Ayutthaya Historical Park
(อุทยานประวัติศาสตร์พระนครศรีอยุธยา)

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Ayutthaya Historical Park (อุทยานประวัติศาสตร์พระนครศรีอยุธยา)

Location : Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya District

Ayutthaya Historical Park cover the area of the historic temples, palaces and remaining architectures of the ancient kingdom of Ayutthaya are one of Thailand’s most precious historical sites. The area of Ayutthaya Historical Park about 715-acre has been listed the UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1991 as it portrays the heydays of one of the most largest kingdoms in Indo China history. The large area means you probably need the whole to walk, or cycling (bike rental is available), around to visit the legendary architectures to learn the history of Ayutthaya.

Ayutthaya Historical Park include Wat Phra Mahathat, Wat Ratburana, Wat Thammikarat, Wat Na Phramen, Wat Mongkhon Bophit and Wat Phra Si Sanphet temples, all of which can be easily visited on foot. In the south of Wat Phra Si San Phet finds Viharn Phra Mongkol Bophit where Thailand’s largest bronze buddha image is enshrined.


Wat Mahathat (วัดมหาธาตุ)

Wat Mahathat

Location : Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya District

Wat Mahathat (วัดมหาธาตุ) is an ancient temples and most beautiful in Ayutthaya which the temple located west of Wat Phra Sri Sanphet, at the foot of Paa Than bridge or between Chi Kun Road and Naresuan Road in the northeast corner of Phra Ram Park. The most picturesque and it seems to be the most prominent landmark of Wat Mahathat is the head of a sandstone Buddha image entwined in the roots of a Bodhi tree. The temple include the plaster base of a Buddha image, the octagonal pagoda, the medium-size Prang with mural paintings about the life of the Buddha, the resident hall of the Buddhist Supreme Patriarch and other smaller Viharas.

Wat Mahathat was built during the reign of Somdet Phra Borom Rachathirat I. Later Somdet Phra Ramesuan enshrined the reliquary inside the foundation of the Prang, and this incident thus originated the temple’s name “Wat Mahathat” or “Wat Phra Sri Rattana Mahatat” which means the sacred temple where the relics of the Lord Buddha were installed. The structure of the Prang of Wat Mahathat which built in Early Ayutthaya became the traditional model when constructing a temple and can be found nationwide. It believes that the reliquary holds historical and religious significance as the edifice representing the Buddha in the kingdom of Ayutthaya. Somdet Phra Borom Rachathirat I or Khun Luang Pa Ngua granted a permission to build the temple, but the completion took place during the reign of Somdet Phra Ramesuan.

The Prang in which the holy relics were installed was greatly influenced by Khmer-style architecture - the lower part was made of laterite, whereas the upper part was masonry. There was a restoration during the reign of Somdet Phrachao Prasatthong in order to heighten the Prang, but this caused a serious damage to the top and the Prang was left alone with the portico. It was so unfortunate, as it was such an enormous and magnificent one. In 1956 the Fine Arts Department made another attempt to renovate and found a large number of invaluable antiques, such as the stone casket containing the relics. The casket is in fact consists of 7 superimposing stupas: a combination of lead and tin, silver, copper alloy, ebony, sandalwood, garnet and gold. Nowadays the casket is kept in Chao Sam Phaya National Museum. Do not miss to visit Wat Mahathat when you travel to Ayutthaya.

Opening hours : Daily from 08:00 a.m. - 06:00 p.m.

Wat Ratchaburana (Ayutthaya)
วัดราชบูรณะ (จังหวัดพระนครศรีอยุธยา)

Wat Ratchaburana

Location : Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya District

Wat Ratchaburana is the oldest temple in Ayutthaya, the temple located at the foot of Paa Than bridge in Tha Wasukri Sub-district, the north of Wat Mahathat and stands only a short distance away from the royal palace. Wat Ratchaburana was constructed in 1424 during the reign of Somdet Phra Borommaracha II, commonly known as Chao Sam Phraya, who is one of the royal monasteries. By the temple was constructed on the royal cremation site of Chao Ai Phraya and Chao Yi Phraya. Somdet Phra Borommaracha II had 2 memorial pagodas built on the location where both of his elder brothers fought each other to the death on elephants’ backs, and named the pagodas after his borthers’ names - Chedi Chao Ai Phraya and Chedi Chao Yi Phraya.

