Daily Archives: March 22, 2007

The Twelve Giants

At the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, you will find six pairs of giant demons that stand guard at each of the entrances. They are facing inwards towards the ubosot as if they were protecting the Emerald Buddha. These giants were built during the reign of King Rama III and each represent an important character in the Ramakian story. If you look closely, you will see that each one has its own characteristics.

On the eastern side there are two entrances. The first one is guarded by Indrajit, who has a green face, and Suryapop, who has a red face. They both have a bamboo shoot as their crown.

The second door is oppoite the ubosot. It is guarded by Mangkorngun, with a green face, and Virunhok, with a purple face. Their crowns are topped with nagas. Notice that their right hand is at the top unlike the previous two. Also, the left hand has a ring.

On the southern side, where you exit to go to the Grand Palace, you will see two unusual Giants. These are Totkirijun, who has a red face, and Totkritorn, who has a green face. Both of their crowns are topped with bamboo shoots. However, take a look at their noses. They have elephant trunks instead of regular noses.

The western side has three doors. This first one is where you come in. It is guarded by Chakrawat, who is white and has four heads and eight arms. Standing beside him is Asakornmarsa, who is dark purple and has a double tier of hands. Their crowns are topped by cockerel’s tails.

The second door is near the golden chedi. The white giant Sahasadeja has one thousand heads arranged in five tiers and two thousand arms (not shown in picture). His buddy is Tosakanth who is green and has three tiers of three heads and one on top. This one is the demon king.

The final door is again near the golden chedi but further north. These giants have cockerel’s tails. They are Virunchambang and Mayarap.