The Main Gateway

This one story brick and stucco gate with Chinese style, half-barrel roof tiles, is known as Siew Kgang, in Thai, and is located directly in front of the Ordination (Uposatha)  Hall, on Pra Sumeru Road.  This is the main entrance to the sanctuary. The door’s design is that of four guardians, or dvara pala (Chinese: siew meng kong) standing on the back of mythological animals. The figures, dressed in part Chinese part Thai armor, are finished in gold-leaf and colored glass inlay. There are actually two sets of doors, one set with the guardians facing Pra Sumeru Road and the other, facing inside the monastery. The black material on the figure’s mouth has been rumored to be opium, however, the material we presently see is probably a coffee offering. The rumor may have some connection to the story of an opium addict who, having died on this spot during the 3rd or 4th reign, entered the dreams of either an abbot, or someone in the community, depending on the story version. Lay people make daily offerings of flowers and coffee at the door.

In the past, this gate was only open during a royal visit or on the Observance day. Subsequently, due to changing views and younger leadership, it was decided the gate should be open on a daily basis, from 6.00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.