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Wat Wongsamoon Wihaan (วัดวงศมูลวิหาร)

Thai. Name of a small Buddhist temple, located at the western end of a large dry-dock at the Naval Dockyard, within the compound of the Royal Thai Navy base, on the west bank of the Chao Phraya River in Thonburi (fig.). This shipyard's temple was reportedly built around the beginning of the Rattanakosin Era by Krommakhun Thibetbavon (กรมขุน ธิเบศร์บวร), the son of a high official at the nearby Phra Rachawang Deum (fig.), the former palace of King Taksin (fig.). Wat Wongsamoon Wihaan is built on land that belonged to Chao Phraya Phra Phutta Yotfa Chulalok (fig.). Akin to some royal temples, such as Wat Phra Kaew (fig.), it has no Sanghavasa, i.e. there are no monks living here, and ‒besides the wihaan itself‒ there are no other temple buildings. Distinctive to this temple and unique in Thailand, the temple's Phra prathaan or principal Buddha image is placed with its back against the southern wall, i.e. a side wall of the wihaan, and thus faces north. The Buddha image, which is seated in the bhumisparsa pose, is therefore not facing the main entrance, which is on the eastern side, but faces the side entrance instead. This was allegedly done in order to rectify any bad omen of building the palace to the east of the temple, which would have blocked the Buddha image's view (fig.). The temple is used by the Naval Dockyard Department to organize Buddhist activities and for the ordination of its employees, who also come here to pray and meditate whenever they feel like it. See MAP.