Wat Kanlayanamit was established by the prominent nobleman Chaophraya Nikonbodin (also known as To, the ancestor of the Kanlayanamit Family), who served King Rama IV as the Interior Minister. During the reign of King Rama III, Chaophraya Nikonbodin donated his own house, including the land and bought additional land in the nearby area which was formerly called Kudi Chin (Chinese monks’ dwellings) Village as it used to accommodate Chinese monks, to build a temple in 1825. The temple was designated as a royal temple which King Rama III graciously named Wat Kanlayanamit (meaning true friend) due to the close tie between the King and the nobleman: one of Chaophraya Nikonbodin’s daughters was the King’s concubine. King Rama III also built a royal wihan (preaching hall) for the temple.
Wat Kanlayanamit houses Phra Phuttha Trai Rattana Nayok, also known among Chinese as Sam Po Kong or Sam Po Hut Kong, and is well-respected by Chinese people. It is the only temple in Thailand where one of the principal Buddha images is seated an a rock with the left hand on the left knee facing downwards and the right hand on the right knee facing upwards. There are mural paintings depicting the Story of Lord Buddha’s life and the way people lived during the King Rama III reign.
To worship Phra Phuttuddha Tri Rattana Nayok or Sam Po Kong, one needs 3 sticks of incense, one pair of red candles, and a flower garland. It is believed that worshiping this particular Buddha would bring people good companionship and safe travel. On the topic of good or true friends, the Buddha said that people should not live without a companion. According to him, people should have Dhamma as a true friend. If these correct teachings are one’s friend, one shall have the best companionship for as long as he/she shall live.
Besides Sam Po Kong Buddha image, the temple accommodates Ho Phratham Monthian Thaloeng Phrakrat where the Tripitaka from the reign of King Rama IV is stored. In front of the royal wihan is a newly built bell tower where the biggest bell in Thailand is kept.
How to get there
Wat Kanlayanamit is located on the Thon Buri bank of the Chao PhrayaRiver near the southern end of the Bangkok Yai Canal in Kanlaya Sub-district, Thon Buri District, Bangkok. Take bus no. 40, 57, 149, and 177. By boat: take the ferryboat from Pak Khlong Talat Pier to Kanlaya Pier. For further details, please contact Tel. 0 2465 0295.