Hello everyone. Today I would like to introduce you to a Buddhist temple that you must see in Ayutthaya, Thailand.
- Ayutthaya Overview
- Six Major Temples in Ayutthaya
- Wat Phra Si Sanphet, the resting place of the three kings
- "Wat Phra Mahathat" to remember the tragedy of the invasion
- The well-preserved ruins of Wat Chaiwattanaram.
- The view from the observation deck is a sight to behold! Wat Yai Chai Mongkol
- Giant Reclining Buddha "Wat Lokaya Staram
- Wat Rathboulana, said to have the oldest wall paintings in Thailand
- Other temples to visit
- Recommended sightseeing spots
Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya, or simply Ayutthaya, is the former capital of Thailand’s Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya Province. It is located in the valley of the Chao Phraya River. Ayutthaya is named after Ayodhya, India, the birthplace of Rama of the Ramayana (Ramakien, Thailand).
Ayutthaya was founded by King U Thong in 1351. Ayutthaya became the second capital of Siam after Sukhothai. Ayutthaya is estimated to have had a population of about 300,000 by 1600, and probably reached a population of 1,000,000 around 1700, making it one of the largest cities in the world at the time, known as the “Venice of the East”.
In 1767, the Burmese army destroyed the city and the kingdom collapsed. The ruins of the old city are preserved in the Ayutthaya Historical Park, which is internationally recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The ruins, featuring prangs (reliquaries) and a huge monastery, are a testament to the splendor of the city’s past. Modern Ayutthaya has been rebuilt a few kilometers to the east.
Six Major Temples in Ayutthaya
I don’t know who said it, but it seems that the six most popular (!?) or majestic temples in Ayutthaya are collectively called the six major ruins of Ayutthaya.
The numbers on the map above are as follows
- Wat Phra Si Sanphet
- Wat Phra Mahathat
- Wat Chai Wattanaram
- Wat Yai Chai Mongkol
- Wat Lokaya Star
- Wat Ratchaburana
In the following, I will explain each temple with a map and outline.
Wat Phra Si Sanphet, the resting place of the three kings
Wat Phra Si Sanphet was the most sacred temple on the site of the royal palace in the ancient Thai capital of Ayutthaya until the city was completely destroyed by the Burmese in 1767. It is also the model temple for Wat Phra Kaew in Bangkok.
Walk along the north-south Klong To Street and you will see the entrance on the east side.
“Wat Phra Mahathat” to remember the tragedy of the invasion
Wat Phra Mahathat is a Buddhist temple where you can see the Buddha image that everyone has seen in pictures before, with only the head covered by a tree. According to one theory, the Buddha’s head was cut off during the invasion of Burma and covered with trees over a long period of time, but the authenticity of this theory is not certain.
Wat Phra Mahathat is located slightly northeast of the center of the island, surrounded by a river.
The well-preserved ruins of Wat Chaiwattanaram.
Wat Chaiwattanaram is a Buddhist temple located in Thailand’s Ayutthaya Historical Park, on the west bank of the river, outside the island surrounded by the river.
Wat Chaiwattana Ram is part of the Ayutthaya Historical Park, but is not part of the historic city of Ayutthaya, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It can be reached by car or boat.
The view from the observation deck is a sight to behold! Wat Yai Chai Mongkol
Giant Reclining Buddha “Wat Lokaya Staram
Wat Lokayasthalam, also known as “Wat Phranong”, is one of the Buddhist temple complexes in Ayutthaya Historical Park.
Wat Lokaya Stararam is located northwest of the Middle Province, southwest of the Old Palace, west of Wat Prasrisampet and beyond Klong To Road. Directly north it joins Wat Woratchatharam.
Wat Rathboulana, said to have the oldest wall paintings in Thailand
Wat Rathboulana is a Buddhist temple located in Ayutthaya, in the Ayutthaya Historical Park. The main prang of the temple is one of the finest in the city.
Wat Rathboulana is located just north of Wat Mahathat.
Other temples to visit
A temple with a reclining Buddha besides Wat Lokayasthalam. It is not well known to foreigners and has almost no tourists.
Wat Wora Po
This is also one of the best temples to visit. It is a place of relaxation for the locals, and there are many students running around, probably because there is a school nearby. You can climb to the top of the chedi, but it is dangerous.
Recommended sightseeing spots
Million Toy Museum
The Modern Toy Museum is located in the ancient city of Ayutthaya. A Thai scholar who visited Japan was so impressed with the toy museum that he collected toys and opened the museum here in Thailand.
This is the place where Japanese people used to gather and settle when Ayutthaya was a prosperous trading town. It is now a museum where the records of those days are carefully preserved.
Other sightseeing spots in Ayutthaya
- Ayutthaya Water Market