme Patriarch (Sa) cast in bronze in the gesture of giving sermon, is seated. It is of life-size.
Prasat Yot Prang
In A.D. 1913 King Vajiravudh (Rama VI) commanded the construction of the two buildings with "prang-top", on a base to the
east and west of the Wihan. These two prangs are very much alike in style and size. They are in Khmer style, were built of concrete and
decorated with very charming designs. It is said that the designer of them was Phraya Chindarangsan who designed and built the
Khmer style prangs in the royal cemetery in Wat Rajborpith.
On the Prasat to the east, is a gable of stucco in bas-relief portraying episodes from the life of the Buddha, his birth and entering
into Nirvana. It is used to store the Tripitaka and other scriptures and so is called "Ho Trai" meaning a library.
The top of the Prang in the west is decorated with four-faced Brahma facing the four directions. The gable is decorated in
stucco portraying Vishnu in slumber upon the ocean. In literature Vishnu sleeps on a naga but here he is lying on a dragon. In the interior
there is a satatue of King Rama IV of life-size. Thus the building is called "Ho Phra Chom" which means the Hall of King Chomklao (the name King Rama IV).
Prasat Yot Prang in Khmer style
The Khmer Prang
Next to the Pasanna Chedi towards the back there stands a Prang of Khmer style. It used to house the remains of the late abbots of this temple.
Ho Rakhang (The Belfry)