Sunday, October 28, 2012

Ayutthaya Kingdom, Thailand

Ayutthaya is an island at the confluence of three rivers: the Chao Phraya river, the Lopburi river and the Pa Sak river.  Ayutthaya Historical Park is a important tourist site for Thailand tourism outside Bangkok in Central Thailand. 

Ayutthaya Historical Park is the ruins of the former capital of the Kingdom of Siam. It is the site of mass murder, rape and enslavement of Siamese people and destruction of the Ayutthaya city, its art and buildings by the Burmese in 1767. The Ayutthaya Kingdom was founded in 1350 by King U Thong, who went there to escape a smallpox outbreak in Lop Buri and proclaimed it the capital of his kingdom, often referred to as the Ayutthaya kingdom or Siam. It was established by King Ramathibodi I in 1351. Ayutthaya is located in the valley of the Chao Phraya River. Due to limited time we able to see only 5 important sites. 

Wat Maha That or the “Monastery of the Great Relic” is located on the city island in the central part of Ayutthaya.This is the first site we visited. It is located very near to Ayutthaya bus station. This is also where you can spot the famous tree that has grown around a Buddha head. It is surrounded by low laterite walls and rows of headless Buddhas.








The Head of the Sandstone Buddha 
The famous sandstone Buddha head encased in the roots of a Bodhi tree and the body had disappeared into the trunk. When taking pictures of you and the Buddha head, make sure you sit on your knees to show respect, as it is considered holy by Thais.






Wat Phra Sri Sanphet, being part of the royal palace, was exclusively used by the Ayutthayan Kings (no monks dwelt there). It was used for royal ceremonies. This monastery was the most important temple of Ayutthaya and situated within the Royal Palace grounds. It served as a model for the Temple of the Emerald Buddha in Bangkok.





 Wat Lokayasutha Ayutthaya
The most striking feature at Wat Lokayasutharam in Ayutthaya is the giant reclining Buddha known as Phra Buddhasaiyart.


Wat Thammikarat
Wat Thammikarat is located right in front of the Royal Palace in Ayutthaya.
Many rooster statues located around the ruins. It seems that people bring them here as offerings, which accounts for the large number of them. Apparently the origin of these rooster statues is based upon a legend about a wager between a prince of Ayutthaya and a prince of Burma in a cock fight. The prince’s rooster won the fight, causing the Burmese prince’s humiliation.



We took a bus from  Bangkok's Northern Bus Terminal (Moh Chit) to Ayutthaya. It took around 90 minutes to reach Ayutthaya and it cost 50 Bahts. Bicycling is the most enjoyable and cheaper way to go around the ruins. Got two bicycle companies near to Ayutthataya bus terminal.  We rented a bicycle for 50B but got to pay 1000B for security deposit. Return journey we took a mini van from ayutthaya to Victory Monument square which cost 60 Bahts. 

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