The highlight of Wat Ratchaburana is the crypt where tremendous treasures were stored. In the year 1956 - 1957, looters smuggled through the Prang and plundered a considerable amount of valuables, especially votive tablets made of tin and lead. In September 1957, the Fine Arts Department officially excavated and restored the crypt of Wat Ratchaburana. They uncovered the relics of the Lord Buddha, royal regalia, Buddha images made of gold and copper alloy, golden attires, crowns, swords and a few hundred thousands of votive tablets.

Later the Fine Arts Department allowed collectors to purchase these recuperated sacred items, and the proceeds from the sale were meant to build Chao Sam Phraya National Museum. The museum was founded on the occasion that His Majesty the King and Her Majesty the Queen paid a visit to admire the invaluable artifacts excavated from the crypt. The museum is situated in Pratu Chai subdistrict, Pridi Banomyong Road. All the recuperated treasures are stored in Ratchaburana Room inside the museum.

Opening hours : Daily from 08:00 a.m. - 06:00 p.m.

Wat Thammikarat (วัดธรรมิกราช)

Location : Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya District

Wat Thammikarat was constructed by King Dhammikaraj in the old city area, which was formerly known as Mueng Sangklaburi before the time of Ayutthaya. The temple is located on the east of the ancient palace and had been well maintained since then. The ubosot of Wat Thammikarat contains a purely white image of Buddha in subduing Mara position which the Buddha image is assumed to have been built in the early Rattanakosin period. In 1610, Somdet Phra Boromma Trailokkanat restored the place and had a large nine-room vihan, the ‘Harn Song Dhamma’, built for listening to sermon on Buddhist Sabbaths. The vihan once housed a bronze head of Buddha dating back to U-Thong period. The head was brought away by the Fine Arts Department and is now kept at Chao Sam Phraya Museum.

In addition, there is a vihan of the reclining Buddha image, which was ordered to be built by the Queen following the fulfilled wish for the princess’s recovery from illness. The reclining Buddha is 12 metre long, facing north. The toes are covered with gold leaf and pieces of mirror. The vihan is situated on the north side of the main chedi. The chedi has a bell shape and features an octagonal base encircled by 52 singha statues made from mortar, which is different from other chedi bases commonly encircled by elephant statues. Wat Thammikarat is recommended for those who are interested in pre-Ayutthaya art for its. There are also horse carriages available in front of the temple.

How to get there : Wat Thammikarat is located in front of the ancient palace on U-Thong Road which the tourists can use the same direction as that of Wat Phra Mongkhon Bophit and Wat Phra Si Sanphet to go to the temple.
Opening hours : Daily from 08:00 a.m. - 05:00 p.m.
Contact : 0 3524 2284

Wat Na Phramen (วัดหน้าพระเมรุ)

Wat Na Phramen

Location : Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya District

Wat Na Phra Men or Wat Na Phra Meru is one of the culture heritages of Ayutthaya. It is the old temple outside the city area and is surprised by Thai because this temple was not destroyed when Ayutthaya was lastly defeated by Burmese troops. The temple is located along Khlong Sra Bua and the north bank of the Khlong Mueang or as know as Lob Buri River just opposite the ancient Grand Palace. Wat Na Phramen is the temple for a Royal cremation area during the later Ayutthaya period.

The principal Buddha image at Wat Na Phra Men’s ubosot is seated in the 'subduing Mara' position, and wears royal attire. Its full name is : Phra Buddha Nimitr Vichit Maramoli Sisanpeth Boromtrailokanat with the lap of 4.40 meters wide and 6 meters high. The image’s face is graceful, peaceful and respectful. Buddha images were royal attire like this are typical for the later Ayutthaya period. The statue is the most beautiful and largest crowned Buddha image that was left following the war with Burma.

The ubosoth of Wat Na Phra Men was restored during the reign of King Rama III. The ordination hall (ubosot) faces south and measures approximately 50 m by 16 m. Inside the ubosot, there are octagonal columns. The top of the columns were made in the form of closed lotuses to support the large roof. The ceiling was decorated with carved wood and colored glasses showing the meaning of beautiful stars in the sky. The windows appear along the ubosot’s walls which later has been extended by adding pillars during the later Ayutthaya period. The ubosot’s gable is featuring Vishnu (in Thailand called Phra Narai or Narayan) mounted on Garuda, on top of the demon head Rahu placed between two Nagas and flanked by 26 celestial. Vishnu is considered the symbol of the King. Wat Na Phra Men is perfect for those who are interested in history and archeology and a good attraction for visitors.

