Grand Visit to the Grand Palace (Part 4): The Seat of the Chakris

My day within the walls of the Grand Palace is nearing its end now that I saw the Emerald Buddha in its royal temple. I finished viewing every part of the Ramakien murals before I proceeded to the last spot of my tour, which is the so-called “Seat of the Chakris”

Grand Palace of Bangkok
Phra Thinang Chakri Maha Prasat which means “The Seat of the Chakri”

An unfortunate event occurred before I left the ground of the Temple of the Emerald Buddha. My Lumix camera accidentally hit the railings fronting the murals. The result is the lifeless low resolution photos of the Grand Palace. Aside from that, a noticeable dot appeared in the photos which may be dead pixels (which were possible by the impact).

I was so disappointed with what happened that it soured the last leg of my Grand Palace tour.

Grand Palace of Bangkok

The “Seat of Chakri” was so called because it is considered the official house of the Chakri Dynasty, which is the royal house of Thailand. The founder of this dynasty is King Rama I who replaced King Taksin and ended the Thonburi Period in Thailand history. The new king then moved the capital from the Thonburi (on the west side of Chao Phraya River) to the current location of the Grand Palace on the east side.

Grand Palace of Bangkok

The “Seat of Chakri” is the Throne Hall built during the reign of King Rama V (the famous Chulalongkorn) with help of two Englishmen: John Clunich and Henry Rose. Construction began in 1876 and ended in 1882, which is just in time for the centenary of the Chakri Dynasty.

Grand Palace of Bangkok - Thai roof design

I believe that the Throne Hall actually mirrors the Chulalongkorn’s way of thinking. The king is known for injecting Western ideas in governance, military, and economy to keep Thailand free from being colonized. The Throne Hall, with the lower structure in Western architectural style and the roof in Thai style, presents a Thailand that can adapt to changes without sacrificing its traditions.

Looking up the Bangkok Grand Palace

Only the front halls of Throne Hall are open to tourists. They served as mini-museums of old weapons used by the Siamese armies. Sadly, taking photos inside the museum was prohibited so I had nothing to show you.

Other parts of the palace were off limits. I wished to enter those forbidden places and they placed this guard to keep pesky tourists out.

Guard of Bangkok Grand Palace

I bet that I can outrun that guard. If I did it then I will be in a sort of a Temple Run situation.

Taking photos with the guard of Bangkok Grand Palace

Well, at least, taking photo with the palace guard is allowed (as long as you don’t pinch or tickle him).

Chulalongkorn’s Throne Hall is just one of the throne halls in the Grand Palace complex. To its left is the Phra Thinang Amarin Winitchai. This throne hall is used by the King for official ceremonies and when receiving foreign delegates.

Phra Thinang Amarin Winitchai in Bangkok Grand Palace

I didn’t enter this throne hall since it was closed to tourists.

Gate to Maha Prasat in Bangkok Grand Palace

The last throne hall I visited is the contrast of  “The Seat of Chakri” in architectural style. This throne hall is the Phra Thinang Dusit Maha Prasat.

Phra Thinang Dusit Maha Prasat in Bangkok Grand Palace

Phra Thinang Dusit Maha Prasat is followed the ideal Thai architectural style. Each part of this throne hall is imbued with symbolism. The most noticeable part of the Maha Prasat is the tall spire at the center that represents Mount Meru (the center of Hindu and Buddhist universe).

Maha Prasat is amazing in its way but I just took a few shots and then left the palace grounds. I guess I already have an overload in seeing Thai architecture for the day. Aside from the unfortunate event with the camera, I also felt sad because I was touring the Grand Palace alone. I envied my fellow tourists who are with their families and friends. I really missed My Beloved and wished that she was with me.

Despite all the melodramatic emotions that I spewed here, I can still say that I enjoyed my visit to the Grand Palace. I’m glad that I didn’t miss it because missing the Grand Palace means missing the soul of Thailand.

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Read more of my posts about my great Grand Palace tour:

1. Grand Visit to the Grand Palace (Part 1): From the River to the Palace Gate
2. Grand Visit to the Grand Palace (Part 2): A Quick Peek at the Emerald Buddha
3. Grand Visit to the Grand Palace (Part 3): Ramakien on the Grand Palace Walls

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Majority of historical info in this post was sourced from these Wikipedia page: Grand Palace.
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2 comments:

  1. I was there. I wished I had known about all the beautiful churches you blogged about then - these palaces and temples, so many all over...not all that special in the end. You've seen one, you've more or less seen them all.

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    Replies
    1. You are correct. Seeing one temple is enough. That's why I didn't visit the Temple of the Reclining Buddha because I already visited the Temple of the Emerald Buddha. I am no Buddhist so I guess I am not that incline to visit Buddhist temples.

      Maybe you can return to Thailand in the future. Just visit those churches once you return to Thailand.

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