Bangkok The Royal Elephant National Museum


Chang Ton Museum (The Royal Elephant National Museum)

Since the old days "white elephants" have bee regarded as the symbol of prestige of the king. When the king received such an elephant, he would command a ceremony to celebrate the registration of the elephant as well as naming it Phraya Chang-ton, or Nang Phraya Chang-ton if it was female. The king also had stables for the elephants built in the palace ground. Formerly an elephant stable, this Thai-style building was built in the reign of King Rama V in Dusit  Garden Palace compound. The stable was moved into Chang-ton Museum by the Ministry of Education in 1988.

In building 1 there are artefacts related to elephants such as white elephant figures, tusks, and charms for mahouts are displayed here. There are also pictures and articles about elephants, such as elephant roping in the corral, the birth of an auspicious elephant, and how the elephants are caught.

In building 2 is displayed a model of white elephant ceremony.

The myth and legend of the wite elephant began in Southeast Asia - The Land of the White Elephant. In the story of the Lord Buddha, the white elephant is connected to fertility and to knowledge. On the eve of giving birth to the Lord Buddha, his mother dreams that a white elephant comes to present her with a lotus, symbol of purity and knowledge.

The white elephant is something above an ordinary elephant. In Thailand the white elephant is sacred and revered. Indeed, they put the white elephant on their new flag. When elephants were no longer so vital for warfare, elephant hunts had become less common, and fewer of the rare white elephants were found. The Siamese king passed a law demanding that any white elephant found in the kingdom had to be presented to the king. He sent out scounting parties and offered rewards. The discovery of a white elephant became a special event, a time for national celebration.

Places to see in Bangkok
Palaces & Temples
The Grand Palace & Wat Phra Kaeo   Rattanakosin Island
Wat Pho (Temple of the Reclining Buddha) Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn)
Wat Suthat and The Giant Swing Wat Ratchanatdaram
Wat Sa Ket and The Golden Mount Wat Benchamabophit
Vimanmek Mansion & Abhisek Dusit Throne Hall National Museum
Anantasamakhom Throne Hall Ratchadamnoen Avenue
Wat Rajbopit Erawan Shrine
Wat Indharawihan Wat Trimit
  Phra Sumen Fort
Museums & Galleries
The Royal Elephant National Museum The National Gallery
National Museum of Royal Barges Kamthieng House Museum
Jim Thompson's Thai House Museum Bangkok Dolls Museum
Museum of Imagery Technology Siriraj Museums
Bangkok Planetarium and Science Museum Suan Pakkad Palace Museum
Parks & Zoo
Queen Saovabha Memorial Institute (Snake Farm) Dusit Zoo
Suan Luang Rama IX Park Lumphini Park
Siam Ocean World Aquarium Siam Park City (Suan Siam)
Dream World Amusement Park Safari World Park
Shopping & Markets
Siam Square to Chidlom Bangkoks Fashion City China Town
Shopping Street - Sukhumvit Road Phahurat Indian Market
Suan Lum Night Bazaar Chatuchak Market
Banglamphu Market Pak Khlong Talat Market
Woeng Nakhon Khasem ('Thieves Market') Thewes Flower Market
Chao Phraya River Express Boat Sky train
Trains Metro
Buses Taxis & Tuk Tuk
Bangkok maps


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