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Dusit Maha Prasat (ดุสิตมหาปราสาท)

Thai. Name of a throne and official audience hall, which is located within the compound of the Grand Palace in Bangkok (fig.). The Hall was built in Siamese jaturamuk-style by King Rama I, as a replacement for an earlier wooden structure called Amarintharapisek Maha Prasat (อมรินทราภิเษกมหาปราสาท), which burned down in 1790. Though the inferno consumed the building, the original wooden throne, known in Thai as Phra Ratcha Banlang Pradap Muk (พระราชบัลลังก์ประดับมุก), i.e. the Royal Throne Decorated with Mother-of-Pearl', was saved from the flames and is now placed in the new hall. The throne is surmounted by the Nine-tiered White Umbrella of State, known in Thai as chat and the symbol of a duly crowned king. Upon King Rama I's death, Dusit Maha Prasat's principle function is to house the deceased kings and members of the royal family when lying-in-state and was modeled after Phra Thihnang Suriyamarin (พระที่นั่งสุริยามรินทร์) in Ayutthaya, the traditional hall used the for the kings in the Ayutthaya Period when lying-in-state, and with the same height and dimensions. When a king lays-in-state, traditionally a Buddha image is placed on the throne. Beside its main function, the hall is also used on Coronation Day, which is known in Thai as Wan Chat Mongkon and held annually on May the fifth. During a ceremony, known as Phra Ratcha Phittih Chat Mongkhon (พระราชพิธีฉัตรมงคล), the Kakuthaphan, i.e. the Thai Royal Regalia (fig.), are placed on the throne. The hall has an enclosing wall of which the section separating it from the main palace building, Chakri Maha Prasat (fig.), has a pavilion named Ahporn Phimohk Prasat (map -  fig.). Furthermore, the walls have several mondop-like porches with colourful wooden door panels, that are adorned with guardians wearing taab neckpieces (fig.) and Phra Malah Biang combat helmets (fig.), whilst the hall itself is surrounded by heavy stone sculptures of Chinese warriors (fig.), similar ‒yet smaller in size‒ to those found at Wat Poh (fig.). Also referred to as Phra Thihnang Dusit Maha Prasat (พระที่นั่งดุสิตมหาปราสาท). See also Dusit, maha, and prasat. See also POSTAGE STAMPS (1) and (2), as well as MAP.