“Thailand’s Ancient Murals”, at the Grand Palace, in Bangkok, Thailand

by on August 28th, 2014
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After three trips to Thailand, I finally saw the Grand Palace. Walking through the gate, I was suddenly amazed by the grandeur, the glistening golden touches, and the enormous MEGA-sculptures. This dazzling display of splendor was overwhelming! There are many palaces in other countries but none to rival the Grand Palace.

The Grand Palace’s royal complex is composed of many buildings each beckoning visitors with its own ancient wonders. Walking through the middle of the sacred inner precinct, in the northeast section of the Grand Palace complex, you cannot miss the two bigger-than-life-sized demon figures guarding the Wat Phra Kaew (Temple of the Emerald Buddha).

Adjoining the gate of the Temple of the Emerald Buddha complex, the Phra Rabiang (The Gallery) houses beautiful ancient murals which compose the entire Ramkian “Glory of Rama” epic. Although the “Glory of Rama” was originally a Hindu Ramayana epic, the Thai version was modified to depict the clothes, weapons and other personalized items of the Thai culture.

These murals were striking in their details with vivid combinations of colors and exciting subjects. The scenes came alive with gods, demons, mythical beasts and humans in settings which resembled fortified royal villages.

There are 179 extraordinary murals with 4,984 verses which tell the stories of the myths and legends, of the triumphs of good versus evil. Many of the Ramkian’s stories have been transcribed into scripts for puppet shows and used in their shadow theater.

Bangkok offers so much for the tourist. I feel this is a great opportunity to see the Grand Palace, to discover the world of ancient Thailand. The Grand Palace, located along the Chao Phraya River (The River of Kings), is open daily except on auspicious occasions. Be sure to check the dress code before going there. www.tourismthailand.org/la

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