Wat Phra Si Sanphet, Ayuthaya, Thailand
21st Sept, 2009, we were in Ayuthaya touring the magnificent ruins there. It is a pity I planned only a single day for this wonderful place, with just four hours in hand we were hurriedly hopping from Wat to Wat. Some of them were small so it didn’t take much time but a couple of them were big huge ones covering acres of land. Wat Phra Si Sanphet was one such place. There was lots to explore in the ruins there and the 45mins we spent there was just not sufficient.
Wat Phra Si Sanphet was originally built in 1448 and was used as the kings chapel. The royal palace was later converted in to a monastery. The three main Chedis belonged to 15th century, they enshrine the ashes of three Ayuthaya kings. There was a 17m tall bronze standing Buddha image which was covered with gold. It was made in 1500 during the reign of the ninth king of Ayutthaya, King Ramathipodi. Buildings were renovated in 16th and 17th centuries.
In 1767 the invading Burmese tried to melt the gold of the image, but in the process the image and the temple was destroyed. Nothing much was visible about this image. It was ruins all around, the bricks crumbling to dust and soon will be in level with ground. Lot of greenery all around, and the site is well maintained, one of the Wats where they have an entrance fee of 150bahts for foreigners. A grand place to visit, if you are ever there.