HOME / Name

News and Events

Wat Pho, Obama's first stop [18.11.2012]

The temple of Reclining Buddha, formally known as Wat Pho, was the first stop on President Barack Obama’s Asian tour in 2013. Obama arrived at the temple, one of Bangkok’s most famous tourist sites, straight from the airport after landing in Bangkok on Sunday November 18, 2013. Followed by visit to see the king and the Thai Prime minister.

Observing traditional custom, Obama took off his shoes as a saffron-robed monk led him and Secretary of State Hilary Clinton inside the Vihara of Reclining Buddha and through the 18 Century temple’s stone paved compound of multi-colored spires and chapels with hundreds of gilded Buddha images.  

Why Wat Pho?

Right next to the equally famous Grand Palace, Wat Pho’s main attraction is the reclining Buddha statue. The sole 46-meter-long statue’s feet are inlaid with mother-of-pearl depicting of 108 auspicious sign of the Buddha, while the statue itself is covered in gold leaf. Wat Pho is also home to a highly respected massage school, where Thai masseuse has trained since 1955. Visitors can drop in for a full traditional Thai massage or enroll in short or long-term courses. Unfortunately, neither Obama nor Clinton received a rubdown.

Clinton asked the monk why there was a Reclining Buddha Statue and she was told that it was a symbol of peace and success. The monk confirmed her believes and told Obama that if he would to be re-elected for the third term, he would win the election because he has paid homage to the reclining Buddha. Obama said he did not want to be re-elected for another term, as he want to take care of his family and pointed to Mrs. Clinton and said she would be the next president. All burst out in laughter.

After that both were introduced to the 96-year-old abbot of the temple, Phra Thammapanyabodi. Obama smile when he was told that he would live longer than 100 years because he had a chance to “wai”, a traditional way for Thai people to greet each other, a senior man with extra longevity like the abbot. The US president smiled even broader when the assistant abbot told him that he was like Bodhisattva as he was not just President of The United State but to the whole world.

Obama noted that he was interested in Buddhism and asked the assistant abbot why he had ordained to be a monk. The monk told The President it was not compulsory but in the last 50 years ago, children did not have a lot of opportunity to get a proper education and the only chance was to study while being a monk.

The temple tour marked by humour, respect, interest in Buddhism and before his departure, he gave three glasses in a box as a gift from the White House to the temple and signed a guest book at the temple.

วันที่ 28/12/2561

Thailand celebrates Wat Pho as UNESCO Memory of the World [27.05.2012]

Thailand recently celebrated the stone inscriptions in Wat Pho as registered “Memory of the World” by UNESCO.

The 10-day celebration took place from 24 December 2011 to 2 January 2012 at Wat Pho on Sanam Chai Road in Bangkok with a series of activities, such as the khon masked drama, a demonstration of the Thai way of life during the early Rattanakosin period, an exhibition on Wat Pho, and folk arts and games. The event also formed part of the celebrations of His Majesty the King’s 84th birthday and Her Majesty the Queen’s 79th birthday. 

Her Majesty the Queen presided over the opening ceremony on 24 December 2011 in presence of the Director of UNESCO Bangkok, Gwang-Jo Kim. 

The event was organized jointly by the Ministry of Education, the Thai National Commission for UNESCO, the Ministry of Culture, and Wat Pho. 

UNESCO has registered 1,431 stone inscriptions at Wat Pho as Memory of the World in 2011. 

Memory of the World, a list of library collections and archive holdings of world significance, was established in 1992 to promote documentary heritage of universal value. The Programme is intended to protect documentary heritage, and helps networks of experts to exchange information and raise resources for preservation of and access to documentary material.

The Thai National Memory of the World Program submitted the Epigraphic Archives of Wat Pho for listing on the Memory of the World International Register in January 2011. The 10th meeting of the International Advisory Committee for the Memory of the World Program of UNESCO, held on 27 May 2011 in Manchester, England, agreed to register the epigraphic archives as a Memory of the World, as proposed by Thailand. 

The stone inscriptions are in the Thai language and script. Made between 1831 and 1841, they cover both religious and secular subjects. They represent a wide range of Thai and Asian knowledge of over five centuries of exchange in trade, politics and culture within Asia and beyond. 

Known among foreigners as the Temple of the Reclining Buddha, Wat Pho was built in the reign of King Phetracha, who ruled the Ayutthaya Kingdom from 1688 to 1703. It underwent a major renovation during the reign of King Rama I of the Rattanakosin period.

In 1830, the temple was renovated again at the royal command of King Rama III, who intended to turn this temple into a major source of knowledge for all people, regardless of their social status. King Rama III ordered the collection of knowledge from wise men and the collection of arts and sciences on such subjects as traditional medicine, archeology, literature, and poetry.

These subjects were inscribed on thousands of stone tablets on the walls and columns of cloisters around the temple. 

Source: http://www.unescobkk.org/communication-and-information/resources/ci-resources/ci-news/news-details/article/thailand-celebrates-wat-pho-as-unesco-memory-of-the-world/

วันที่ 28/12/2561

"ยอมรับคุกกี้" เพื่อให้เว็บไซต์นำเสนอประสบการณ์ที่ดีขึ้นสำหรับคุณ

เว็บไซต์วัดโพธิ์ได้จัดทำนโยบายคุ้มครองความเป็นส่วนตัวฉบับนี้ขึ้นเพื่อคุ้มครองข้อมูลส่วนบุคคลของผู้ใช้บริการทุกท่าน ( Personal information ) ที่ติดต่อเข้ามายังเว็บไซด์วัดโพธิ์ อ่านเพิ่มเติม