Monument of Phra Buddha Yodfa Chulaloke
The Monument of Phra Buddha Yodfa Chulaloke
This monument is also called as Phra Pathom Borommarachanusorn. It is located at the foot of the bridge Phra Pathom Borommarachanusorn
(The Memorial Bridge) or Saphan Phut on Bangkok side.
King Rama I, the first king of the Chakri Dynasty, was born on the 19th of March A.D. 1736. When he ascended the throne he
reorganized state affairs and put down the uprising which had occured in Thon Buri. Then he moved the capital across the Chao Phraya River
to the present city of Bangkok. He was later officially crowned by invitation of the people and established the Chakri Dynasty which reigns to this day.
His first task was the foundation of the new capital city in A.D. 1782, which he began with the construction of the Grand Palace and
the Temple of the Emerald Buddha to enshrine the national palladium. The building of the capital city was finished in A.D. 1785.
During his reign despite constant war with the Burmese which forced him to take to the battlefield repeatedly, he also performed many
other tasks in many different fields. He repaired many temples and revised the Tripitaka or the Buddhist canon. He collected all the codes of
law and compiled them under the Three Seals of State. With regard to literature, he called the scholars of Ayutthaya to work together in
studying and correcting various classic works. Many literary works are said to have been compiled by him, for example the Ramakian, Unnarut, Dalang, and Inao.
King Rama I died on the 7th of September A.D. 1809 after being 27 years on the throne.
View of Monument of Phra Buddha Yodfa Chulaloke and the Memorial Bridge
For the 150 year anniversary of Rattanakosin in 1932 A.D., King Rama VII wished to
build something lasting and commemorative of the founder of the Dynasty. He mentioned his intention to his Cabinet who responded in favour of building a statue of the King Rama I
as an act of gratitude and to recall his name. The bridge crossing the Chao Phraya River joining Bangkok to Thon Buri was to be
constructed at the same time. So the plans of the statue and the bridge were made together. And the end of the bridge on the Bangkok side the statue of King Rama I was to be placed.
King Rama VII requested His Royal Highness Prince Narisaranuwatiwongse, vice president of the Royal Council to draw up the
plan and to supervise the creation of the statue of sitting on a throne, with both hands touching the sword which is placed acroos his lap. The
statue was moulded and cast in bronze by Professor Silpa Bhirasri of Silpakorn University.
The height from the base up to the top measures 4.60 metres. Later the base was heightened by about one metre. The width of the base measures 2.30 metres. The marble
base on which the statue sits is very finely made. King Rama VII performed the inauguration ceremony on the 6th April A.D. 1932.
The statue of King Rama I faces Triphet Road. Thestatue looks very impressive and dignified. The base was raised higher in A.D.
1962. The front part of the pedestal was surrounded with flower arrangements in bronze. In the centre of the fence there is a piece of
marble carved in relief of an elephant standing on a platform, in the middle of which is engraved the emblem of King Rama I.
Behind the statue there is a decoration in concrete in the form of curtains, above the space which is carved in the shape of a door
with carved pillars on both sides. The pediment is decorated in stucco with designs of garland, and the "urna", the emblem of King Rama I, carved above it.
On both sides of the statue there are steps leading from the bridge to the lower ground where gardens are laid out in lines running
down to the street. There are also spot-lights focussed on the statue. At night this mounument looks most impressive and people passing by
between Bangkok and Thon Buri always stop to pay homage to it.
On the sixth of April every year the public commemorates the foundation of the Chakri Dynasty when King Rama I ascended the
throne at the wholehearted invitation of the nation. On this day the King of Thailand goes to lay a wreath at the statue to pay homage.
The old building at the west of Monument of Phra Buddha Yodfa Chulaloke