Postcards from Thailand #13: Wat Chaiwattanaram in Ayutthaya

Wat Chaiwattanaram, one of the most imposing Buddhist monasteries in Ayutthaya in Thailand
Wat Chaiwattanaram, one of the most imposing Buddhist monasteries in Ayutthaya in Thailand

Wat Chaiwattanaram is one of the most imposing Buddhist monasteries in Ayutthaya, commissioned by King Prasat Thong in 1630, along the Chao Phraya river. The architecture bears similarities to the Angkor Wat, and these structures may have been built to commemorate victories over Cambodia (Khmer). ‘Wat’ is a Buddhist monastery and temple complex in Thailand. Click here to read a brief introduction to Ayutthaya.

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The complex consists of a 35 metre high main stupa or ‘prang’ (Khmer style tower) and four smaller ‘prangs,’ all built on the same base. These are surrounded by eight lesser ‘prangs’ and a gallery. Wat Chaiwattanaram was a royal monastery, and used by the rulers to perform religious ceremonies. It was even used as a cremation site for members of the royal family.

When Ayutthaya was besieged by Burmese invaders, the Wat was converted into an army camp. It was abandoned after the fall of Ayutthaya, just like the other structures in the city. Looting, decapitation of Buddha images and selling of bricks from the Wat became a common practice.

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Wat Chaiwattanaram, one of the most imposing Buddhist monasteries in Ayutthaya in Thailand
Wat Chaiwattanaram, one of the most imposing Buddhist monasteries in Ayutthaya in Thailand
Wat Chaiwattanaram, one of the most imposing Buddhist monasteries in Ayutthaya in Thailand
Wat Chaiwattanaram, one of the most imposing Buddhist monasteries in Ayutthaya in Thailand
Wat Chaiwattanaram, one of the most imposing Buddhist monasteries in Ayutthaya in Thailand
Wat Chaiwattanaram, one of the most imposing Buddhist monasteries in Ayutthaya in Thailand
Wat Chaiwattanaram, one of the most imposing Buddhist monasteries in Ayutthaya in Thailand
Wat Chaiwattanaram, one of the most imposing Buddhist monasteries in Ayutthaya in Thailand
Wat Chaiwattanaram, one of the most imposing Buddhist monasteries in Ayutthaya in Thailand
Wat Chaiwattanaram, one of the most imposing Buddhist monasteries in Ayutthaya in Thailand
Wat Chaiwattanaram, one of the most imposing Buddhist monasteries in Ayutthaya in Thailand
Wat Chaiwattanaram, one of the most imposing Buddhist monasteries in Ayutthaya in Thailand
Wat Chaiwattanaram, one of the most imposing Buddhist monasteries in Ayutthaya in Thailand
Wat Chaiwattanaram, one of the most imposing Buddhist monasteries in Ayutthaya in Thailand
Wat Chaiwattanaram, one of the most imposing Buddhist monasteries in Ayutthaya in Thailand
Wat Chaiwattanaram, one of the most imposing Buddhist monasteries in Ayutthaya in Thailand

 

 

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