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Wat Ratcha Orasaraam (วัดราชโอรสาราม)

Thai. Name of a temple erected in the Ayutthaya Period and located on the western bank of Khlong Sanam Chai (คลองสนามชัย) in Thonburi. It was formerly known as Wat Chom Thong (วัดจอมทอง) and its current full name is Wat Ratcha Orasaraam Ratcha Worawihaan (วัดราชโอรสารามราชวรวิหาร). When in 1819, King Bagyidaw ascended the throne in Burma, it fueled rumours that the Burmese planned a new attack on Siam. To be prepared for all eventualities, the son of King Rama II, i.e. Prince Chetsadabodin (the later King Rama III), was sent with a well-equipped army via Ratchaburi to the border at the Three Pagoda Pass in Kanchanaburi, in order to counter a possible invasion early on. The army was transported by boat via canals into the target area and according to legend, the prince reached the temple by the first night, where he stayed to rest, instructed his troops, and officiated a religious ceremony in accordance with the old treatise on war strategy. The abbot of the temple also performed a ceremony to bless the troops, and the Prince vowed that if he would return victorious from the war, he would renovate the temple. However, the Burmese never appeared and no battle was fought. Nevertheless, the prince felt bound to live up to his vow and began the renovations, after which the temple was renamed Wat Raja Ohrot Araam (วัดราชโอรสอาราม), i.e. ‘Temple of the King's Son’, which over time became fused to be the compound name Wat Ratcha Ohrotsaraam (วัดราชโอรสาราม), which is usually transcribed as Wat Ratcha Orasaraam, Wat Raja Orasaraam, Wat Racha Orasaram, or similar. The temple's style is a combination of Chinese and Thai architectural features, e.g. the roofs of the ubosot and of the viharn do not have the typical Thai decorations of the chofa and bai raka, while their gable ends are adorned with colourful Chinese porcelain. The temple's viharn is surrounded by a gallery with Buddha images, as well as by multiple small pagodas, while on the inside it houses a large reclining Buddha image. See POSTAGE STAMP (1) and (2), and MAP.