The Wat Pho or the official name the Wat Phra Chetuphon Wimon Mangalaram is situated on the right bank of the Chao Phraya River. It is located on the south of the Grand Palace. It is one of the old temples in the Rattanakosin Island. It was an old temple before Bangkok establishment. It was rebuilt in 1788, the reign of King Rama I, and was completed in 1801. It was renamed to the Wat Phra Chetuphon Wimon Mangalaram 12 years later. This name was referenced to the Vihara of Jetawan. It became a main temple of the King Rama I.
When talk to the Wat Pho, someone who has visited Bangkok may think of the Reclining Buddha. Because it has known as a Temple of the Reclining Buddha. While the another one may think of the Big Stupas. Because there are the big four Chedis of the King Rama I – King Rama IV near the Viharn of the Reclining Buddha. These 2 first things you have to see when you enter to the Wat Pho.
The Tha Tian entrance gate, it is on the feet side of the Reclining Buddha.
The Chinese Giant Guardians, the Tha Tian entrance gate. There are a couple statutes of the Chinese Giant Guardians stand at the gates around the Wat Pho.
The Reclining Buddha, the height is 15 meters and 46 meters long. It is one of the largest Buddha statues in Thailand.
The Wat Pho Directory
The Western Giant Guardians in front of the Viharn of the Reclining Buddha, it is a gate to the inner of the temple complex.
The big four chedis, from the left to the right, Phra Maha Chedi Dilok Dhamakaloke Nitarn (Rama II), Phra Maha Chedi Sri Sanpetdayan (Rama I), Phra Maha Chedi Munibat Borikhan (Rama III), Phra Maha Chedi in the mold of Phra Sri Suriyothai (Rama IV)
The plan of the four chedis
The big four Chedis, they were built to keep the relics of the King Rama I – King Rama IV. They are situated on the right of the Viharn of the Reclining Buddha.
Some Buddha Images are situated around the corridor of the big four chedis.
The Mondop was located behind the big four chedis.
There are many chedis around the Wat Pho. In this pic, the big four chedis are on the back.
Yup, who thinks of the first medical university and the Thai Traditional Massage in this temple complex! You probably know that it is but if you wander in the Wat Pho you will pass the first Thai Medical Textbook Pavilion without paying attention to it like me. In spite of the Thai Traditional Massage at the Wat Pho is the most famous. Why? Because some stunning chedis, buildings, Buddha Images made you ignore to pay attention to the hermits yoga postures statutes and the Thai Traditional Massage.
There is a small pavilions in front of the wall which partitions them from the large four stupas and the Viharn of the Reclining Buddha. I have always walked this way to the main Ubosot. But I have never noticed these two pavilions before.
The gate in front of the Viharn of the Reclining Buddha
A pavilion next to the gate which enter from the Viharn of the Reclining Buddha. It is located in front of the big four chedis.
Last month I have visited the Wat Pho as usual. It was a fine late afternoon. There was a little cloud So I wandered to look around the area of temple complex after worshiped the Phra Buddha Theva Patimakorn in the Phra Ubosot.
The Phra Buddha Dheva Patimakorn in the Phra Ubosot
I walked through out the inner corridor of the Phra Ubosot and exited the south gate of the Phra Ubosot. There is a tree and a little artificial hill. I just noticed that there are many statues of hermits to be stretching yoga posture. I have always wandered this area but I have never noticed it because there are many statutes in this temple complex. You have seen a couple of Giant Guardians Statues since you walk in this temple There are many statues all around the temple complex. The most of them were imported from China. They were weighted for the barged from China to Siam. Those statues from China were decorated in many temples. The colorful ceramics which decorated on the chedis were also been the wares from China.
The weight statutes on the barges from China to Siam
The statues of hermits were been stretching yoga posture.
These statutes of hermits yoga postures were reminded me that I should pay attention to the first center of public education in Thailand and the marble inscriptions which illustrated for the public instructions. It was announced by the UNESCO to be the Memory of the World Program.
So I took photographs of them all. I walked to take a seat in front of the gate between the Viharn of the Reclining Buddha and I saw just saw the hermits yoga postures here at a small artificial falls. I wonder why I have never noticed them before. I took photographs of them by the way.
The statutes of the hermits yoga postures were sculpted in the reign of the King Rama III in 1836 by the Prince Duangchak, the son of the King Rama I. There were 80 postures of hermits yoga statues and they were described the useful of those postures by the 80 poems by the scholars. The six of 80 poems were composed by the King Rama III. Those all 80 poems were named of 80 hermits yogis. They were described how to stretch and the useful of stretching each postures. Besides these, there were drawn the posture and recorded the poems in the black note. As time goes by, they were lost and stolen until now we can see the only residual hermits’ statues at the Khao Mo, the artificial hill on the south of the temple complex, and the artificial falls in front of the gate of the Viharn of the Reclining Buddha.
Here we try to stretch like them. Enjoy and relax everyone!
The 16 statues of hermits to be stretching yoga posture at the Khao Mo, in front of the south gate of the Wat Pho.
The 8 statues of hermits to be stretching yoga posture at the artificial falls, in front of the Viharn of the Reclining Buddha.
The 2 statues of hermits to be stretching yoga posture at the artificial falls, in front of the Thai Traditional Massage School.
When I got a plan to write to the Wat Pho I just realized that I have never seen a pavilion of the first the Thai Medical University and the Thai Massage Service Pavilions before. So I came back to the Wat Pho again after I got a writing plan about it. I have visited the Wat Pho four times in June just looked for the the original Thai Massage reveals.
The Wat Pho was considered the first public university of Thailand. It is a school of religion, science, literature, murals, sculptures. Besides these, it was a school of traditional medicine and massage. It was established as a school in 1955. Nowadays it is a school of alternative medical. There are four courses, Thai pharmacy, Thai medical practice, Thai midwifery, Thai massage. It is approved by the Ministry. The school is on the east of the temple complex. It is on the on the edge of Maha Chai Road. There are two pavilions which use to be the classrooms of practicing Thai Traditional Massage and Herbal Massage. The visitors can receive massage treatment here for a fee. There are the foreigners from 135 countries take the Thai Traditional Massage Course from the Wat Pho.
The Thai Traditional Massage School
The gate on the Sanam Chai Road is located between the two pavilions of the Thai Traditional Massage School.
The Thai Traditional Massage School
There is a pavilion which reveals the medical inscriptions and illustrations on the wall, the marble pieces, around the beams. It is situated on the right of the gate in front of the big four stupas and the Viharn of the Reclining Buddha. On the other hand these medical reveals were an origin of the first Thai Medical Textbook. They serve as instructions for Thai Massage Therapists. There are 60 inscribed plaques. The 30 paints of then was revealed front and back of human bodies. They show pressure points which use in Thai Traditional Massage. These therapeutic points and energy pathways known as “Sen” in Thai, are engraved on the human figures. There are the explanations given on the walls next to the plaques. They are based on the principle of energy flow similar to the Chinese Acupuncture Point. They represent the relationships between anatomical locations and effects produced by massage treatment at those locations, but full research on the diagrams has yet to be completed.
The first Thai Medical Textbook Pavilion
Here we learn the first Thai Medical Textbook together from my photos.
These medical textbooks were painted on the wall of the two pavilions in front of the corridor of the four big chedis.
These marble inscription were decorated on the bars under the roof in the pavilion next to the gate which enter from the Viharn of the Reclining Buddha.
Hope you enjoy stretching yoga posture like those hermits. Healthy and wellness!!!
The Map of Rattanakosin Island, Bangkok, Thailand
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