Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Asia 2015 Holiday

Kevin and I have left today to begin our Asia 2015 holiday which I feel will be a pilgrimage of large contrasts. Sacred sites and personal messages. Leading up to our holiday I had noticed that this year had started for me as a year of a lot happening and having the familiar feelings of pressure and not enough time, however I then noticed that there has been more than enough time for all that has needed to be done with ease and with days of grace to spare. So I am very conscious at the start of this year that it has a message of “There is enough for all” this relates to time as well as to money and belongings, to all there is in life.

We started our holiday on Saturday driving to Stuarts and having dinner with him. The next morning we rose early and Stuart kindly drove us to the airport to see us off. Below are the first sights of Thailand as we descend.

As we started our 1st day of the sights of Bangkok I paid respect to our hotel’s shrine


We walked from the hotel to the Grand Palace and these were the sights along with way.

Here is Thokkathan – Mother Earth Squeezing Her Hair – she was built by the Queen in 1917 so the people could have access to clean drinking water.

Bangkok City Pillar Shrine

Entrance to the Grand Palace. The complex was established in 1782 and it consists of not only the royal residence and throne halls, but also a number of government offices as well as the renowned Temple of the Emerald Buddha. It covers an area of 218,000 square metres and is surrounded by four walls, 1900 metres in length. 

The reliquary in the shape of a golden chedi, Phra Sri Ratana Chedi, a repository of ashes of the royals.

Made of millions of little hand cut tiles of Italy.

Phra Mondop

The Temple of the Emerald Buddha, where the Emerald Buddha is enshrined ona golden traditional thia style throne, made of gilded carved wood known as a Busbok. The sacred Buddha is clad with one of three seasonal costumes, one summer, rainy season and winter. The Emerald Buddha is carved from a block of green jade and was first discovered in 1434 in a Stupa in Chaing Rai, at this time it was covered with plaster and was thought to be an ordinary Buddha image, later however the Abbot who found the image noticed the plaster on the nose had flaked off revealing the green stone underneath. A rather small dark statue, just over 2 feet tall.

The grounds of the Royal Monastery are encompassed by galleries, with scenes from the Ramakien. 

A model of Angkor Wat in Cambodia.

Statue of Goddess Kun Iam – Kaun Yin

Barom Piman Hall

Entering the Palace Grounds

We then left the Grand Palace and went to the Temple of th e Reclining Buddah – Wat Phra Chetuphon Wimonmangkalaram or Wat Pho next door. The largest and oldest wat in Bangkok and is home to more than 1,000 Buddha images, more than any other temple in the country.A first grade monastery and temple dating from the first reign of the royal house of Chakri. Built in the 16th century and regarded as the royal temple of the reign of King Rama I. Wat Pho is also regarded as the country’s first public university as when King Rama III ordered a restoration of the temple, he demanded a revision of lost sciences, segmented into eight categories and engraved them onto several stone inscriptions (later been registered the UNESCO Memory of the World since 2008) so people were free to read and learn—and Thai massage was one of eight the categories. During the Rama III restoration plaques inscribed with medical texts were placed around the temple, while in 1962 a school for traditional medicine and massage was established.

The Wat Pho complex consists of two walled compounds, bisected north-south by Sanamchai Road running east-west. The northern walled compound is where the reclining Buddha and massage school are found. The southern walled compound, Tukgawee, is a working Buddhist monastery with monks in residence and a school. The Reclining Buddha is 46 meters long and 15 meters high was built in 1832. His body is covered in gold plating and he is decorated with mother-of-pearl inlay on his eyes and the soles of his feet. The bottoms of the Buddha's feet are intricately decorated with 108 auspicious scenes in Chinese and Indian styles.

Along the back wall is a row of metal pots, where you can drop coins one at a time for good luck and prosperity which we did.

Phra Buddha Palilai with the elephant respectfully offering the water jug, and a monkey with a honeycomb over it’s head.

The Colonnades, is a double structure that runs around Phra Ubosot in the four cardinal directions and houses the major Buddha images. The inner colonnade contains 150 Buddha images, and the outer 244 images. They are all cast in bronze.

Phra Buddha Lokanat, once damaged the King had the image repaired and adorned with holy relics, the stance is the attitude of Phra Harm Phra Kean Chan (Forbidding the Sandalwood Image).

Phra Buddha Maravichai, the image of the Buddha attaining enlightenment under the Bodhi Tree.

Phra Buddha Theva Patimakorn meaning the Buddha built by heavenly beings, in the posture of concentration. This Buddha resides in Phra Ubosot.

Phra Buddha Chinnaraj in the act of giving the first sermen. This teaching marked the act of the turning of the Wheel of Dhamma. In the serman he preached the middle path to reach “Nirvana”, he also taught the Four Noble Truths and Eightfold Path. 

Phra Buddha Chinnasri is the seated Buddha protected by the seven naga. A naga named Muchalinda saw Lord Buddhe seated in mediation, and wound his body around the seated Buddha forming seven protective walls around him, and fully expanded his hood above the Lord’s head.

The chedi’s covered in the porcelain carved pieces forming flowers etc.

The sacred Giant Boa Tree.

The chinese stone dolls, which were used as ship ballast in days of old, are an added point of interest at Wat Pho. They decorate the door porches, and are carved from stone and modelled clay. 

After viewing the temple we went to have dinner on the riverfront watching the sun set over the temples on the other side of the river which we will be visiting tomorrow.

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