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The Knowledge of Jaydee Part 2 – The Various Shapes and Styles

The Knowledge of Jaydee Part 2 – The Various Shapes and Styles


In Part 1, we have explored the origins and the 3 main configurations of Jaydee found in Thailand. From these main configurations, various styles and shapes had resulted over the centuries. They shall be explored in detail in this article.

Different styles or shapes of Jaydee

  1. Jaydee Song Prasat


Pic: (left) Jaydee Song Prasat, Wat Pratatharipunchai,Lamphun
, Wat Pratatharipunchai,Lamphun. (Right) Jaydee Song Sikhorn
of India style, Wat Mahatat, Lampang


Jaydee Song Prasat refers to a square-shaped Pagoda resembling the royal palace. This shape of the pagoda is believed to have evolved from the Jaydee Song Sikhorn

of India.


At the inception of the Lanna empire, Pagodas in the Jaydee Song Prasat were popular. These had multiple floors, with arches carved into each that enshrined images of the Buddha. Later the “Ruean That” (see Reference 2, Level 5) was developed, and began to replace these as the predominant style.

Jaydee Song Prasat,Wat Jamtawee,Lamphun


2.  Jaydee Song Prang

A Pagoda shaped like corn flowers. These were influenced by the style of the Khmer palace, had a slightly slimmer shape. They are popularly known as Phra Prang

. 4 main types are recognisable;


  • Song Sikhorn
    (Mountains), are a traditional pagoda, created ccording to the original Khmer pattern, which reflected the Khmer belief of multiple worlds congregating around the base of Mount Meru.
    Pic: Song Sikhorn, Angkor Wat
  • Song Nga Niem
    resemble a short, straight piece of ivory. They are believed to be of Thai origin, and have evolved significantly from their original form, which emerged during the Ayutthaya period.
    Pic: Song Nga Niem
  • Song Fuk Khao Phod
    are thin and long, shaped like ears of corn. They were a unique feature of the early Rattanakosin Prang
    Pic: Song Fuk Khao Phod
  • Song Jom Hae
    , resembling a raised net.
    Pic: Song Jom Hae


3. Jaydee Song Rakhang

There are many varieties of Chedi in Thailand and may be classified according to several distinct styles. The bell-shaped style is the most popular. The defining feature of this type of pagoda is that it looks like a bell supported by a flat lower base.

Pic: Jaydee Song Rakhang,Wat Umong,Chiangmai


Above this base lies the Ong Rakhang (the body of pagoda), and above the Ong Rakhang, Ban lang (throne), Plong Chanai (see Reference 2, Level 9), and Plee Yod (see Reference 2, Level 10) which continue in succession upwards, forming a conical shape.

Jaydee Song Rakhang

has many other names, such as “Jaydee Song Lom”
or “Jaydee Song Lom Fang
. It is sometimes also referred to as “Jaydee Song Lang Ka”
because of its distinctive bell shape. An important example of this pagoda is the Jaydee Wat Chang Lom, Si Satchanalai, Sukhothai
, Thailand.


Pic: Jaydee Wat Chang Lom, Si Satchanalai, Sukhothai


4. Jaydee Song Kreung

(Note: Song Kreung means many accessories)
Jaydee Song Rakhang fall into 2 broad categories, namely Jaydee Song Rakhang Klom
(‘Klom’ meaning circular) and Jaydee Song Rakhang Liem
(‘Liem’ meaning having corners or edges). When decorated with stucco motifs at the base, such as the “Than Sing” (See Reference 1, Level 1) set, they are known as Jaydee Song Kreung. A Bau Glum (group of lotuses) is incorporated, to support the Ong Rakhang (the body of pagoda). The Ong Rakhang is often decorated with patterns.

Above the Ong Rakhang is the Ban Lang (throne room), and above the Ong Rakhang is another Bau Glum Thao, as well as Plee (see Reference 2, Level 10).

There are some variants. Some examples forgo the lotuses (Bau Glum and Bau Glum Thao below and above the Ong Rakhang), but include the Plong Chanai (body of the parasol).

In addition, Jaydee Song Kreung is often decorated in the upper part of the Ong Rakhrang, with a pattern called Bau Kor Seu

. One fine example are the Jaydee Thong
adjacent to both sides of the Prasat Phra Thep Bidon
in the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, in Bangkok, Thailand.


Pic: (left) Jaydee at Wat Luangprommawad, Chonburi
, reflecting an example of Jaydee Song Rakhang Liem, (right) Wat Shwedagon
, Myanmar, reflecting an example of Jaydee Song Rakhang Klom. The design on the circled part shows an example of Jaydee Song Kreung as well.



5. Jaydee Song Phum Khao Bin

The unique characteristics of “Jaydee Song Phum Khao Bin” are the result of the incorporation of various architectural elements into a single, unified aesthetic, resulting in an entirely new style of Pagoda. This pagoda goes by several names, but the most widely-used one was inspired by the visage of earlier Pagoda styles resembling lotus buds, such as Jaydee Yod Song Dok Bau Toom

(literally, “Pagodas with lotus buds on top”). This style of pagoda originated in the Sukhothai period and was chiefly popular during its centralized period of political power.

Pic. Jaydee Song Phum Khao Bin,Wat Chedi Jet Thaew,Sukhothai


6. Jaydee Yor Moom

The name “Jaydee Yor moom” possesses attributes that make it easily distinguishable from other “bell-shaped pagodas”. The number of angles incorporated into its design is usually also reflected in its name, as “Jaydee Yor moom Mai Sibsong”

(12 corners) and “Jaydee Yor moom Mai Yeesib”
(20 corners), and may vary in shape from round to square. The overall dimensions of the bell are smaller, making the Pagoda appear much more slender.

