The Marble Temple - The Grand Ordination Hall
A Digital Camera Tour
Thaweesak Koanantakool

Ordination Hall, the Marble Temple
7 April 1996.
Click to view a jumbo picture.
View from the side on a busy day (14 April 1996).

In the first two years, starting BE 2442, the ordination hall was built of wood, thatched roof. It took two years for the design to be completed with the Italian marble delivered at the site. Buddhist ceremonies in this temple were held inside the wooden hall, with the Buddha Figure "Phra Buddha Norasee" as the main buddha figure.

The foundation stone for the permanent "marble hall" was laid by H.M.King Rama V on 22nd August BE 2444 (AD. 1901). The whole construction project was supervised by the master architect Somdet Chaofa Khromphraya Narisaranuwattiwong . The construction did not complete when King Rama V passed away in BE 2453.

King Rama VI continued the project in the sage where the decorative assemblies of the building were attached. Marble pieces were attached to the walls and floor of the ordination hall. The King ordered several mural paintings in the temple. In BE 2489, eight paintings depicting the eight most important shrines (Chedi) in Thailand were started.

The Marble Lion Figures
The great Ordination Hall consists of four facades. The floors are covered with marbles of various colours. The exterior walls are covered with white marbles. Frontal and Posterior columns are made of large marble pieces from Italy.

Roofs of the Ordination Hall consist of five levels. The roof of the Hall is covered with the yellow roof tiles. Behind the hall, three straight-line galleries were constructed to make a quadrangle. These galleries are called Wiharn Kod. The gable frontispieces (Na Bun) show Thai patterns and official symbols in gold colour. In this particular example, the symbol is the Narai on Garuda, one of the royal seals of Thailand. Three other gables show:

Golden colour of the gables with sophisticated patterns and seals, yellow roof, when seen with the completely white colour of the wall of the Hall makes the memorable view to everyone who visits this temple. It is something of perfect architecture. It is a really beautiful place.

When I took these pictures, the morning sun is behind me, as the Ordination Hall is facing east. The glittering reflection from the gables are most impressive. The real golden color is far more exciting than what you see now on your web browser. Viewing through a digital camera, JPEG compression showing thousands of your CRT colors are not a fraction of the real sight. Perhaps I will have to wait a few more years before I can make another home page on this splendid temple when the technology gets better then.

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All photographs were taken using Apple QuickCam 150 in high resolution mode. These digital photographs are best viewed in 16 million colour mode. Severe degradation is noticable if you are viewing these pages on a low-end 256-colour display system.
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