The Ordination Hall (Ubosot)
Wat Benchamabophit Dusitvanaram (Thai: วัดเบญจมบพิตรดุสิตวนาราม) is a Buddhist temple (wat) in the Dusit district of Bangkok, Thailand. Also known as the marble temple, it is one of Bangkok's best-known temples and a major tourist attraction. It typifies Bangkok's ornate style of high gables, stepped-out roofs and elaborate finials.
Construction of the temple began in 1899 at the request of King Chulalongkorn after building his palace nearby. The temple's name literally means the Temple of the fifth King located nearby Dusit Palace. It was designed by Prince Naris, a half-brother of the king, and is built of Italian marble. It has display of Carrara marble pillars, a marble courtyard and two large singhas (lions) guarding the entrance to the bot. The interiors are decorated with crossbeams of lacquer and gold, and in shallow niches in the walls of paintings of important stupas all over the country. The cloister around the assembly hall houses 52 images of Buddha.
Inside the ordination hall (ubosot) is a Sukhothai-style Buddha statue named Phra Buddhajinaraja, cast in 1920 after the original located in Wat Mahathat in Phitsanulok. The main Buddha image is a copy of Phra Buddha Chinarat that resides in Phitsanulok in northern Thailand. The ashes of King Chulalongkorn are buried beneath the statue. In the gallery surrounding the ordination hall are 52 buddha statues each showing different mudras (signs), collected by Prince Damrong Rajanubhab for his king. The temple was featured in the famous The Amazing Race 9 as the 10th and final elimination pit-stop. The image of the temple's façade is visible on the reverse side of the Five-Baht coin of the Thai currency. The site contains the Benchamabophit National Museum.
Worship and Festivals
Merit makers come to the monks of the temple for getting alms every morning. Between 6-7:30 in the morning, the monks line up on Nakhon Pathom with their bowls to receive donations of curry, rice, lotus buds, incense,toiletries and other essentials. . The evening candlelight procession around the bot during the Buddhist festivals of Magha Puja (in February) and Visakha Puja (in May) are common for this temple.
A new monk is being ordained in the temple
Monks as seen from the outside (photography is not permitted inside the temple)
- Spooner 2011, pp. 103-104
- Norwich 2001, p. 266
- Emmons 2008, p. 58
- Ridout 2009
- Spooner, Andrew; Hana Borrowman; William Baldwin (2011), Footprint Thailand, UK: www.footprintbooks.com, ISBN 978-1-904777-94-6
- Ridout, Lucy; Paul Gray (2009), The Rough Guide to Thailand's Beaches & Islands, India: Rough Guides, ISBN 978-1-84836-091-4
- Norwich, John Julius (2001), Great architecture of the world, USA: De Capo Press Inc., ISBN 0-306-81042-5
- Emmons, Ron (2008), Top 10 Bangkok, New York: DK, ISBN 9780756636494
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