Phra Prang Wat Arun to be surveyed every 3 months as prang found to be tilting slightly

Thailand’s Fine Arts Department plans to survey Phra Prang Wat Arun, one of Bangkok’s most famous landmarks on the Chao Phraya River, every three months after it was discovered through scanning that the principal prang, a tall tower-like spire, has started to lean.

The assistant abbot and secretary of the temple, also known as the Temple of Dawn, said yesterday (Monday) that the slight reclining of the principal prang has caused four secondary prangs, located at its four corners, and four mondops, a square or cruciform building with a pointed roof, to lean slightly towards the main prang.

According to the Fine Arts Department, the movement of the principal prang may be caused by previous subsidence.

The department has decided to survey all prangs in the temple every three months, to monitor any further movement and to plan any required renovation work.

If there is no further movement, however, the survey will then be conducted every six months.

The current principal prang is not the original, which was only 16 metres tall and was built during the Ayutthaya period. It is actually a replica, built during the reign of King Rama 2 of the Chakri dynasty in 1820. The king passed away when the foundation work on the prang had just started. King Rama 3 then carried on with the construction and laid the foundation stone on September 2nd, 1842. The principal prang was competed nine years later.

Prangs originated in Khmer architecture. The oldest prangs in Thailand were inspired by Angkor Wat in Cambodia. The best known prang in Thailand is the main prang of Wat Arun.


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