City: Ayutthaya Historical Park 2

Wat Mahathat and Wat Ratch Burana

UNESCO: Wat Mahathat, Ayutthaya Historical Park
Wat Mahathat
Located in the old city of Ayutthaya. It inherited Thai traditions to named Wat Mahathat, for keeping Buddha relics in its main Chedi, like the Sukhothai, Kamphaeng Phet and Bangkok. In addition, it was a residence of the Patriarch.

The large viharn is located in front of the temple. The main prang is surrounded by the subsidiary chedis. Wat Mahathat's main prang is Khmer art. It collapsed in the reign of the King Rama IV of Rattana Kosin. Behind prang is ubosot.

Photogenic "Buddha Head", Wat Mahathat
Amazing Sight
Buddha head beneath the tree roots is one of the outstanding objects in front of Wat Mahathat. The visitors always take photograph of it. Recently, UNESCO brought its picture to decorate at headquarter in Paris. There are only 40-50 images from UNESCO World Heritage Sites are selected among over 900 sites worldwide.

UNESCO: Viharn and Main Prang, Wat Ratcha Burana
Wat Ratch Burana
This temple was built during the early Ayutthaya in the 15th century to commemorate the battle of two princes for the throne (Chao Ai Phraya and Chao Yi Phraya). They killed each other. As a result, youngest brother (Chao Sam Phraya) was a king and built the temple to dedicate to his two brothers.

This temple has main prang in good condition. The prang base is decorated with demon and mythical creature stucco. Higher levels are adorned the deva and Garuda. Stairs to the upper floor lead to a hallway that display light boxes of treasure found. And down to the bottom has 2 levels of the vault decorated with mural paintings and it was a place to preserved Buddha relics and priceless treasures.

Demon Stucco, Main Prang
Garuda and Deva Stucco, Main Prang

Wat Ratch Burana is a great source of valuable artifacts that survived from the war. It was discovered by thieves who illegally excavated and sold to a gold shop in Ayutthaya. And lead to the official survey on 1957.

There are more than 2,000 pieces of exquisite and beauty such as gold Buddha images, votive tablets and royal utensils for the king. The treasure now is on display at the Chao Sam Phraya National Museum.

Vault, Main Prang, Wat Ratcha Burana
Stair to the Lower Vault, Main Prang, Wat Ratcha Burana
Unconfirmed Story
One of the rumors about the discovery of this treasure is about a crazy man swinging the royal sword in the market. Cause the police knew that a huge treasure was discovered. Crazy man was one of the thieves who had the unfortunate life. It might be a curse or some other reason. The gold shop where were believed to be a source to purchase the treasure was fire damaged as well. (The royal sword is one item of the king's utensil collection).

Did you know?
Gold Elephant of Wat Rat Burana treasure is one of the masterpieces in the series, "Around the World in 80 Treasures", filmed by the BBC and presented by Dan Cruickshank. This documentary is refered to "Around the World in 80 Days" by Jules Verne. Others to be chosen such as Samurai Sword-Japan, Ming Dynasty Porcelain-China, Tutankhamun's Burial Mask-Egype etc.

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