Opening hours : Daily from 08:00 a.m. - 06:00 p.m.
Admission fees : 20 baht for foreigner
Contact : 0 3524 1704, 0 3524 6076

Wat Mongkhon Bophit (วัดมงคลบพิตร)

Wat Mongkhon Bophit

Location : Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya District

Wat Mongkhon Bophit or Wihan Phra Mongkhon Bophit was enshrined of the bronze Buddha image in the attitude of subduing Mara which is the biggest Buddha image in Thailand with a lap measurement at 9.55 meters and height at 12.45 meters. The temple is situated on the south of Wat Prasrisanpetch. It was assumed to be built during the Ayuttaya Era of King Srongtam. The King transferred the location from the east side to the west side which has been the location since then. After that the King ordered to build a dome on top. In the era of King Suer ordered to restore the dome and change the roof of the dome to a cathedral and the top of Pra Mongkolborpit was extended during the reign of King Barommakote because a thunderbolt struck at the tip of the dome which causes damage to the dome.

During the 2nd fall of Ayuttaya, Viharn Pra Mongkolborpit was ruined by the enemy. After that King Rama 5 ordered to restore this viharn again in the Ayuttaya architectural style. It is a good model of the Buddha image during the end of Ayuttaya reign.Originally, the east side of the viharn is Sanam Luang, which was used for the cremation ceremony of the Kings and the royalties same as the Sanam Luang in Bangkok. The tourists can visit Wat Prasrisanpetch or visit Wat Mongkhon Bophit or Wihan Phra Mongkhon Bophit via riding on elephants from Wang Chang Ayuttaya.

Opening hours : Monday – Friday from 08:00 a.m. - 04:30 p.m.,
Saturday – Sunday, Public holidays from 08:00 a.m. - 05:00 p.m.
Contact : 0 3532 1797

Wat Phra Si Sanphet (วัดพระศรีสรรเพชร)

Wat Phra Si Sanphet

Location : Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya District

Wat Phra Si Sanphet is the royal monastery and the temple is regarded as the symbol of Ayutthaya province which this temple no monk is allowed to reside at. Wat Phra Si Sanphet also considered as the spiritual center of Thais for a long time. The temple is located in Pratu Chai Sub-district, Phra Nakorn Si Ayutthaya District. It is also regarded as an equivalence of Wat Mahathat in Sukhothai and a model for Wat Phra Sri Ratana Sasadaram (the royal temple of the Emerald Buddha) or Wat Phra Kaew in Bangkok. Besides this the temple served to conduct ceremonies within the royal court, such as the ritual to drink an oath of allegiance.

During the reign of Ramathibodi II, an enormous Buddha image was cast. The Buddha image of “Phra Si Sanphetdayan” is 16 meters high and its surface is coated with 143 kilograms of gold. It had been enshrined inside the assembly hall until the fall of Ayutthaya in 1767 when the Burmese invaded and melted the gilded gold away. The Buddha image was seriously damaged, so in the Rattanakosin period Phra Bat Somdet Phra Buddha Yodfa Chulaloke installed the broken core of Phra Sri Sanphetdayan in a pagoda inside Wat Phra Chetupon Vimolmangkalararm Rajvoramahaviharn in Bangkok and named the pagoda “Chedi Sri Sanphetdayan”.

During the reign of King Rama V, renovate the ruins temple until the temple regained its current condition. Wat Phra Si Sanphet plays an important role in history of art and archeology which can see from the remaining debris still evidently portrays how glorious the country was. At the heart of the temple, there are three adjacent Ceylonese (or bell-shaped) pagodas situated on rectangular platforms. It is believed that these platforms were the base of royal houses in the Ayutthaya period.

How to get there : Wat Phra Si Sanphet easily accessible by bicycle and Tuk-Tuk for a fare of around 30 Baht from downtown of Ayutthaya province.
Opening hours : Daily from 08:00 a.m. - 06:00 p.m.