Pic. Jaydee Yor Moom, Wat Prasrisuriyothai Ayautthaya

The Important Jaydee in Thailand

In 1942, the Government of Thailand gazette for special commendation of 8 Pagodas, termed as “Jom Jaydee

, or the “top” Pagodas in Thailand. Each of these was chosen for the following reasons:


1. Phra That Hariphunchai

, a stupa located in Wat Phra That Hariphunchai, Muang Lamphun, Lamphun
, Thailand. This was the first Pagoda built during the Lanna period. It is the site of annual pilgrimages by people born in the year of the Rooster, who believe that paying homage at the temple ensures good fortune in their lives.


Pic. Jaydee in Phra That Hariphunchai


2. Phra Si Ratana Mahathat Chaliang

, a stupa that is located in the Wat Phra Si Ratana Mahathat Chaliang, Si Satchanalai, Sukhothai
, Thailand. The first Pagoda was built and established during the Sukothai period. Powder made of material drawn from the sanctuary, is used in the crafting of “Phra Somdej Chitlada”
Pic. Jaydee in Phra Si Ratana Mahathat Chaliang


3. Jaydee Wat Chang Lom

, a stupa that is located in the Si Satchanalai Historical Park, Ban Kaeng, Si Satchanalai, Sukhothai
, Thailand. This is the pagoda that King Ramkhamhaeng
had built to commemorate his coronation. (He built this as a symbol of his merits and kindness, in the Thai belief that only a person of sufficient merit could build Jaydee.
Pic. Jaydee Wat Chang Lom


4. Phra That Phanom

, a stupa located in Wat Phra That Phanom, That Phanom, Nakhon Phanom
, Thailand. It was the first Pagoda built in the northeastern region of Thailand. It is home to the precious relics of Buddha.

Pic. Phra That Phanom


5. Phra Si Ratana Mahathat Lawoe

, a stupa located in the Wat Phra Sri Rattana Mahathat, Muang, Lopburi
, Thailand. It was the first bastion of Mahayana Buddhism in the kingdom of Siam (the historical name of Thailand).
Pic. Phra Si Ratana Mahathat Lawoe


6. Phra Maha Chedi Chai Mongkol

, a stupa located in the Wat Yai Chimongkol, Klong Soan Plu, Meang Aytthaya, Aytthaya
, Thailand. The towering Pagoda stood sentinel over the Easternmost edge of Ayutthaya. It was built in honour of King Naresuan
the Great, who defeated the Burmese Maha Uparaja
(or Einshemin, in Burmese), in a duel that took place atop elephants.
Pic. Phra Maha Chedi Chai Mongkol

7. Phra Pathomm Chedi

is the tallest stupa in the world, at 127 meters tall. It is located in Wat Phra Pathommachedi Ratcha Wora Maha Wihan
, a temple in the town center of Nakhon Pathom
, Nakhon Pathom Province, Thailand. It holds significance as the first Buddhist temple in the Kingdom of Siam.
Pic. Phra Pathomma Chedi


8. Phra Borommathat Chedi

, a stupa is located in Wat Phra Mahathat Woramahawihan
. It is the main Buddhist temple of Nakhon Si Thammarat
Province in southern Thailand. It was built when Buddhist Lankawong
(the Buddhist teachings from Sri Lanka) first took root in the Kingdom of Siam.
Pic. Phra Borommathat Chedi


These pagodas are revered by all Thais, and also serve as important sites for religious tourism.

The style of Pagodas continues to evolve, as each successive generation of temple devotees and leaders seeks to distinguish theirs from the rest. Some elements of ancient pagoda design, as well as their expansive size, have stayed the same, as they form the basis for the religious worship and activities that happen within.
Pagodas are sometimes built by individuals to act as mausoleums for the remains of their loved ones. These Pagodas are usually much smaller in stature and are modeled after the important pagodas of Thailand (Jom Jaydee) described earlier. These are usually 2-3 meters high, cast from cements, then painted or decorated with glass or colored tiles. These are often found scattered around the area of a temple.

As much as Pagodas serve a religious function, they are also a reflection of the trends, history, and culture of their generations. As Pagoda design continues to evolve, so too, does their accompanying symbolism, and the beliefs and significance that come with it.


1) The first stupa(s) (pagodas) that contained the relics of the Buddha were mentioned in the scriptures of Buddhism named “Maha-parinibbana Sutta”. It was mentioned in it that the Buddha’s cremated relics were divided into 8 equal parts by Dona the Brahmin, who had stepped in just in time to stop a conflict that arises from a quarrel among the Kings who had congregated there to claim the Buddha’s relics. The relics were divided into 8 parts and a stupa was built in Rajagha, Vesali, Kapilavatthu, Allakappa, Ramagama, Vethadipa, Pava, and Kusinārā.

Another 2 stupas were erected; one for the urn (the vessel used for collecting and dividing the relics) in Kushinagar and one for the embers in Pipphalivana.

One interesting legend states that during the distribution of the relics, Dona seized his opportunity and hid 3 canine teeth of the Buddha in his turban, between his toes, and inside his clothing. The one in the turban was secretly taken by Lord Indra and worshipped in his realm, the Tāvatiṁsa Heaven, the second was secretly taken by Naga King, Jayasena, and the third was also secretly stolen, by a Ghandara (The Doṇagajjita 2:609 and The Dhātuvaṁsa).

(Picture credit: konmesa/ Buddha’s Parinibbana






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