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  King Mongkut Memorial Park

 

Thailand

 

 

The King Mongkut Memorial Park in Phetchaburi is dedicated to King Rama IV, whose monument is erected at the northern end of Sanam Luang (fig.), depicting him in royal attire and wearing the Crown of Victory (fig.). Before ascending the throne in 1851, this monarch lived for 27 years as a Buddhist monk during which time he became erudite in several western sciences, including astronomy (fig.).

 

  King Mongkut Memorial Park

 

  King Mongkut Memorial Park

 

One of the well-known accomplishments of this scholarly monarch was his accurate prediction of a solar eclipse in 1868 (fig.). The park's design has been arranged to celebrate this achievement and hence features a zodiac court, and flanking the royal statue to the east is a sun pavilion, seen in the picture to the below, while to the west is a moon pavilion, seen in this picture to the left (fig.).

 

There is also a solar eclipse yard with two barrel-shaped displays, one put up on a platform and representing the sun, set in a red frame, i.e. the colour for Sunday in the sih prajam wan system, the other in a pond and symbolizing the moon, with a yellow frame, i.e. the colour for Monday. The latter has the depiction of a rabbit, referring to the rabbit on the moon (fig.), and a rajarot (fig.) pulled by a horse, i.e. the mount of the moon god Phra Jan (fig.).

 

  King Mongkut Memorial Park

 

  King Mongkut Memorial Park

 

The sun barrel has the depiction of a chariot pulled by a mythological lion called singh (fig.), representing the vehicle of the sun god Phra Ahtit. The latter display has a border in the form of a chakra (fig.), which is a symbol of fire (fig.). Both chariots have a busabok (fig.), one with a flaming pearl, representing the sun, the other with a disc that stands for the moon. Both draught animals are headed to each other ready to bring about the solar eclips.

 

The busabok pavilion on each of the chariots is flanked by multi-layered royal umbrellas called chattra (fig.) and surrounded by some flame-patterned kranok motifs (fig.), which is reminiscent of the royal emblem of this monarch (fig.).

See also TRAVEL PICTURES (1) and (2), PANORAMA PICTURE (1) and (2), as well as POSTAGE STAMP.

1306'46.6"N 9956'21.7"E

 

  King Mongkut Memorial Park

 

 

 

  King Mongkut Memorial Park