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Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon in Ayutthaya, Thailand

Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon in Ayutthaya, Thailand

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Published by M.G. Edwards
Travelogue with photos about Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon, a Buddhist monastery in Ayutthaya, Thailand dating back to the Ayutthaya Kingdom period (1350-1767).
Travelogue with photos about Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon, a Buddhist monastery in Ayutthaya, Thailand dating back to the Ayutthaya Kingdom period (1350-1767).

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Published by: M.G. Edwards on Sep 10, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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02/24/2014

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© 2012 Brilliance Press. All rights reserved.
-1-
This is the fourth in a five-part series on Ayutthaya, Thailand about Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon, a restored Buddhist temple dating back to the  Ayutthaya Kingdom  period  (1350-1767). The first article described the historic City of Ayutthaya;the second, the temple ruins of  Wat Chaiwatthanaram ,and the third, Wat Phu Khao Thong.The final  post will feature the ruins of temple Wat Mahathat.
 
Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon, or the “Great Monastery of Auspicious Victory” according to
the website 
,is a restored Buddhist temple located in southeastAyutthaya. Evidence of a large moat that once existed around the site suggests that it wasonce an important Khmer-style temple complex 
in “Ayodhya,” a settlement that pre
-dated
the Ayutthaya Kingdom. Today it’s a functioning temple with a monastery and restored
 or
chedi
(monument). Several smaller
chedi
ruins dotting the grounds serve as areminder that the site is historical.Records indicate that Ayutthaya King Uthong,or Ramathibodhi I (1350-69), established the monastery to lay to rest two of his children, Chao Kaeo and Chao Thai, who died of cholera
.Its first name was Wat Pa Kaeo or the “Monastery of the Crystal Forest.” Thetemple built on the site later became known as Wat Chao Phya Thai, or the “Monastery of 
 
the Supreme Patriarch,” and was home to monks trained in then
-Ceylon (now Sri Lanka).
 
© 2012 Brilliance Press. All rights reserved.
-2-
The current configuration of the temple and
chedi
took shape during the reign of  KingNaresuan (1590-
1605), who reportedly gave it the name “Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon” to
commemorate his victory over the Burmese occupiers he ousted from Ayutthaya in 1592.The temple was destroyed by the Burmese in 1767 and restored by the Thais in 1957. Thetall
chedi
that stands an estimated 30 meters (100 feet) is almost as high as the one at WatPhu Khao Thong;its more slender profile that rises in the middle of urban Ayutthayaobscures its true height.
 
The temple is perhaps best known for its seven-meter (23 feet) long reclining Buddha
constructed during King Naresuan’s reign. One of the largest outdoor reclining Budd
hasin Thailand, it was restored in 1965 and is now a major tourist attraction in Ayutthaya.The large
chedi
that dominates the temple complex has a square base with smaller
chedi
 on each corner. It rises to a platform with great views of the city. As you ascend the steps,a large Buddha statue greets you at the top with a calm nod. Above the platform rises abell-shaped tower with an octagonal base that tapers to a point; a chamber on the westernside with Buddhist relics serves as a prayer shrine. The temple complex unfolds below in
all directions, from the monks’ quarters and ordination hall to the west to a garden with
several large Buddhist statues to the east. Manicured lawns with groomed trees andruined chedi grace the north and south flanks.

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