The Royal Thai Army plans to build a monument to nine of Thailand’s kings on 500 rai of land facing the sea near Pranburi. The project, which is expected to be completed by September 2015 before the retirement of army chief Udomdej Sitabutr, is aimed at honoring His Majesty the King and the monarchy, according to an army source. The source said the army has submitted the details of the project to the Royal Household Bureau for permission after Gen Udomdej, also the deputy defence minister, and architects went to inspect the site. The source said the army approved the construction, which will be carried out under its budget with contributions from the public and private sectors. The budget is more than 100 million baht.
The monument to the nine kings will be called “Lan Maharaj”, or Great Kings Monument. Apart from honoring His Majesty and the monarchy, the monument and its surrounding area will be used as a venue for royal ceremonies, military parades and will be a tourist attraction. The source said it will serve as a parade ground for officers in infantry units. It will also host retirement ceremonies of generals including Gen Udomdej himself on Sept 24, 2015, which is Infantry Day for the Royal Thai Army.
The nine kings in the monument include King Prom Maharaja of the Yonok era, in what is now Chiang Saen district of Chiang Rai; King Mengrai Maharaj, the king of the Lanna Kingdom; King Ramkhamhaeng of the Kingdom of Sukhothai; King Naresuan and King Narai from the Ayutthaya era; King Taksin, the king who established Krung Thonburi; King Phra Buddha Yodfa Chulaloke (Rama I), the first King of the Chakri Dynasty; King Chulalongkorn (Rama V), the King who abolished slavery; and King Bhumibol Adulyadej (Rama IX), the present King of Thailand. The source said the monument to the kings will be built on land belonging to the Army Non-Commissioned Officer School in Pranburi district. Each statue will be 18 metres tall. The monument area will cover 299 metres by 399 metres and will face toward the sea. A biography of each king will be inscribed on the statue bases.