11 Jun 2010 – Ayutthaya Historical Park

Ayutthaya, full name Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya/พระนครศรีอยุธยา app 80km N of BKK. The city was founded in 1350 by King U-Thong, who went there to escape an outbreak of  smallpox and proclaimed it the capital of his kingdom. It is est that Ayutthaya by 1600CE had a pop of app 300,000, with the pop perhaps reaching 1mil app 1700CE, making it one of the world’s largest cities then. Note BE/Buddhist Era & CE/Common Era, too complicated for me!

In 1767 the city was destroyed by the Burmese army, resulting in the collapse of the kingdom. The ruins of the old city now form the Ayutthaya Historical Park, which is recognized internationally as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1991. Note chedi/stuple-pointed top and prang-rounded top.

Wat Phra Ram/วัดพระราม might have been built app 1912BE/1369AD. It has been restored a few times in the subsequent centuries, during the reign of King Borom Trailokanath, and later by King Borom Kot in 2284BE. The temple compound houses a large prang and many chedis.

Wat Lokkayasutharam/วัดโลกยสุธาราม, has a mysterious past, whereby its origins are unknown. The temple enshrines a large Reclining Buddha Image which was built during The Early Period of the Ayutthaya Region.

Wat MahaThat/วัดมหาธาตุ/Temple of the Great Relics is believed to be built during the 1400sAD. The well known image of the Head of the Buddha, with tree branches growing around it.

Wat Kudi Dao/วัดกุฎีดาว is a very extensive ruin with a number of architectural structures. Its highlights are a massive Ceylon-style chedi, which is broken in pieces around the courtyard and colonnades of enormous pillars with their lotus shaped capitals still intact.

Wat Yai ChaiMongKhon/วัดใหญ่ชัยมงคล พระนครศรีอยุธยา built in 1357 and restored in 1982, a large chedi/stuple surrounded by 4 walls lined with Buddha images.

Delicious fresh river prawns dinner**** by the river en route back to BKK.

For life and death are one, even as the river and the sea are one – Kahlil Gibran

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