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Ahporn Phimohk Prasat (อาภรณ์ภิโมกข์ปราสาท)

Thai. Name of an open-sided, sala-style royal pavilion, which is located within the compound of Phra Rachawang, i.e. the Grand Palace in Bangkok, built on a platform on the eastern section of the enclosing wall of Dusit Maha Prasat (fig.), adjacent to the main palace building Chakri Maha Prasat (fig.). It is considered the epitome of the finest qualities of Thai traditional architecture in proportion, style and detail, and is such a highly appraised construction, that it was reproduced and sent to adorn the Thailand exhibits at the 1958 World Expo in Brussels. The pavilion was built by King Rama IV as a disrobing pavilion for the king, where he could change his regalia before and after entering Dusit Maha Prasat. The pavilion could also used as the king's kay, i.e.a mounting platform for royalty, used in the past to ascend or descend a riding animal, such as an elephant or a horse, or alternatively a palanquin. The pavilion is built in jaturamuk-style and is topped with four-tiered roofs and a spire with five-tiers, supported by golden swans, which are reminiscent of the Hamsa, the vahana of the Hindu god Brahma. At either end of the roofs is a chofa and at the end of the bai raka are multiple chofa, a feature known as naakbeuang (fig.), rather than the usual hang hongse (fig.). Each of the gable boards depicts Shiva in a dancing pose, flanked by a thepanom on either side, but unlike his form as Nataraja (fig.), he is here depicted with just two arms and holding a sword. Below the pediments hang decorative pieces of carved wood known by the Thai architectural term sarai ruang peung (fig.). Also referred to as Phra Thihnang Ahporn Phimohk Prasat (พระที่นั่งอาภรณ์ภิโมกข์ปราสาท).