The tall Phra Prang, adorned with pieces of terracotta and porcelain, stands out on the bank of Chao Phraya River in the neighborhood of Bangkok Yai in Thonburi area. It seems to represent the image of Bangkok that everyone will recommend you to be there once if you travel in Thailand. This Phra Prang is the main pagoda of the most important temple with historical significance that involves King Taksin as well as being associated with Chakri Dynasty.
This main pagoda is Phra Prang of Wat Arun Ratchawararam, also known as Wat Chaeng (The temple of dawn). The reason behind the name of this temple had been since Thonburi era. The temple was where King Taksin brought his troops to land at the pier at dawn. Then, he went to worship the Buddha relics that was enshrined in the pagoda and named this temple as Wat Chaeng.
However, in regard to the origin of the temple’s name, the present scholars offer different assumptions. As it turns out, the name “Wat Chaeng” may have been used since Ayutthaya period. This evidence is shown in the folk poem of M.C. Pimsen which was composed during Ayutthaya period. Nevertheless, some said that the name “Wat Chaeng” may possibly come from the Chinese word of “Zheng”. Phra Prang, the main center piece of the temple, was built during the reign of King Rama II and was completed in the reign of King Rama III. According to the construction record, it was built by covering the original pagoda which was existed since Ayutthaya period. After completion, King Rama III had a lot of faith that he took off the top of the crown to pay homage to Phra Prang as revealed in the chronicles of both King Rama II and King Rama III.
The pattern and diagram of Phra Prang also clearly reflect the idea of Triphum (The Three Worlds of earth, heaven and hell). The main Phra Prang is like Sumeru Mountain and the surrounding four Prangs are the four continents that were resided by the four direction guardians. And, this story is apparently specified in the Triphum scripture.
Therefore, both the style and beliefs of Phra Prang express the long-standing knowledge of fine arts and culture in Thailand from Ayutthaya period to Rattanakosin era. Phra Prang is a symbol that indicates the historical artistic and cultural prosperity. Other interesting aspects of Phra Prang are also visible such as the sculptures at the base of Phra Prang which include the Giant and Monkey images in carrying Phra Prang position and Kinnaree (half-bird half-woman), rare to find from other Prangs. The charming beauty of this grandeur appears to all visitors. As a result, Wat Arun Ratchawararam is the place where any foreign tourists have to visit once in a lifetime.
Despite at site visit to see the beauty of Phra Prang can give you satisfaction, the elegance of panoramic view will give you breathtaking scenery. Taking a cruise to see Phra Prang is another option to enjoy the grandeur of this Thai architectural heritage. You can appreciate Phra Prang at night along with cool breeze and great food. What a wonderful moment!
In our SongFangKlong cruising route, Wat Arun Ratchawararam is one of the highlight landmarks. Certainly, you don’t want to miss the experience of enjoying the extraordinary Bangkok view with this outstanding and ancient Prang as the most important symbol of Thai art and culture. Not to mention, it is the landmark that everyone anticipates to see when passing by. Say no more, just making reservation, then, prepare yourself to enjoy the view of Phra Prang Wat Arun at 081-893-5552 or Line @sfkcruise.