Wat Rakhang Khositaram
(Temple of the Bells), Bangkok
Wat Rakhang Khositaram, formerly known as Wat Bang Wa Yai, is an Ayutthaya period temple. During the Thon Buri period, the temple was reconstructed and upgraded as a royal temple by King Taksin the Great who ordered the construction of a palace in the area. The temple then became the residence of the Supreme Patriarch. Later in the reign of King Rama I the Great, a bell was discovered at Wat Bang Wa Yai. This bell was moved to Wat Phra Kaeo and five replacement bells were then built. The temple was named “Wat Rakhang Khositaram or Temple of the Bells” because of this discovery.
Wat Rakhang Khositaram was a residence of Somdet Phra Phutthachan (To Phromrangsi) who was the Supreme Patriarch in the reign of King Rama IV. He was very highly respected and had a comprehensive knowledge of Pali and Buddhist teachings as can be seen in his composition of the Phra Khatha Chinabanchon (Jinapanjara) liturgy widely chanted among Thai Buddhists. There is a belief that worshiping at Wat Rakhang will result in the worshipers becoming popular and have an ever-growing reputation just like the far-reaching sound of ringing bells. The true concept behind this is that one should concentrate on learning and practice in order to earn fame and to achieve sustainable success. Unlike the sound of ringing bells that will gradually die away, the knowledge and the virtue will prevail.
The Tripitaka Tower or the scripture depository that houses the sacred Tripitaka scriptures is a lavishly decorated building that was once used as a residence and an ordination hall of King Rama I the Great while he was holding his official post in the Than Buri period. The external walls of the building are painted red. Inside the wall are murals by the artist Achan Nak depicting the daily life of people in the period. The carved door panels of the building are beautifully decorated with gilded black lacquer. The Ubosot or the main hall also houses the presiding Buddha image referred to by King Rama V the Great as “Phra Prathan Yim Rap Fa”.
How to get there
Wat Rakhang Khositaram is located on Arun Arnarin Road, Sirirat Sub-district, Bangkok Noi District, Bangkok. Take bus no. 19. 57 or ferries to the Tha Rot Fai Pier, Wang Lang Pier or hop off at the Tha Chang Pier then take a ferry to cross the river to the Wat Rakhang Pier. For further details, please contact Tel. 0 2418 1079, 08 2777 8537 or at “www.watrakang.com”