This is the most important temple within the Royal Palace compound and corresponds to the Emerald Buddha Temple in Bangkok’s Grand Palace. In 1500, a 16-meter high standing Buddha was cast by King Ramathipodi II. The image was covered with gold weighing some 170 kilograms. In 1767, the Burmese set fire to the image to melt off the gold, completely destroying the image and the temple. Nearby are three Ceylonese-style chedis build during the 15th Century to enshrine the ashes of three Ayutthaya King. These were renovated in 1956.
WAT PHRA MAHATHAT
This temple is on the corner of Chi Kun Road and Naresuan Road. It was built by King Ramesuan in 1384. The major construction was the high pagoda, or prang, which was destroyed by Burmese invaders. When the government undertook to restore all Ayutthaya ruins in 1956, the Fine Arts Department excavated the pagoda and found a buried treasure chest containing many valuables. Among the objects discovered were a relic of Lord Buddha, placed inside a golden casket, several golden Buddha images in different sizes, and many other objects in gold, ruby and crystal. These are now housed in Bangkok’s National Museum.
WAT YAI CHAI MONGKHON
This temple is also called “Wat Chao Phraya Thai.” It is located a few minutes outside of Ayutthaya. It was built by King U-Thong in 1357 for meditation. In 1592, when King Naresuan defeated Burmese by killing the Burmese Crown Prince in single-handed combat on elephants, he constructed the temple’s large pagoda to match the high pagoda at Chedi Phu Khao Thong which had purportedly been built by the Burmese. This massive pagoda, in ruinous state at the present, is visible from a great distance.
This monastery, located south of Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya, has no record as to its date of construction or the person initiating its construction. It existed before Ayutthaya was founded as the capital. The principal image in the Wihan, called “Phrachao Phananchoeng” was built in 1325 A.D., is a golden Buddha 19 meters high made of stucco in the medition posture of Subduing Evil. Considered very beautiful, it is the most revered Buddha image to the inhabitants of Ayutthaya.
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