Hello everyone. Today I’m going to continue with the Ayutthaya section of Thailand, introducing Wat Phra Si Sanphet, one of the six major ruins. Don’t tell anyone about my plan to conquer the six major ruins by the end of this year.
Wat Phrasi Sanphet Overview
Wat Phra Si Sanphet was the most sacred temple on the site of the former royal palace in Thailand’s ancient capital Ayutthaya until the city was completely destroyed by the Burmese in 1767.
Also, Wat Phra Kaew in Bangkok was modeled after this Wat Phra Si Sanphet.
Thai Meaning of Wat Phra Si Sanphet
Wat Phra Si Sanphet is written in Thai as วัดพระศรีสรเพชญ์, which means “Temple of the Holy, Splendid Omniscient”.
Also, the word “wat” means temple, but it’s not actually a temple. It is said to be a facility that is similar to a temple of the Buddha.
The temple, which houses the remains of three of the kings of the Ayutthaya dynasty, was given this name because the Ayutthaya kings were considered to be identical with the Buddha.
You can read more about the meaning of the Gokusho Active Buddha Temple in this blog.
History of Wat Phrasi Sanphet
In 1350, the U-thong, also known as King Ramathibodi I, ordered the construction of a royal palace in the same area as Wat Phra Si Sanphet today.
The palace was completed in 1351, and King Ramathibodi planned to make Ayutthaya the capital of his kingdom. There were three wooden buildings in the palace: Paitung Maha Prasat, Pai Chayong Maha Prasat, and Aisawan Maha Prasat.
When the palace was completed in 1351, he designated Ayutthaya as the capital and conferred on it the title of King Ramathibodi I. In 1448, King Boromartrai Lokanath moved his new palace to the north and converted the old site into a Buddhist ritual site for the king’s exclusive use.
The eastern two of the existing chedis were built in 1492 during the reign of Ramathibodi II, son of Boromartrai Lokanath. There he was buried with the ashes of his father, King Boromartrailokanath, and his brother, Boromaracharathirat III.
In 1499, a large chapel (Wiharn) called “Wiharn Luang (Royal Chapel)” was built in the palace grounds. King Ramathibodi II ordered a huge idol of Buddha to be cast and installed at Wat Si Sanphet. This idol was 16 meters high, covered with gold, the base was 8 meters long, the center of the statue was made of bronze, and it weighed about 64 tons. The surface of the statue was covered with about 343 kilograms of gold, and the statue took more than three years to complete. The statue, known as Prasi Sanphetayan, was the main object of veneration in the royal chapel.
In 1529, during the reign of King Boroma Rachathirat IV, another chedi was built to house the remains of Ramathibodi II.
During the reign of King Borommakot in the 1740s, the temple was renovated and the city of Atthaya, including the temple complex, was completely destroyed in the Burmese invasion of 1767, except for the three chedis seen today.
Places to visit at Wat Phrasi Sanphet
The main attraction of Wat Phra Si Sanphet is the three huge chedis that you see as soon as you enter the temple. The two on the east side were built first, and the rest were built later.
A temple destroyed by the Burmese army.
Like other temples in Ayutthaya, Wat Phra Si Sanphet was cruelly destroyed in the Burmese invasion in 1767, leaving only three chedis.
The Buddha statue was destroyed, but only the head was destroyed in a humiliating way. Whenever I see this, I am reminded of the tragedy of war.
How to get to Wat Phrasi Sanphet
Entrance to Wat Phrasi Sanphet
The entrance to Wat Phra Si Sanphet is located in the center of the south side of the temple. There is the usual white model nearby, which is probably a field trip spot, and when I went there were many elementary school students being led by their teachers.
From Wat Mahathat
If you go to Wat Phrasi Sanphet from Wat Mahathat by the route on the map above, you will see “INSTITUTE OF VOCATIONAL EDUCATION CENTRALREGION” and “PHRANAKHON SI AYUTTHAYA TECHNICAL COLLEGE” on your right. Please note that the bikes get very crowded when it is dismissal time.
Walk straight ahead of Wat Phramong Combo Pit and past the statue of the great man on your right, and you will arrive at Wat Phra Si Sanphet, which is crowded with school children.
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