Wat Pra Chetupon

Historical study of watpho

Bangkok, the capital of the Kingdom of Thailand, is otherwise known as Krung Thep or the City of Angels. The heart of Bangkok is in the so-called Ko Rattanakosin area where this ancient city was first constructed. Much of its historical and cultural heritage was accumulated in this area, and subsequent generations have proudly applied their inherited knowledge for daily life and careers guide-lines through to present time.

Wat Pho, the official name being Wat Phra Chetuphon Vimolmangklararm Rajwaramahaviharn , is a first grade royal monastery, regarded as the most important one during the reign of King Rama I of the Chakri Dynasty. The importance of this is due to the King having managed the restoration of Wat Phodharam, an old monastery from the Ayudhya period, and had it re-established as a royal monastery located near the Grand Palace. Some ashes of King Rama I were also kept under the pedestal of the principal Buddha image known as Phra Buddha Deva Patimakorn in the main chapel. The monastery is located on an area of 20 acres to the south of the Grand Palace, with Thai Wang road in the north, Sanam Chai road in the east, Setthakan road in the south and Maharat road in the west. Separated by a tall white wall on Chetuphon road, the monastery has two main quarters : the sacred (or a chapel section = Buddhavas) and the residential (or the monk's living section = Sangghavas).

It is said in a stone inscription that, after moving to the Grand Palace, King Phra Buddha Yod Fa The Great (King Rama I) recognized that there were 2 old temples along both sides of the Grand Palace : Wat Salak (Wat Mahatart) in the north, and Wat Phodharam in the south. He ordered his noblemen from the department of the Ten Crafts to restore Wat Phodharam in 1788. This first restoration took 7 years 5 months and 28 days. Then there was a celebration in 1801 and the Royal named it “Wat Phra Chetuphon Vimolmangklavas”, which was changed to “ Wat Phra Chetuphon Vimolmangklararm during the reign of King Rama IV. The great restoration, having taken 16 years and 7 months, was done during the reign of King Rama III, by extending both the South Vihara and West Vihara where the large reclining Buddha image is kept, the Missakawan Park, Phra Mondob (Library Hall) and teaching-learning hall as they are of today. Although there was another restoration before the Bangkok Bicentennial Celebration in 1982, no more other major work has been done on the monastery, except for some minor repairs.

From the by-paths of history in the great restoration during King Rama I and King Rama III, it is said that all best craftsmen from the Royal Palace, outside the palace, all art work specialists, and the monks devoted themselves in creating this elaborately decorated monastery. This was done to fulfill the King's ambition of using this Wat as the centre of Thai arts and knowledge, where descendants can study indefinitely.

In “ The Ubosot of Wat Pho “ book, Chakrabhand Posayakrit who is a famous artist of Thailand said on October 10, 1999 “The fine arts in Wat Pho are a bounteous wealth of knowledge. These enormously valuable resources can stimulate and enhance youthful enthusiasm for attaining artistic excellence and distinction.”

Wat Pho is an important landmark in the Rattanakosin area. Visitors can enjoy the beautiful Buddhist fine arts and the existing Thai intellect which has descended from ancient times, taken as immortal careers knowledge.

Tourist information WatPho

WAT Pho is located on Sanam Chai road and Maharaj road next to the Grand Palace. It is open daily between 08:00 - 17:00 hrs, with an admission fee of 20 baht. Tourists must be in polite dress, no shorts, although trousers are permitted.

Thai Traditional MedicalScience School and Body Massage

Thai Traditional MedicalScience School and Body Massage. Thai traditional medical science can be found throughout all of the Thai community, with certain cures from herbs and other ingredients. In the old days there were 2 types of doctors: a royal doctor and a local one. At the start of the Rattanakosin period, King Rama III appointed a royal doctor, Phraya Bamroer Rajaphat, as the chief of the doctors to inscribe medical texts on pieces of slate and framed them on columns of the cloisters around the Pra Maha Chedis and in pavilions or Sala Rai.

In 1856 King Rama V appointed his royal doctors to translate the great edition of Pali-Sanskrit medical texts into a Thai version indexing the books as Medical Science Textbook (Royal Edition); and another on body massage known as Massage Hand book – Royal Edition. On 30 th May, 1962, a council of ancient medical science doctors were approved by Ministry of Health to found Wat Phra Chetuphon Thai Traditional Medical Science School (Wat Pho) for Thai traditioanl medical science and body massage only. This school is located at 2 Sala Rai in the East.

There are 2 kinds of Thai traditional massage science: one is following the contorted hermit postures; and another is herbal massage .