Almost Unseen Thonburi III : Mix and Match at Klong Dan 2
Even though the King Rama III's favorite art style was dominant throughout his reign, there is one exception. Wat Nang Ratchaworawihan that located nearby. It is because that temple was renovated by the King's mother. Therefore, the temple was built in traditional Thai style, where the roof has Cho Fa, Bai Raka and Hang Hong.
The buildings in Wat Nang Ratchaworawihan are beautifully aligned. The main ceremonial hall and the vihara are fenced by glass walls. So, it is unable to park a car in the temple, which ruins the scenery of the temple. The highlight of this temple is Phra Prang (pagoda) that is located in between the main ceremonial hall and vihara. The Buddha's relics are kept in Phra Prang. The Chinese warrior statues given by the King Rama III are placed around Phra Prang as they are believed to keep evil spirits away from entering the pagoda.
If your interest is superstitions, you should pay a homage to Luang Poo Iam. He was a monk who has an amazing backstory. In the reign of King Ram V, the King was about to depart for Europe. Luang Poo Iam predicted that the king would be harmed by four legged animals. So, the monk gave the king a scripture of a prayer.
The Power of Luang Poo Iam’s Spell
When the king arrived in France, there were a polo and rodeo competition. The French government invited the king to the event. There was a bucking horse where its four legs were tightly tied. Nobody was able to tame the horse. The French officials asked King Rama V about the horses in Siam and asked the king to tame the bucking horse.
The king thought of the prediction of Lung Poo Iam. His Majesty picked up a grass and cast the spell on it. Then, the king fed the grass to the horse. In all of sudden, the horse became tame and let the king ride on its back. His majesty rode the horse around the stadium while the French roared "Bravo. Bravo." thunderously.
The prayer Luang Poo Iam gave to the king was named Iti Piso Ruen Tia or the Buddha's Crown Spell.
Wat Nang Nong, a Place for Gossiping for Bangkokians.
A trip to Klong Dan cannot be completed without going to Wat Nang Nong. Going back to Wutthakat Road, you will see a temple built in the King Rama III's favorite style. This is an over 200-year old temple. It is where Budhha Maha Chakkapat stautue is located. It is one of the most beautiful principle Buddha statues in Thailand.
The King Rama III took the crown from the Buddha statue and put it on top of Phra Prang Wat Arun (the main pagoda of Wat Arun). The new crown was made to replace the former one. This action was rumored throughout Bangkok that King Rama III would like Prince Mongkut to succeed his throne. But why?
According to the Palace Law of Succession, the succession would be based upon the maternal pedigree. After the death of King Rama II, the noble men in the palace asked Prince Chetsadabodin to succeed the throne. Prince Chetsadabodin was the oldest son of Lady Riam, the royal consort of the king. The prince was not the son of the queen, but at that time Prince Mongkut, the queen's son was unable to become the king as he had been a monk. Therefore, the coronation of King Rama III was not done according to the tradition. King Rama III did not have the queen and did not appoint a crown prince during his reign.
Taking the crown from Wat Nang Nong to the top of the pagoda in Wat Arun implicitly meant that the king would like Prince Mongkut, his half-brother to be the next king. This issue was a big rumor at that time. The rumor turned out to be true as Prince Mongkut succeeded the throne of King Rama III after his death.
The main ceremonial hall of Wat Nang Nong opens on Monday to Friday from 8 am to 9 am and 5 pm to 6 pm. But on the weekend, it will open throughout the day from 8 am to 6 pm.