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Wat Pathum Wanaraam Rachaworawihaan (วัดปทุมวนารามราชวรวิหาร)

Thai. ‘Royal Lotus Hall Abode Temple’. Name of a third class royal temple of the category Phra Araam Luang in Bangkok's Pathum Wan district, located in between Siam Paragon and Central World. It was commissioned in 1857 by King Mongkut (fig.) who dedicated it to his consort, Queen Debsirindra/Thepsirinthra (เทพศิรินทรา). Somdet Chao Phraya Borom Maha Phichaiyaht (fig.), also known as Tat Bunnag, was put in charge of the project and Phraya Samphop Pai (สามภพพ่าย), also called Noo Hongsakun (หนู หงสกุลl), was appointed construction supervisor. King Mongkut invited the Laotian monk Phra Kruh Pathum Tham Thada (fig.), who dwelled at Wat Bowonniwet Wihaan Rachaworawihaan (fig.), i.e. the temple where King Rama IV between 1836 and 1851, then still a prince, had been a monk and abbot himself, to become the new temple's first abbot. Construction was completed in 1861, but that same year Queen Debsirindra passed away and the inaugural celebration was postponed. The temple's ubosot, i.e. the main prayer hall, houses a Buddha image in the maravijaya pose and is known as Phra Sai (พระไส/พระสายน์), whereas the wihaan has two main Buddha images, i.e. the larger Phra Serm (พระเสริม) and the smaller Phra Saen (พระแสน). All the principal Buddha images are in the Lan Chang-Vientiane style. Both buildings have mural paintings, that besides a procession of the Royal Barges (fig.) in the past, also have scenes from the Thai-Laotian folk tale of the Lan Chang era known as Sri Thanonchai and also referred to as Chiang Miang, and one of them is depicted on a Thai postage stamp issued to mark the 2020 Thai Heritage Conservation Day. The temple compound is home to Anuson Sathaan Racha Sakun Mahidon, i.e. the Mahidon Family Memorial Hall’ (fig.), a memorial dedicated to members of the Royal Family of Mahidon Adunyadet (fig.), the Prince Father of Thailand, whereas the royal ashes of several members of the Chakri dynasty have been enshrined in the temple's main chedi, including those of Queen Sawang Watthana (fig.), a consort of King Chulalongkorn (Rama V - fig.); Valaya Alongkorn (วไลยอลงกรณ์ - fig.), a daughter of Rama V and Sawang Watthana; King Ananda Mahidol (Rama VIII - fig.); and Princess Sri Nagarindra (fig.), the Princess Mother of Thailand. A pavilion to the northeast of the ubosot houses gilded statues of all the temple's abbots and other important monks throughout time, starting with its first abbot, i.e. the Laotian monk. The temple's compound also includes park with a large trees and a meditation hall, known as suan pah sala phra racha (สวนป่าศาลาพระราชศรัทธา), i.e. Royal Faith Pavilion Forest Park’, which is used to practice meditation and for listening to the dharma. The park doubles as a botanical garden and also has an Asoka pillar carved from stone. On 19 May 2010, during the crackdown on anti-government protesters of the United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship, i.e. the so-called Red Shirts (fig.), six people caught up in the temple during heavy crossfire, were shot and killed here, despite the fact that Wat Pathum Wanaraam had been declared a safe zone for the injured. It was later determined by the Southern Bangkok Criminal Court that according to eyewitnesses and autopsy results, all six people who were killed were shot by high-speed guns from soldiers stationed on the BTS Sky Train tracks in front of the temple. Also transliterated Wat Pathum Wanaram Ratchaworawihan, or similar. See also POSTAGE STAMP, TRAVEL PICTURES (1), (2), (3), (4), (5), (6), (7), (8) and (9), PANORAMA PICTURE, and MAP.