The City Pillar Shrine in Bangkok

A city pillar had to be built upon the establishment of a new city. King Rama I had the Bangkok city pillar erected near the Temple of the Emerald Buddha. On Sunday, 21 April, 1782 with the city horoscope inside and the original pillar was made of cassia wood known as Chaiyaphruek, measuring 75 centimeter in diameter and 27 cm. high. In the reign of King Rama IV, the old dilapidated pillar was replaced by a new one made of the same kind of wood with measuring about 270 centimeter high and standing on a base of 175 centimeter wide sheltered by a Prang-shaped shrine as it appears today.

The shrine also houses images of protective deities including Thepharak, Chaopho Ho Klong, Phra Suea Mueang, Phra Song Mueang, Chaopho Chetakhup and Phra Kan Chai Si.Right opposite the northeastern corner of the Grand Palace complex finds the sacred Bangkok City Pillar Shrine.

According to the ancient Siamese (Thai) belief, a city pillar needs to be installed upon the establishment of a new city to symbolize the stability of power. King Rama I of the current Chakri Dynasty erected the first city pillar on Sunday, April 21, 1782 at 6.54 am, when he moved the capital city across Chao Phraya River from Thonburi to Bangkok. The pillar was made of cassia wood (known as Chaiyapruek in Thai) gilded with gold leaves, measuring 29cm in diameter and 187 inches in height. Inside the city pillar theres a space to store Bangkoks horoscope. The City Pillar Shrine then was the very first building King Rama I had built for Bangkok, prior to the Grand Palace. During the reign of King Rama IV (King Mongkut), he demanded a raise of the new city pillar to replace the old one, which was dilapidated.

The new city pillar was made of teak and cassia woods gilded with gold leaves, measuring 70 inches in diameter and 107 inches in height. Both pillars are now sheltered in prang-shaped shrine, which was built at the same time with the second city pillar together with sacred images.

Address: Lak Mueang Road Phra Nakhon, Bangkok

Open Hours: Everyday from 5:30 – 19:30

Categories: Asia, Travel

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