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Ayutthaya Wats


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Thailand photo.

September, 2004

Thailand photo.
Wat Chai Watthanaram
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— Wat Chai Watthanaram

Wat Chai Watthanaram was built in 1630 A.D. as a royal monastery by King Prasatthong. It is built in a Cambodian style, and was probably a commemorative to the King's victory over Cambodia. The wat has a main prang or chedi (see the photo at left) surrounded by 4 lesser prangs, and these surrounded by another 8 still smaller prangs and a gallery (or cloister). The gallery contained 120 gilded Buddha images. The entire wat was highly decorated with murals inside and stucco relief images outside. The structure looks very much like a smaller version of Angkor Wat in Cambodia.

The wat was continuously occupied and used as a royal facility until the destruction of the city in 1767 by the Burmese. The temple, and the city, were looted; the Buddha images were decapitated, and the bricks were taken for other uses. The main chedi was restored in the 1980's.

We found this to be the most interesting of the many ruins we visited in Ayutthaya. Here are some more photos of Wat Chai Watthanaram:




Thailand photo.
Buddha head
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— Wat Phra Mahathat

Wat Mahathat was built during the 1370's and 1380's. It was repaired, restored, and rebuilt several times until the Burmese destruction in 1767. It has been a ruin ever since. A dismembered head from one of its Buddha statues was found encased in the roots of a tree (see photo at left) and has become the most photographed image in Ayutthaya. This was one of the largest and most important of the city's many temples.

Here are some more photos of Wat Mahathat:

Buddha  | tree roots  | temple wall  | tower  | gallery




Thailand photo.
Buddha images
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— Wat Phutthai Sawan

This wat is still in daily use. It contains both ancient ruins and a modern temple. One of the great things about this complex is its gallery with hundreds of gilded Buddha images (see photo at left). The many ruined galleries we visited at temples like those above would have looked just like this before they were destroyed. We were glad we visited this wat so that we could visualize what all those decapitated Buddha statues and crumbling walls were once like. It added greatly to our understanding of what we were seeing.

During our visit, the skies were slightly overcast with a thin layer of high clouds that produced an interesting halo around the sun.

Here are some more photos of Wat Phutthai Sawan:

chedi  | Buddha images  | prangs  | chedi  | fire crackers  | bell




Thailand photo.
Wat Yai Chai Monghon

 
— Index —

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— Other Wats

Ayutthaya is filled with wats and ruins of wats. Ruined buildings, or their foundations, are everywhere. We visited many of them, and passed by them everywhere we went within the city. Here are photos of the some images we found to be interesting:

chedi  | Buddha  | images  | lock  | night  | Buddha

 

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Jim and Jamie Richter, http://gotouring.com/razzledazzle/
Website designed and created by Lois Richter, expanded by Jim.
Created 9/2004. All text & photos are © 2004 Jim Richter.