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Phra Vihara of the Reclining Buddha



Phra Vihara of the Reclining Buddha

Phra Vihara of the Reclining Buddha (the assembly hall) lies on the Northwest within the monastic area of Wat Phra Chetuphon Vimonmangkhlararm, or Wat Pho. In his poem on the construction of Wat Pho, the royal poet, Prince Monk Paramanuchitchinorot described Phra Vihara of the Reclining Buddha as a major hall, built on an extension to the North as a brick and stucco building, 60.75x22.60 meters in length, elaborately built over the Reclining Buddha.

Mural Paintings in Phra Vihara of Phra Buddhasaiyas

At the northern wall of Phra Vihara (the assembly hall) of Phra Buddhasaiyas or the Reclining Buddha, there is a piece of empty stone in a frame decorated with beautiful designs. According to a hypothesis, it might be prepared for recording the history of the construction of Phra Vihara. Anyway, it has been blank until now. Wat Phra Chetuphon or the Temple of the Reclining Buddha had a major restoration during the reign of King Rama III. However, we have not yet known the muralists.

The painting spaces had been separated into various niches in relating to Thai traditional mural style and several mural tales written during the reign of King Rama III had been aimed at providing knowledge to the people. The mural paintings were as the following:

1. The murals, located on the interior wall, illustrate the tales of Etadagga (foremost; the best of that class or type) in Buddhism relating to the most distinguished disciples, 10 Upasaka (male lay devotees) and Upasika (female lay devotees).

2. The murals, located above the doors and the windows, illustrate the story of mahavong, which was the history of Buddhism and the Singhalese King in Ceylon (Sri Lanka)

3. The murals, located on Kho Song (the secondary beam placed below the main roof beam), illustrate the heaven at Tavatimsa (name of the second heavenly abode, of which Sakka is the King) and the battle between Thevada (heavenly beings) and Asura (demons).

4. The murals, located on the outside doors, illustrate Thai ancient weapons decorated with lai rod nam designs (the lacquer work), while the murals, located on the inside doors, illustrate Phraya Nakaraj decorated with lai rod nam designs on the red color.

5. The murals, located on the outside windows, illustrate Thai ancient weapons decorated with lai rod nam designs, while the ones located on the inside windows, illustrate laid ok puttan karn yang designs.

6. The murals, located above and below the outside door panels and the outside window panels, illustrate several tales; that is: the Stars of zodiac of the solar system, the Ramakain, Phra Suthon – Manorah, and etc.