The Ayutthaya Historical Park

By | November 18, 2012

The Ayutthaya Historical Park

The Ayutthaya Historical Park is all that’s now left of this once most powerful ancient city within the Siam empire, the park is now protected as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The ancient city of Ayutthaya was the capital of Siam (Thailand) for more than 400 years following its succession to power from the original Siamese capital city of Sukhothai .

Founded by King U Thong in the mid-14th century, the city of Ayutthaya was at its finest until the Burmese invasion in 1767. The destruction brought by the conquering Burmese was such that the beautiful temples and palaces in Ayutthaya were left in complete ruins.


There were 33 Kings who ruled ancient Ayutthaya from the 14th to the 18th centuries. One can just imagine the amount of works of art, in all differing various forms that were commissioned by the monarchs not counting the temples and palaces that were built under each reign and are now preserved within the park. 

The Ayutthaya Historical ParkThe ruins in the Ayutthaya Historical Park are without doubt the highlight & main tourist draw to this otherwise very average city. The elephant “taxis” also make a nice change from the four wheeled version & are quite a nice way to go exploring.

The whole park can be explored in a day or two, the very best way to get around is to hire a bicycle & just explore the park at your own pace.It’s not until you get amongst the near 100 temples & palaces that you realise & feel the power that this place once yielded!.

Wat Phra Si Sanphet was the grandest of the temples during Ayutthaya’s boom. Located within the walls of the Historical Park is the Wat used as aresidential palace but ultimately converted into a Buddhist monastery during King Ramathibodi I.

The Ayutthaya Historical Park

Wat Chaiwatthanaram maybe the most photographed temple in Ayutthaya Historical Park. It is a replica of the Temple at Angkor Wat as requested by King Prasat Thong when the temple was built in 1630 to honor his mother. Built along the banks of Chao Phraya River, the temple can easily be accessed by long-tail boat.

Wat Phra Ram was built in 1369 with chedis and towering prangs that now lay in ruins. However, the intricate stucco work on the wall is testimony to the superb craftsmanship of artisans of that time.

Wat Phra Mahathat built by King Boromaraja in the 14th century had once prided itself by a 165-foot high central prang. Viharn Phra Mongkol Bopit is home to a huge 15th century Buddha. The temple is a favorite site of Buddhists. Other temples worth seeing are: Wat Chai Wattanaram, Wat Phu Khao Thong, and Wat Phanan Choeng. There’s the Old Palace and Chantarakasem Palace used as summer residences of past Kings. 

Getting to Ayutthaya Historical Park is easy as it is only around 80 kilometers away from Bangkok .You can take your pick on how you choose to travel by train, road or boat!.

Whichever you choose, it’s a great place to visit,have a really good time!.

 

 

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