The Grand Palace Bangkok A Dynasty Of Chakri
Bangkok is the capital city of Thailand. The Grand Palace is not only the residence of the king but also his court for the last 150 years. The Grand Palace in Bangkok is not only a Palace but it is a complex of buildings in the heart of the city of Bangkok. Since 1782 the king of Siam has used this as his official residence, and this continued till 1925.
King Rama I the founder of Chakri dynasty defeated King Taksin of Thonburi and seized the crown, he then decided to shift his capital from Thonburi and built new capital city Bangkok for the Chakri dynasty. Bangkok was turned into an artificial island by making canals on the eastern part of the city. The construction of the Palace began in 1782 in the reign of King Rama I and subsequently every successive King from Chakri dynasty added new buildings and structures.
The Grand palace complex is rectangular in shape with a total area of around 2,351,000 square feet. The complex is surrounded on all four sides with wall. The palace consists of many buildings, halls and pavilions; there are open lawns, gardens and courtyards within. The asymmetry in the construction of various building is mainly due to the additions and rebuilding done by every successive ruling monarch in the long reign of 200 years of the Chakri dynasty.
Presently the Grand Palace is open to public as part of it as museum, the palace also houses many royal offices located inside. There are several administrative departments of the government. Within the premises are the war ministry, mint and state departments. Now the Thai Kings do not stay full time in this palace but the place remains to be the main seat of power in Thailand.
The Grand Palace complex is in Ratanakosin Island. The Outer Court is situated near the entrance of the complex which has the government departments where King is directly involve like the civil administration, army and treasury. At one of the corner of the complex is the Temple of the Emerald Buddha. The Central Court is in the middle and this area has the official residence of the King and halls for carrying out state business. Only on weekdays two of these halls only are open to public.
The inner court is behind the central court, it is here that the members of the royal family lived; king’s royal consort and daughters lived here. This was like a small guarded city where women and young boys below puberty stayed. Though now no members of royal family stay here the place is restricted and common visitors are not allowed to visit inside.
There are guided tours which take the visitors through the prescribed route. The palace is open for visit daily between 8.30 AM to 3.30 PM, except on the day of state functions. The entrance fee for the Central Court and Temple of Emerald Buddha is 500 Bahts. They also take the tourists to some other tourist spots. The magnificent thrones can be viewed by the tourists only on weekdays.
The tourists and visitors must note that there is a strict dress code for visiting the sacred site of the Temple of Emerald Buddha. In case the visitors are not properly dressed there is a booth at the entrance of the temple which provides suitable clothes also.