BIRTH­DAY of a BANGKOK spir­i­tual land­mark

The Nation - - PHOTO FEATURE - Prasert Thep­sri, Anant Chan­tara­soot Pho­tos and story by

WAT PHO, or Tem­ple of the Re­clin­ing Bud­dha, is mark­ing its 230th an­niver­sary with 11 days of cel­e­bra­tions, which kicked off on Novem­ber 1.

Peo­ple are in­vited to step into the tem­ple’s com­pound to savour its rich his­tory and wit­ness lots of spe­cial events, in­clud­ing cul­tural and mu­si­cal per­for­mances as well as tra­di­tional games that were played in palaces over two cen­turies ago. Vis­i­tors are also en­cour­aged to wear tra­di­tional cos­tumes and join in the spirit of the event.

Built by King Rama I, who founded the Chakri Dy­nasty and in­stalled Bangkok as the cap­i­tal, Wat Pho was also Thai­land’s first uni­ver­sity. Orig­i­nally named Wat Phra Chetuphon Vi­mol­mangk­lararm Ra­jwarama­hav­i­harn, the tem­ple was given “Mem­ory of the World” sta­tus by Un­esco in 2008.

This year, Wat Pho was ranked as the world’s 17th most pop­u­lar at­trac­tion.

Items from the Bangkok Art

Bi­en­nale will be ex­hib­ited at the tem­ple un­til Fe­bru­ary.

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