The Royal Institute of Art, Literature and Archaeology was established in the Wang Na palace by King Prajdhipok in 1926. Spread over thirty eight branches the museum is now professionally administered and managed with sections organized each displaying a specific theme from clothing and weaponry to palanquins. The brochure that is handed out at the entrance to the museum gives you thorough information on the sections that are carefully zoned out.
The Gallery of Thai History is the main section you will come across at the entrance in the premises off Sanam Luang. Here you can visit the ancient kingdoms, prehistory and the contemporary Thai kingdom which was established around Bangkok.
Subsequently you will find the palace’s private chapel, Phra Thinung Phutthiasawan. Copies of the Phra Singh Buddha images are found here and are also seen in the temples in Chiang Mai, Nakorn Si Thammarat and Chiang Rai. The chapel is amazingly built so that the altar on which the Buddha figure stands is located at the centre rather than being placed at the back. Scriptures are placed in large storage compartments. The palace building lies behind the chapel and the Throne Hall is now being used for exceptional exhibitions. The concept behind the architecture of the palace was that it will be liveable all year round. You will be able to see artefacts ranging from clothing, khon masks and musical instruments to an armoury of weaponry.
To the north of the palace is a modern construction which is used to house the sophisticated ceremonial chariots. Used entirely for noble cremations these chariots were last used for the Princess Mother’s funeral which took place in 1996. The entire funeral procession takes a day at most to travel from the Grand Palace to Sanam Luang where the crematorium is erected.
You can always be a part of these extravagant festivities and historic Asian culture by planning a short trip to magnificent cities like Bangkok. Bangkok hotel scattered around the city should provide you reasonable accommodation on your visit. 5 Star Bangkok hotel are also available to offer you the best of their services, one of the most popular locations being Anantara Bangkok Sathorn.
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