230-year-old Giant Swing under renovation

The 21-metre high Giant Swing, a historic landmark in Bangkok, is now under renovation and closed to public for 300 days, according to the City Planning Department of the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration.

The next landmark scheduled to be closed for renovation after the Giant Swing is the Pom Mahakan or Mahakan Fort.

Director of the BMA's City Planning Department, Mr Sakchai Boonma, said the department had been allocated two million baht budget for the renovation.

The renovation is necessary after several cracks are found in the wood, paints are peeled off, and the supporting ground subsides.

He said now the Giant Swing was fenced off and scaffolding erected so the renovation could start.

He recalled that the Giant Swing went under major renovation in 2005.

But he affirmed that the overall structure of the Giant Swing remains strong and the renovation this time was just for the painting conditions and small cracks and cracked ground to make it beautiful.

The Giant Swing is located in front of Wat Suthat Thepvararam near the Devasathan shrine of King Rama I.

The Giant Swing is a Brahman religious structure made in 1784 from teakwood. it was used as part of Tri Yampawai, a Brahman rite during which priests swing themselves in order to pay homage to the Hindu god Shiva to celebrate his annual visit to Earth.

The rite was scrapped in 1935 during the reign of King Rama VII, following a number of accidents while conducting the rite.

The Fine Arts Department has registered the Giant Swing as an ancient site in 1949 since its construction in 1784.

Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)