Sukhothai Historical Park

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Most monuments are in the Sukhothai Historical Park. Sukhothai is about 5-6 hours bus drive from Ayutthaya. The key monument is Wat Mahathat that you see. The complex has about 200 chedis (stupas) and a large lotus-bud chedi that you behind the image of Buddha. The chedi was rebuilt by King Lo Thai in mid 14th century to hold Buddha relic - a hair and neckbone fragment that he picked up in Sri Lanka.

Board outside Wat Mahathat. Stay close to the Park. Start seeing before 7am because by 10.30 it gets pretty sunny. The large complex was once surrounded by a moat. The monuments are flood lit at night, I did not stay back to see although am told looks beautiful. You will get a monuments map at the entrance to the Park and from your hotel for free. Must take.

The tall stone pillars of the wat would have once supported a wooden ceiling. The remaining Buddha images as you will see are in good condition, quite a few of them. Early morning whole place is very photogenic.

A close up of the Buddha image that you saw earlier. Very imposing. The key stupa is in right of picture.

You can enter Wat Mahathat from the main entrance. This picture gives you an overview of the monument. On the right is the huge Buddha whose pictures you saw earlier. In the left are two standing Buddhas in a brick wall structure. In the centre is large lotus bud chedi that holds a Buddha relic. The lotus chedi rises above what`s left of its pillars and presides over several magnificient Buddhas and hundreds of chedis.

The earlier picture was taken from one angle. This one is from the opposite angle and gives you an overview of the monument. Very impressive with lots of positive vibrations.

A close of the standing Buddha image that was referred to earlier. Two Phra Attharot (Large Buddha images) are enshrined in a mandapa on both sides of the principle chedi, the close up is what you see.

Image of the same Buddha only top portion. Looks splendid. There is a Museum outside the historical park. Did not visit but am told it is nice.

Pilgrims and monks in relief walking in procession clockwise around the main Chedi.

As you enter Wat Mahathat from main entrance there is a stupa with four Buddha images, you see two.

Just behind the main chedi is a huge Buddha image that you see `Calling the Earth to Witness`. Like others it has stone pillars in front that would have once supported a ceiling. Very impressive image. Note the incredibly tapered set of fingers.

To the left of the main chedi (stupa) and behind the two standing Buddha images are number of stupas, you see one of them.

You see one more image of Buddha with a chedi (stupa) in the background. On the right is an image of the standing Buddha. When you tell Thai people you are from India, the Land of Buddha, they look at you with respect. Buddha. When you tell Thai people you are from India, the Land of Buddha, they look at you with respect.

Another view of the same Buddha image with the main stupa to your left. On the extreme left you see standing Buddha image.

The Historical Park has very good roads, that are clean and well maintained lawns. As part of the Wat Mahathat complex is this waterbody. It is best to drive through the park on Cycle. Hiring charges 20-30 Baht per day.

Board of Wat Si Sawai, Sukhothai. Reproduce `Its three prangs (imitating Hindu Shikhara Vimanas) as regarded as ancient monuments of considerable significance. A carved lintel depicting Lord Vishnu reclining on the Naga seat, fragments of monuments of considerable significance. A carved lintel depicting Lord Vishnu reclining on the Naga seat, fragments of monuments of considerable significance. A carved lintel depicting Lord Vishnu reclining on the Naga seat, fragments of Hindu images and Linga indicate that this originally a Hindu santuary. King Rama VI found an image of Sayumpu (Siva) in Hindu images and Linga indicate that this originally a Hindu santuary. King Rama VI found an image of Sayumpu (Siva) in the vihara`.

An overview of Wat Si Sawai. It has carvings of Vishnu and other deities. It was earlier a Hindu shrine before being adopted as a Buddhist monument.

You see Wat Trapang Ngoen (mean silver lake, a reference to the large pond before the monument). It is photogenic at sunrise with hills in the background. It is almost directly behind Wat Mahathat.

A close up of the Buddha image in Wat Trapang Ngoen.

Close by is Wat Sa Si whose board you see. This monument serves as historical evidence of the prevalence of Sinhalese Buddhism in Sukhothai. The circular stupa (known as Chedi) is in Sri Lankan bell shaped style.

An overview of Wat Sa Si. Note reflection of stupa in the water. Very beautiful and peaceful enviornment. It has a round bell shaped chedi, assembly hall (vihara) and ordination hall (Ubosatha).

A view of the bell shaped stupa in Sri Lankan style with an image of Buddha on left. The Wat overlooks a huge reservoir known as Traphang Traku. You see walking Buddha.

A close view of the bell shaped stupa made in Sri Lankan style.

You cross this small bridge from the assembly hall to the ordination hall. This hall in the middle of the reservoir points to a Buddhist concept of demarcating an area where meditation is done by enclosing the holy precincts with water as a symbol of purity.

A close up of the Buddha image in Wat Sa Si.

Board outside Wat Chana Songkhram. It is close to Wat Sa Si and one of the park exit points.

This wat has a main chedi that you see and surrounding chedis. Topped by a structure of receding storeys (Vimanas), the subordinate chedi on the eastern flank is similar to Wat Traphang Neon in Sukhothai and Wat Chedi Chet Thaeo in Si Sachanalai.

Board outside Wat Sorasak. This wat is outside the historical park, a few minutes away.

Picture of Wat Sorasak. Has elephants at the base on all sides. Like in India elephants are worshipped and very important to the Thais as well as we shall see in Chiang Mia pictures.

You see board outside Wat Sri Chum. It houses one of the largest sitting Buddha images in the world. Board reads `Phra Achana, a large seated stucco Buddha image in the attitude of Subduing Mara. It is enshrined in the Mandapa of Wat Si Chum. Achana means one who is not frightened.

Wat Si Chum before restoration 1953. They have done a good job.

A view of the Buddha image seen through the entrance to the mandapa.

A view of sitting Buddha image. It is nearly 15 metres high.

Board of Wat Phra Phai Luang. Excerpts `ancient monuments were built in the middle of an area enclosed within a moat. The oldest monuments are 3 buildings made in Prasat style. This belongs to the late Sukhothai period ie around 15th century A.D`.

Most of the monument is in ruins. You see an overview of one of the monuments. There are many broken Buddha images.

On my return from Wat Sri Chum was famished. This mother daughter duo gave me super vegetarian noodles with lots of spices just what I wanted. They looked so happy together that just had to click them.

Wat Mai is located just outside entrance to the historical park. It has a huge assembly hall. The decorative items found on the base show Ayutthaya influence. Around the vihara there are 5 small chedis. While 100 metres to the north, there is a chedi with a base of nine spires.

An overview of the ruins of Wat Mai. For a fan room located outside the historical bath paid 300 baht, bargain to 200 baht.

Wat Chang Lom is about 1 km from the historical park. Board outside wat.

This temple consists of a main-bell shaped chedi with 32 elephant sculptures around, an assembly hall and an ordination hall surrounded by water. Taken utmost care in writing narrations. In case of any errors apologies, please mail me.