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Building a Vision of Heaven


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#1 reader

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Posted 11 May 2017 - 02:29 AM

From NY Times

04thai-funeral-1-superJumbo.jpg

 

BANGKOK — On a broad parade ground not far from the Grand Palace, Thai masters are constructing a vision of heaven — an elegant, nine-spired funeral pyre for King Bhumibol Adulyadej that will send his soul into the afterlife later this year.

 

Built to represent Mount Meru, the center of the Hindu universe, it will embody the highest of Thai arts and architecture, with delicate towers adorned with images from mythology and from the life of the king, who died last October at the age of 88, after 70 years on the throne.

 

The cremation is planned for Oct. 26, the second of five days of funeral ceremonies. It will be witnessed by 8,000 invited guests as well as millions of Thais around the nation.

 

The main cremation tower will be 165 feet tall, with a seven-tiered roof and spire, surrounded by eight smaller pavilions representing mountains that surround Mount Meru. Ponds at the pyre’s four corners represent the Cosmic Ocean that flows around it. There will be a small garden with a plot of rice and vegetation commemorating the king’s commitment to rural development.

 

The pyre’s iconography will portray some of the king’s accomplishments, including dams, wind farms, reservoirs and irrigation projects. It will have paintings of angels and mythical creatures, and hundreds of sculptures, including a statue of the king’s favorite dog, Tongdaeng.

 

Continues with photos
https://www.nytimes....neral-pyre.html



#2 Vessey

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Posted 11 May 2017 - 03:56 AM

Should provide a fitting send-off to a much loved King.



#3 ggobkk

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Posted 11 May 2017 - 05:44 AM

More than a send-off site, it's a launch pad.



#4 lilbob69

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Posted 11 May 2017 - 08:13 AM

Wow, Very impressive!



#5 sglad

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Posted 12 May 2017 - 04:19 AM

More than a send-off site, it's a launch pad.

 

:lol: Now, now, let's not be facetious.  I think I will go down for a look-see when it's ready and open to the public.  In a country where so many things often go wrong, one thing the Thais excel in is presentation and pageantry.  This is going to be huuuge.



#6 ggobkk

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Posted 12 May 2017 - 05:38 AM

I plan to visit next month.

#7 santosh108

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Posted 12 May 2017 - 07:26 AM

Sanam%20Luang%20March%2016.jpg  On March 16 I went to Sanam Luang and saw the structures being built for the King's cremation ceremony.  However they would not let me into the grounds saying it was for Thais only which I respect.  But I did take a picture from outside (which I hope I managed to copy onto this message!).



#8 santosh108

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Posted 12 May 2017 - 07:28 AM

Sorry, guess I didn't figure out how to put a picture in a message?!



#9 lilbob69

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Posted 12 May 2017 - 08:38 AM

I wonder if the ceremony will be Thais only.

 

I once met a young English girl who was teaching for a year in Thailand. She was expected to become essentially Thai whilst staying there. She had to leave tributes at the shrine and wai as she passed any pictures or statues of the king. She was always the Farang but tried to keep everyone happy. I'm sure others in that situation would like to pay their respects



#10 vinapu

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Posted 12 May 2017 - 08:43 AM

Sorry, guess I didn't figure out how to put a picture in a message?!

save picture somewhere in your computer , use "more reply options" button beside 'post ' button , you will see option of attaching picture , choose file , attach it to the message and off you go



#11 ChristianPFC

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Posted 24 May 2017 - 03:49 PM

On a broad parade ground not far from the Grand Palace, Thai masters are constructing a vision of heaven

Sanam Luang is the name.

 

"Thai masters" an oxymoron? When the Thai do something new that involves engineering or science, there is a good chance it goes wrong (the statues of the Thai kings in Hua Hin or the giant standing Ganesha in Chachoengsao, both had to be put into scaffolding for renovation because there was structural damage shortly after opening).

 

This is a pyre, so everything will be burned in the end. In this case, an ample amount of duct-tape can be used to hold everything together until the main event.



#12 kokopelli

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Posted 24 May 2017 - 08:59 PM

Christian, I do believe you are wrong about everything being burned at the end. 

The actual cremation of  HM is done within the structure much as any crematorium you would see at at Wat.

 

Could I be wrong? 



#13 Bob

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Posted 24 May 2017 - 09:27 PM

An recent article in the New York Times indicates that almost none of the construction will be burned.  The central tower, according to the May 5th article, will have a self-contained incinerator where the cremation will take place.  After the 4-5 day event, the article indicates that the structures will be dismantled and sent to "temples and other destinations around the country."  So, at least according to this article, there is not going to be a huge fire going on for the cremation itself.

 

I've attended two cremation ceremonies in Chiangmai for top-ranked monks and both involved the burning of elaborate structures.  But it appears that may not be the case in Bangkok for Rama IX.



#14 sglad

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Posted 24 May 2017 - 10:56 PM

An recent article in the New York Times indicates that almost none of the construction will be burned.  The central tower, according to the May 5th article, will have a self-contained incinerator where the cremation will take place.  After the 4-5 day event, the article indicates that the structures will be dismantled and sent to "temples and other destinations around the country."  So, at least according to this article, there is not going to be a huge fire going on for the cremation itself.

 

I've attended two cremation ceremonies in Chiangmai for top-ranked monks and both involved the burning of elaborate structures.  But it appears that may not be the case in Bangkok for Rama IX.

 

Makes sense.  The dismantled structures will serve the same purpose as Buddha relics - to preserve memory and provide a physical and continuous connection to the institution it represents (or used to represent) which a lot of Thais, particularly lesser educated ones, would value.  Also, all that money and talent spent wouldn't go to waste - it's more eco-friendly and in-keeping with the times.



#15 reader

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Posted 04 August 2017 - 06:08 PM

Photo taken Thursday and published on Khaosod English:

 

%E0%B8%AA%E0%B8%B1%E0%B8%A1%E0%B8%A1%E0%



#16 GreyJ0y

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Posted 08 August 2017 - 03:01 PM

wow it looks fantastic



#17 reader

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Posted 09 September 2017 - 02:10 AM

Impressive photo essay of the preparations in progress.

 

From Bloomberg News

 

1600x-1.jpg

 

http://www.bloomberg...n-prep-underway



#18 Smiles

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Posted 09 September 2017 - 02:55 PM

I've heard from more than one adult Thai that the whole structure will go up in flames.
The king's body is still embalmed and in a fridge in a temple in Bangkok. Soon, in October, he'll be hauled out and will become ashes, along with the structure.
Also, " ... all that money and talent spent wouldn't go to waste - it's more eco-friendly and in-keeping with the times ... " has absolutely nothing to do with it.

We'll see if the New York Times gets it right.

#19 DivineMadman

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Posted 09 September 2017 - 07:55 PM

Personally, I think the Times probably has it right.  Given that the underlying structure is steel, it doesn't seem likely that the entire structure will go up in flames.  

 

All through November there will be exhibitions at Sanam Luang where, according to the official website, "people will be able to learn more about the ceremony. The exhibition will feature arts and culture regarding the Royal Crematorium and related structures."  Should be very interesting.

 

Attached File  Screen Shot 2017-09-09 at 8.25.38 AM.png   251.86KB   0 downloads



#20 Smiles

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Posted 10 September 2017 - 12:14 AM

" ... it doesn't seem likely that the entire structure will go up in flames... "


No, just the wood. Duh ...




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