|This article does not cite any references or sources. (June 2010)|
Wat Chetawan in Petaling Jaya
|Location||Jalan Gasing, Petaling Jaya, Selangor
|Architectural type||Theravada Buddhist Thai Temple|
|Architectural style||Theravada Buddhist Thai|
Wat Chetawan (Thai: วัดเชตวัน) is the famous Buddhist Thai temple complex in Klang Valley, Malaysia. This temple is located at Jalan Pantai, off Jalan Gasing, Petaling Jaya, Selangor. Its official name is Thai Buddhist Chetawan Temple (Thai: วัดพุทธไทยเชตวัน).
It was way back in 1956, Phra Kru Palat Vieng, a veteran member of the Sangha (community of monks) and an old time resident of Kuala Lumpur who initiated the idea of building a sizeble Buddhist Temple close to the federal capital of Kuala Lumpur. After two acres of land was allocated by the Selangor State Government, an adjacent piece of land measuring two and half acres was acquired through donations collected from well-wishers and Phra Kru Palad Vieng's own savings.
Besides the generous donations from well-wishers, His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand's personal contribution towards the building funds had generated greater enthusiasm amongst those who aspired for the successful completion of the Temple. The Government of Malaya also rallied to the good cause by giving a grant through the Prime Minister, Yang Berhormat Mulia Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al-Haj.
As the planned structure was to reflect the finest of Thai Temple architecture, the Fine Arts Department of Thailand in Bangkok was commissioned to draw up the architectural plans and to oversee the construction of the Temple building. With a combined workforce of local builders and skilled craftsmen from Thailand, the main shrine hall or Vihara (Viharn) was finally completed in 1962. The structure, heavily gilded in gold leaves, intricately decorated with multi-coloured glass tiles, and crowned with a multi tiered roof trimmed with chor fahs, represented the most stunning Thai temple architecture in the Klang Valley. His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand had granted Royal Consent for His Majesty’s Royal Insignia to be mounted on the front gable of the building and also donated the main shrine Buddha image named Phra Buddha Thammeen, a rare honour that reflected His Majesty’s special consideration and compassion towards Wat Chetawan.
The years after 1962 were years of conservation. No new structures were added until almost 20 years later under the abbotship of Ven. Phra Khru Sophitchariyaphorn (Pien Saccadhammo). Today, Wat Chetawan, being one of the few royal sponsored temples outside Thailand, stands complete as a temple complex with the distinctive structures such as The Ubosot, The Dhammasala (Meditation Hall), The Bell Tower, The Monks’ Kuti, The Sala, The Mondop, The Brahma Pavilion, The Kuan Yin Pavilion, The Columbarium, The Maitreya Buddha Pagoda, The Sleeping Buddha Shine and The Temple Monument Sign.
Ven. Phrakru Vithessangkakarn (Vieng)
Ven. Phrakru Sophitchariyaphorn (Pien Saccadhammo)