Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Bangkok - Grand Palace Complex and the Emerald Buddha

Awe Inspiring Grandeur

The Grand Palace Complex of Bangkok (Phra Borom Maha Ratcha Wang) was the official residence of the monarchs of Thailand for a century and half. The construction of the Grand Palace was begun by King Rama I, founder of the Chakri dynasty in the the late 18th century and it continued to house the royals till 1932. The Complex is situated on the banks of the river Chao Phraya in the Phra Nakhong district of Bangkok. Apart from  Royal residences and offices the complex also houses the famous Temple of the Emerald Buddha (Wat Phra Kaew). The complex is an example of the awe inspiring grandeur of Indo-Oriental art, sculpture and architecture. The eclecticism of Siamese culture is evident not only in the strong Hindu, Buddhist and Chinese influences in the art and architecture but also in the scores of Ming Chinese idols, Borobudur Buddhas, scenes from the Ramayana and the replica of the Angkor Wat adorning the courtyards of the complex. Most of the temples and some other buildings are open to tourists and no visit to Thailand can be complete without a trip to the Grand Palace Complex.

Grand Palace Complex
Tourists in the courtyard in the Complex

Golden Pagoda

Mythological figures stand guard at one of the numerous shrines.

Another view of the temple guardians...

Frieze at the temple of the Emerald Buddha.

Tiled and decorated roof of the main temple.

A Buddha idol from Borobudur.

One of the several bell towers.

A view of the courtyard

Replica of Angkor Wat in the foreground.

Another pair of 'guards' at one of entrances.

The main entrance of the Mini Angkor Wat.

A smaller shrines which also houses a library.

Another frieze depicting monkey gods and demons holding up the temple.

An exquisite specimen of Indo-Oriental sculpture.

The main temple and sub shrines.

A view of the courtyard.

Ornate frieze in the perambulation gallery of the shrine.

A view of the corner...

The perambulation gallery.

View of the Golden Pagoda from the

The idol of the Emerald Buddha in the sanctum sanctorum

A view of other idols and murals inside the
 sanctum sanctorum.

A mural probably depicting a scene from the Ramayana.

An interpretation of the Grand Palace.

Another interpretation of the Grand Palace.

A view of the courtyard with the Golden Pagoda
in the background.

A live Palace Guard for a change.

A Ming Chinese Idol.

The Royal Quarters, the Buckingham of Bangkok. (Chakri Maha Prasat)

Phra Thinang Dusit Maha Prasat.

A pavillion in middle courtyard of the complex.

Road outside the Grand Palace Complex.

Sunday, 8 July 2012

Bangkok- Chao Phraya River Cruise - May 2011

An evening cruise on the river Chao Phraya is one of the most popular excursions for tourists in Bangkok. The cool evening breeze, live bands, great food, a festive air and the stunning vistas of Bangkok make it a memorable experience, an absolute 'must see'. The cruise is best taken after sunset. The illumination of the major landmarks is breath taking and as I hinted above the weather is very pleasant.

A typical Thai styled cruise boat

A view of the Millennium Hilton, Bangkok. (Extreme Left)

 Cruise boat with the hotel
 Baan Chhao Phraya in the background

Another view of the Millennium Hilton.

Man walking past ornate gateway of floating restaurant.

Holy Rosary Church

A view of the Deck.

Government Building

Memorial near the Rama VIII Bridge

Rama VIII bridge

Wat Arun, temple of the sun.

White Stupa

White Stupa and the Santa Cruz Church

Memorial at Fort Vichai Prasit
A cruise boat with an ethnic Thai look

Wide shot of Wat Kanlyanamit

Wat Rakhang
The Grand Palace and Emerald  Buddha Complex
Fort Vichai Prasit.

Santa Cruz Church

Wat Kanlyanamit from up close

One of the numerous bridges on the river...