Wat Traimit Wittayaram is a royal monastery of the secondary classification of the Voravihan type. It is located on Tri Mit Road, Talat Noi Sub-District, Samphanthawong District in Bangkok. Its area covers 14 rai, 2 ngan and 31 square wah.
- Rama IV Road to the north,
- Tri Mit Road to the south,
- Soi Sukon to the east, and
- Charoen Krung Road (New Road) to the west.
The Spirit of Yaowarat
No evidence can shed light on when “Wat Traimit Wittayaram,” an old Buddhist temple was built. It was originally named Wat Samchin. It is believed that the builders were Chinese who arrived in Thailand during the early wave of immigrants. They came ashore at Ratchawong and Songwat piers and settled in the area. Three of them were able to establish themselves as prominent tycoons. By virtue of their strong faith in Buddhism, they donated money for the construction of a temple and named it Wat Samchin (Three Chinese).
In 1939, Somdej Phra Wanaratana (Heng Khemcharee Maha Thera) kindly renamed the temple “Wat Traimit Wittayaram” – a more dignified name – to honor the builders as well as the committee responsible for the renovation of the temple. On September 22, 1956 the temple was granted the status of a royal monastery of the secondary classification of the Voravihan type.
Up to the present, the temple has served as a spiritual centre for devout Buddhists and a place for the dissemination of the Lord Buddha’s Teachings. A number of well respected Buddha images are housed in the temple and there are also living quarters for Buddhist monks. The temple is not only the centre of the community but also a source of many fields of knowledge. Besides, it has long been a spiritual sanctuary for the people in the area. Thus, Wat Traimit Wittayaram can be considered as the true Spirit of Yaowarat.
Knowledge Centre of the Community
Wat Traimit Wittayaram plays a significant role in education, living up to the meaning of the second half of its name – the source of knowledge and education.
From the beginning, the temple has served as the location for an institute for teaching Buddhist monastic disciplines and Pali and as a government school teaching Thai to the secondary level. Now, half of the temple grounds have been dedicated to be the location of educational institutions as follows:
- Traimit Wittayalai School—a boys’ school, offering classes from Matthayom Suksa 1 to 6;
- Mahaweeranuwat School—a co-educational school, offering classes from kindergarten to Pathom Suksa 6;
- A school for teaching Phra Pariyattidham;
- A Centre for the Teaching of the Chinese Language;
- A branch of Suan Sunandha Rajabhat University, offering computer classes to monks and novices.
The temple also features a Community Museum, presenting the way of life of Thais from a Chinese ethnic background, customs, traditions and the history of Yaowarat, as well as Buddhist beliefs that have taken deep root in the lives of Buddhists from all walks of life.
The Vihan Enshrining the Golden Buddha Image
The Vihan where the Gold Buddha Image is currently housed was built in 1954. It is a group of two-storey, 24-metre-wide four-façade Thai style structures with orange roof tiles. The four compass buildings are roofed with green tiles.
At present, the Vihan is in a dilapidated condition. Devout Buddhists thus deem it important to have a new Vihan constructed to replace the old one.
The Ordination Hall
The ordination hall was built in 1947 to replace the former one which was severely damaged by bombs during the Second World War. Luang Wisansilpakam was its architect. The building has four façades with a three-tiered roof and surrounded by a platform. The window and door panels are decorated with gilded-lacquered designs. H.R.H. Prince Rangsit Prayurasakdi, Prince of Jainad laid its foundation stone on April 16, 1947.
Inside is the Buddha Tosapolayan Image, the principle Buddha Image of the temple. It is a gilded Buddha image in the attitude of Subduing the Mara. The date of its creation is unknown but it is assumed that it coincides with the date of the construction of the temple. People in general call it “Luang Pho To Wat Samchin” or “Luang Pho Wat Samchin’. H.M. King Chulalongkorn once came to pay homage to the Image and remarked on the aesthetic beauty of the Lord Buddha’s characteristics this Image portrayed. Luang Pho Mo, a former abbot, once had pewter amulets made in the form of this principle Buddha Image. These amulets, known as “Luang Pho To Wat Samchin”, are revered by people in general.
In the back of the ordination hall is a bell tower which has three façades. The top is decorated with a three-tiered umbrella. Next is three levels of lotuses in group and the topmost part is a slender column decorated with an orb in the same fashion as a Ceylonese style chedi.
The four compass points of the ordination hall are bent galleries contributing to the grandeur of the building.
Visudhipol Uthit Pavilion
This is an applied Thai style, re-inforced concrete building built in 1953 by Kamthorn Visudhipol, a prosperous businessman.
Phra Parivittidham Buil
It is a building of three façades with 12 classrooms for the study of the Lord Buddha’s Teachings.
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