Wat Suthat Thepwararam, commonly known as Wat Suthat. Well-known from "The Giant Swing," is one of the grand first-class royal temples (Ratchaworamahavihara) and one of the few remaining in Thailand. It is the temple associated with the reign of King Rama VIII.
Constructed during the early Rattanakosin period, King Rama I, ordered the construction of temples in the inner area of Rattanakosin in 1807. Originally named "Wat Mahasutthawas," the temple's main hall was built to enshrine the Buddha image Phra Sri Sakyamuni (Phra To), which was brought from the main stupa of Wat Mahathat in Sukhothai Province. However, before the reign of King Rama II, it was transformed into a monastic complex, leading to its other names, "Wat Phra To" and "Wat Phra Yai" or "Wat Suthat."
Apart from the famous Giant Swing, another aspect that has contributed to the temple's fame is the legend of the "Pret of Wat Suthat." This story has been passed down through generations and even adapted into dramas. It tells the tale of a mythical creature known as "Pret Wat Suthat" that is believed to have appeared around the temple area, rooted in Buddhist beliefs and Thai folklore. The origins of this story could be related to the murals on the side columns of the main hall of Phra Sri Sakyamuni, commissioned during the reign of King Rama III, depicting a Pret lying down with monks standing by, contemplating cremation.
The painting became well-known in the past and was the subject of gossip that if anyone had the opportunity to pay homage to Phra Sri Sakyamuni at the temple, they must see this renowned mural of "Pret Wat Suthat."
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