Wat Bowonniwet is an important religious center, located on Phra Sumeru Road in the Banglamphu area of Bangkok. Erected in 1829, the dazzling temple, with its magnificent chedi, is visible from a great distance. Like its ornate exteriors, the interiors of the temple are equally spellbinding, with an embellished shrine hall of Phra Phutthachinnasi, a beautiful Buddha image molded in 1357. Aside from its beauty and graceful symmetry, another fact that entails the popularity of Wat Bowon Niwet is its rich history.
The temple earns credit as a Royal Buddhist Monastery of the Dhammayut
tradition. In fact, its history began with the arrival of H.R.H. Prince
Mongkut, in 1836. He was ordained for twenty-seven years and served as
the abbot of this monastery for fourteen years. Later, he left the Order
and ascended the throne as King Rama IV, upon the death of his brother.
In fact, many Chakri kings resided here during their monkhood, including
King Rama IV, King Rama VII, as well as His Majesty King Bhumibol
Adulyadej (King Rama IX).
Before the arrival of Rama IV, as the prince 'bhikkhu', the temple site
clasped two monasteries - Wat Mai to the east and Wat Rangsee to the
west. Both these monasteries remained separated by a canal. During this
time, the prince bhikkhu, Rama IV, assumed the position of abbot at the
Wat Mai. Eventually, during the reign of the sixth king, both the
monasteries merged, giving rise to the expansive temple compound of Wat
Bowon Niwet. Today, the temple is also home to the Mahamakut Buddhist
University. Its serene monastic quarters & mythical statues lining
its compound further magnify the beauty of the monastery.