His Majesty the King will ride in a “Golden Phuttan” royal palanquin during the city tour of three major temples: Wat Bovoranives, Wat Rajabopidh and Wat Phra Chetuphon.
Wat Bovoranives Vihara, known in short as Wat Bovoranives, or Wat Bovorn, is a royal temple of the first grade. Built in the Third Reign, it is an important centre for the Dhammayutika Sect. Several former abbots here went on to become the Supreme Patriarch of Thailand.
This temple was the residence of the kings of the Royal House of Chakri when they entered monkhood. The Royal Ashes of King Rama VI are enshrined under the base of the Phra Buddha Chinnasi Buddha image in the ordination hall of Wat Bovoranives. King Rama X stayed in this temple during his monkhood in 1978.
Wat Rajabopidh Sathitmahasimaram, known in short as Wat Rahabopidh, is also a royal temple of the first grade. It was built in 1869 at the command of King Chulalongkorn (Rama V) to enshrine the royal relics and ashes of royals.
The temple features a blend of traditional Thai architecture and a Western-style interior, which is perhaps the only of its kind in Thailand. King Prajadhipok (Rama VII) restored this temple, instead of building a new one, as the temple commemorating his reign.
Phra Buddha Ankhirot is the presiding Buddha image in this temple, and the Royal Ashes of King Prajadhipok and Queen Rambhai Barni of the Seventh Reign are enshrined under the base of this Buddha image.
Wat Phra Chetuphon, a major temple under royal patronage, was built in the reign of King Phetracha, who ruled the Ayutthaya Kingdom from 1688 to 1703. It was formerly called Wat Photharam, but the temple is popularly called Wat Pho in short. This temple underwent a major renovation during the reign of King Rama I, who renamed it Wat Phra Chetuphon, and it was recognised later as the temple commemorating the First Reign.
In 1830, the temple was renovated again at the royal command of King Rama III, who intended to turn it into a major source of knowledge for all people, regardless of their social status. The King also ordered the collection of knowledge from wise men and the collection of arts and sciences on various subjects, such as traditional medicine, archaeology, literature and poetry.
Wat Phra Chetuphon is the first “open university” in Thailand, and it is now recognised as a centre for traditional Thai massage, where people can learn techniques of various natural remedies for health. UNESCO registered the epigraphic archives of Wat Phra Chetuphon as a “Memory of the World” in 2011.
In an article in CNN Travel 2014, the Reclining Buddha image at Wat Phra Chetuphon was named among 10 of the world’s most impressive religious statues.