Wat Mongkhon Bophit, Ayuthaya, Thailand

To the south of Wat Phra Si Sanphet within a walkable distance is this beautiful Wat, Wat Mongkhon Bophit; a mix of old and new temple architecture of Thailand. Initially it was just a Mondop built to protect the huge bronze Buddha image, but in 1706 A.D. the top part of the Mondop and the head of the image was damaged by a thunderbolt. The Mondop was then converted in to a Vihara by the then King.

Unfortunately in 1767 the Vihara was again damaged, this time in a fire and the head and right arm of the image was completely broken. The image was again repaired and the Maha Wihaan (the big sanctuary) was built. It got a face lift again in 1956 and that explains the beautiful condition of the Wat.

All these stories of the huge Buddha image I heard and read before I entered the Wat. On entering the Wat I was left speechless seeing the actual hugeness of the image, it was shining so brightly that it seemed to be made of gold to me. Definitely an image worth protecting and preserving for the future generations.

A Buddha face pasted with real gold leaf on display there. Couldn’t resist taking a close shot of it.

Also an old photograph on display showing the damaged image.

Another interesting bit is that in 1955, the Burmese Prime Minister visted and donated 2,000,000 Bahts to help restore this Wihaan and the image. An act of belated atonement for his country’s sacking of the city 200 years back.

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37 Responses

  1. Anya says:

    Beautiful buddha
    I like that golden face

  2. Rajesh says:

    Wonderful history of beautiful Wat. The golden image of Buddha is gorgeous.

  3. The Burmese Prime Minister knows the law of karma …
    Wonderful post Idrani, as always!
    Thanks for sharing!

  4. Sylvia K says:

    Marvelous post, Indrani! Always love all that I learn from your posts and your gorgeous captures! These are stunning as always! Have a lovely week!


  5. Mohan says:

    Thanks for putting across all the details along with some great pics! The golden buddha looks so peaceful.. i liked the architecture of the temple. Very unique!

  6. Thank you for the history and the wonderful photos. It's good the damage has been repaired so that we in this century can appreciate the beauty too.

  7. Astounding. These Buddhas are so serene. Beautiful.

  8. Anu says:

    the gold leaf work is beautiful!!! and these places are so well kept and managed, it must be a pleasure to visit them!!

  9. Carver says:

    Beautiful temple and I love the shots of the Buddha. The expression on the one with the close up is wonderful.

  10. magiceye says:

    that was wonderful!

  11. alicesg says:

    Oh it is so beautiful. I did paste some gold leaf on the buddha before, both in Singapore and Thailand.

  12. Wolynski says:

    Am amazing gold buddha – how beautiful. Glad they're restoring all this stuff.

    Thailand seems full of wondrous things – lovely photos.

  13. Reader Wil says:

    Thanks for this interesting information, Indrani! I saw in Bangkok the enormous image of the golden recumbent Buddha, which was very impressive too. There were so many other buddhas, that we couldn't take it all in. The temples were also very beautiful.

  14. Lawstude says:

    truly wonderful images. another place wandered. thanks for sharing.

  15. it must have been magical to visit places like this one. a visit that's going to stay in you forever.


  16. Irene says:

    Thanks for taking us there Indrani..

  17. Regina says:

    Beautiful shots Indrani.
    I've seen these a long time ago.
    Before the digital age( took some in film:))


  18. Pietro says:

    Very interesting and fine images, Indrani. Splendid the temple and the statue.
    Have a nice day!

  19. YOSEE says:

    I found Wat Bophit a bit too "touch-me-not"slick for a place of worship. I mean, it was too much like a beautiful, polished showcase exhibit :-). But we got good picture- post- card like photos !!!

  20. The gold Buddha is my favorite.

  21. chrome3d says:

    The peeling paint of the golden buddha was the most beautiful thing. Close up was so much better.

  22. radha says:

    The terms they use and similar usage in our country too. It is a small world!

  23. chhabi says:

    thanks for your new information.Nice image with the blog.

  24. Nessa says:

    Gorgeous art and architecture.

  25. Sugeeth says:

    Hi, Great post…enjoyed….plz visit my blog http://flasing.blogspot.com/

  26. Hazel says:

    I see you visited several wats when you were here. I rarely see temples with a mixture of new style; I usually see only the old ones here.

  27. She Writes says:

    Wow, that is HUGE!

  28. Great pictures and thanks for sharing the history…

  29. Onkar says:

    Very informative.The first 3 pics are great.

  30. Hi Indrani,
    It feels good to catch up on your latest posts here, which are always interesting to read. Thank you. I wish you a happy 2010.

  31. Denise says:

    Incredible images. Thank you also for the historical information, very, very interesting!

  32. Dina says:

    What a history! Wow!

  33. that Buddha statue is really gorgeous

  34. You are mighty lucky and blessed to visit these holy places

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