The Chapel Royal of the Emerald Buddha

Anne standing on the steps to the
Chapel Royal of the Emerald Buddha

The Chapel
The Chapel Royal of the Emerald Buddha houses a beautiful statue of Buddha that is the object of national veneration. While it is made of jade and not emeralds, the statue attracts huge crowds who come to pay their respects to the memory of Buddha and His Teachings on those days of the week it is open. The main building consists of all the features of a monastery except living quarters. Monks do not live within the chapel as they do in others. The Emerald Buddha was first discovered in 1464 and brought to Lampan where it remained until King Tilok of Lannatai brought it to Chienmai, the ancient capital. Power eventually passed to King Jayajettha of Luan Praban, whose mother was a Chienmai Princess, and he took the statue with him back to Luan Praban. King Jayajettha moved the capital to Wiencand and took the Emerald Buddha with him. It remained there until the King of Dhonburi sent an expedition to Wiencand which brought the effigy back with them. When King Rama I built the city of Bangkok and the chapel royal and grand palace the Emerald Buddha was installed in the chapel. There is only one other effigy that the Thai people hold with as much veneration as the Emerald Buddha. That is the Sambuddhabarni Buddha cast by King Monkut, Rama IV.
The building contains murals depicting the life of Buddha, a painted middle-aged conception of the universe, birth stories and nursery rhymes. Some of the door panels contain beautiful inlaid work in mother-of-pearl.

Elaborately decorated wall of the
Chapel Royal of the Emerald Buddha

Mystical figures adorning the Chapel Royal of
the Emerald Buddha
The Chapel Royal of the Emerald Buddha is, perhaps, the most beautiful of the buildings at the Grand Palace. It is so elaborately decorated on its outside walls with hundreds, if not thousands, of small golden statues of mystical figures. Pictures inside the chapel are not allowed, but the real beauty (besides the statue of Buddha) is outside.
Two examples of the elaborate decorations found on the outside of some
of the buildings at the Grand Palace
Now, let's continue to the next page for pictures of the Dusit Group of buildings at the Grand Palace ...
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