Lak Muang – The beginning of Bangkok | Cruise Mekong River

Lak Muang – The beginning of Bangkok

The City Pillar Shrine has undergone a major facelift to restore the national monument to its former glory.

In 1782, a remarkable event marked the beginning of one of the most important periods of Siam (Thailand nowadays), Rattanakosin era. King Rama I decided to move the capital from Thonburi to Bangkok. Just 15 days after his coronation, before anything else was constructed, the king had a pillar erected at Bangkok which is Lak Muang or City Pillar Shrine. So this is the building represents the foundation stone of Bangkok, the starting point of the city and the Rattanakosin era.

The magnificence of Lak Muang at night.

The magnificence of Lak Muang at night.

Lak Muang is one of the most ancient city pillar shrines in Thailand. This small shrine is the point from which all distances are measured. It is situated on the north-eastern corner opposite the populous Grand Palace and at the center of the old town.

The City Pillar was once considered as a symbol of Bangkok power. It is believed to be the abode of Phra Lak Muang, one of the guardian spirits of the city. The shrine also served as a political statement by the ruling classes. The original city pillar of Bangkok had the height of 110 in. Inside was a horoscope for Bangkok to ensure prosperity and success from future Burmese invasions. After several renovations, now Lak Muang Shrine consists of a square building with openings on all four sides. In the center of the room are two gold pillars and six elephant tusks. The roof has three levels of ornate gables on each side and a dazzling white multi-tier square spire. The site has become a historic monument and an auspicious place attracting both local residents and foreigners. Read more: Mekong river tours

The City Pillar Shrine has undergone a major facelift to restore the national monument to its former glory.

The City Pillar Shrine has undergone a major facelift to restore the national monument to its former glory.

This graceful temple-like structure is one of the most sacred and magnificent city pillar shrines in Thailand. Legend has it, well-versed in astrology, King Rama I chose an auspicious date to rebuilt Lak Muang on an auspicious site.  It is customary for residents to come to the shrine and make wishes. When their wishes come true, they reciprocate prayers and offerings food and flowers.

 It is a traditional custom of Thai people to come here and make wishes.

It is a traditional custom of Thai people to come here and make wishes.

 The shrine opens from 7 am to 6pm to visitors with free access.

The Indochina Voyages team.

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