History

Benchamabophit Dusitwanaram Temple

King Rama III : Benchamabophit"

Benchamabophit Dusitwanaram Temple (The Marble Temple) is a royal monastery of the first rank belonging to the Ratchaworawihan class. It was formerly called “Laem Temple” (the word “laem” in Thai refers to a cape) as it was located at the end of a long plot of arable land that was mostly surrounded by paddy fields. It was also called “Sai Thong Temple” as banyan trees were found within the temple’s compound.
In 1826, Chao Anuwong of Vientiane City instigated a rebellion. King Rama III appointed Prince Phiphit Phokphuben (the founder of the Panomwan family) son of King Rama II and Chao Chom Manda Sila as the commander-in-chief of the defense force based in the compound of Laem Temple. After the rebellion was successfully suppressed, Prince Phiphit Phokphuben, together with Chao Chom Manda Sila and his four siblings, namely Prince Phithak Thewet (the founder of the Kunjara family); Prince Phuwanet Narinrit (the founder of the Thinnakorn family), Princess Wong and Princess Inthanin, restored the temple and constructed five stupas in front of it. Later, King Rama IV bestowed the name Benchabophit, which means a monastery of five royal family members, on the temple.

King Rama V : Dusitwanaram

In 1898, King Rama V bought a plot of land between Sam Sen and Phadung Krung Kasem canals for the construction of a royal park, which he called “Suan Dusit”, to be used as a weekend retreat. Construction started on 16 February 1898 and finished on 1 March 1899. Later, a road was extended northwards. King Rama V then commanded the construction of a royal palace within the park area and called it the “Dusit Palace”.
During the construction, a pavilion was built within the compound of the dilapidated Dusit Temple while the area of a nearby abandoned temple was used for road development. Benchabophit Temple, which was situated in the compound of Suan Dusit Park and to the south of the palace, was also in a state of disrepair. King Rama V, in his capacity as the supreme patron of all religions in the kingdom, thus decided to reconstruct Benchabophit Temple and renamed it “Benchamabophit Temple”, which means temple of the Fifth Reign.
In this context, King Rama V commanded the demolition of all existing structures within the temple’s compound and construction of 33 residences for monks (the number equaling the duration of his reign at that time). Chao Phraya Woraphong Phiphat (Mom Rajawongse Yen Issarasena — the-then Chao Muen Samoe Chai Rat) was assigned to oversee the construction. In addition, the king had a wooden structure built to serve as a temporary ordination hall for conducting religious rites
When the construction of the monks’ quarters was completed in 1900, King Rama V allowed 33 selected monks and novices who were studying Dhamma at Mahathat Yuwarat Rangsarit Temple to stay at Benchamabophit Temple. A procession of these monks and novices was held on 6 December 1900. On this occasion, the king granted additional plots of land to the temple and added the name “Dusitwanaram”. The temple thus achieved its full nomenclature of “Benchamabophit Dusitwanaram Temple”.