Ayutthaya

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Ayutthaya is about 1.5 hour bus drive from Bangkok. Take Sky train to Mo Chit terminus and than walk down to the Bus Station OR take a taxi from Bangkok. I hired a tuk-tuk for 750 Baht to take me round (overpaid). You see the famous reclining Buddha in Wat Yai Chaimongkon in saffron robes. If you wish to click pictures reach Ayutthaya by 7.30am, it gets too sunny after that.

Board outside reclining Buddha image. In Thai it is called Wihan Phraphutthasaiyat. It is part of large complex that has a working Wat, large number of Buddha images as you shall see.

You see board outside The Ubosatha Hall. It is the main hall where monks used to hold religious ceremonies. Ayutthaya was originally known as `Ayothaya` which refers to the capital of King Rama. It was founded by King U-Thong in 1350. It was the capital of the Thai kingdom at its mightiest. Conquered and sacked by the Burmese in 1767, today only the splendor of its ruins remain. It was the Thai capital for 417 years.

You see an image of Buddha in the hall. Thais afix a thin gold strip paper on the smaller Buddhas as you can see in this picture. You can reach Ayutthaya by train or boat from Bangkok. Am told the boat journey is very good.

A close up of a Thai lady putting a gold piece of paper on the image. Am told even the Burmese do that.

A picture of Buddha images inside the hall.

This is a board outside Wat Yai Chaimongkon that was made in 1900 BE to accommodate monks who came from Ceylon.

An overview of the Wat. It has a huge stupa in the centre with Buddha image on either side and steep steps to climb up.

A close up of the Buddha image.

The wall surrounding the Wat has Buddha images on all sides. Clicked this picture from the high point in stupa. You see two Buddha images in one corner with a smaller ones on either side.

A view of the smaller Buddha images with saffron robes. Note the two big Buddha images at the end - corner.

About 1.5 kms out of the town is a working wat Wat Phanancherng. It has the oldest large cast bronze image in Ayutthaya. Worth a visit. Buddha image is what you see.

Next went to Wat Phra Mahathat (royal temple). This is the spot where you can see the famous tree that has grown around a Buddha head. You see me next to the famous tree.

A close up of Buddha image in the tree.

You see a number of headless images of Buddha with a larger one in the centre. The structure behind is in ruins.

An overview of the ruins of Wat Phra Mahathat.

Buddha relics were enshrined in the main Chedi (principal Pagoda) that you see. Was made around 1374. High steps.

A rear view of the Chedi. There are small stupas at each corner three of which you can see. All of this is made in brick, I wonder why only brick was used.

An image of Buddha in the walls of the Chedi.

Next went to the Ancient Palace complex. You see a picture of what Viharn Phra Mongkol Bopitah looked life before the renovation. It is now beautifully restored but people say the original was better.

Large bronze cast image of Buddha inside the viharn. You must walk around the image to feel the positive vibrations and know size of the image. The image is 9.55 mtres wide, 12.45 mtres height. It is 600 years old and was restored in 1957.

Within the Palace complex is Wat Phra Si Sanphet which is the largest temple in Ayutthaya ie known for its row of chedis (Thai-style stupas). You see some of the stupas in the picture. One of the chedis contains ashes of King Rama Thibodi II, 10th King of Ayutthaya.

A close up of a chedi (Thai style stupas).

The whole complex is full of stupas. Unfortunately many of them are in various states of ruin as you can see in this picture.

As I walked out of the palace complex saw tourists going round the town on elephants.

Close to the Grand Palace is Wat Phra Ram. It consists of one huge Prang (Thai name for an elongated cone shaped tower) and many chedis. Staircases to the side of the prang give a good view of Ayutthaya. A big lagon is in front of this monastery. It was called `Nong Sano` originally, now changed to `Bueng Phraram`.

A view of the Prang in Wat Phra Ram. Most of the place is in ruins.

Wat Thammikrat is a working wat. It contains the ruins of a large chedi and huge viharn. The temple also houses a reclining Buddha hall called Wihan Phra Phutthasaiyat. The Wihan is located to the north of Phra Chedi (that you see) with a base of 52 surrounding Singha or lions that you see in this picture.

You see entrance of Wat Na Phramem Rajikaram. In 1569 Thailand lost to Burma in war. Both Kings discussed peace issue here for the first time. In 1760 King of Burma fired cannons at Royal Palace from this temple.

You see Buddha image and smaller Buddhas in front on which devotees stick gold paper.

9 Buddhas is a very common site in many Wats. Left to right the first seven are for each day of the week. The second last is for Wednesday night ie the day on which Buddha is born. The last Buddha is to prayed to when you are going through a bad time. You pray to the Buddha depending on the day of the week.

Another reclining Buddha in Ayutthaya. I have covered the key wats as known to me. Please check Thai tourism site for more information. The Grand Palace grounds there is nothing to see. Also see Wat Chaiwatthanaram.

You see my tuk tuk driver Ponksak. He took good care of me. His local nos is 0895167250. I found him near the bus stand ie bus from Bangkok. From his face I could sense that I overpaid paying 750 baht but I was happy to see him so happy. Taken utmost care in writing narrations. In case of any errors apologies, please mail me.