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Wat Mahathat in Ayutthaya

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Video of Wat Mahathat at bottom of this page.

Chedis and prangs at Wat Mahathat, Ayutthaya.
Chedis and prangs at Wat Mahathat, Ayutthaya.

Wat Mahathat (Temple of the Great Relics) is located almost right in the center of Ayutthaya. Apart from being the symbolic center where the Buddha's relics were enshrined, Wat Mahathat was also the residence of the Supreme Patriarch or leader of the Thai Buddhist monks. The temple is believed to be built during the 14th century A.D. (the early Ayutthaya period).

The main prang collapsed during the Ayutthaya period, but was restored. It collapsed again in 1911, so only the foundation of the main prang remains at present.

However, it can easily be judged from the size of the base, that the prang was quite high. As in most architecture of the early period of Ayutthaya, the main prang was the most important edifice in the temple compound.

For tourists, Wat Mahathat offers the much photographed Buddha head, embedded into a tree trunk.

Buddha Image in the viharn at Wat Mahathat, Ayutthaya.


The well known image of the Head of the Buddha, with tree trunk and roots growing around it. Wat Mahathat, Ayutthaya.

Larger images of Wat Mahathat, Ayutthaya.


Images by G.V., Bangkok, copyrighted.

Ayutthaya Info, Getting Around,
Travel Itinerary Suggestions

Most important temple compounds,
rather 'must see' :

: Contains Video Impression

Wat Mahathat
Wat Ratchaburana
Wat Phra Si Sanphet
Wat Yai Chai Mongkol
Wat Chai Wattanaram
Wat Phanan Choeng

Recommended :

Wat Phutthai Sawan
Wat Phra Ram
Wat Na Phramen
Wat Choeng Tha
Wat Suwan Dararam
Wat Mongkhon Bophit

Optional (surely worth a visit!) :

Wat Thammikarat
Wat Kasatthirat
Wat Phu Khao Thong
Wat Lokayasutharam
Wat Som
Wat Maheyong
Wat Sala Phun
Wat Worachetharam

Add-on : Bangpa-In Palace

The Prang in Khmer and
Ayutthaya Architecture

History and Historical Monuments
of Thailand

Historical Parks of Thailand :

Si Satchanalai
Kamphaeng Phet

Buddhist Temples in Bangkok
(many pages)

Khmer Sanctuaries in Thailand :

Prasat Hin Phimai
Phanom Wan
Prasat Phanom Rung
Muang Tam
Phimai National Museum


Content, including images, by Guido Vanhaleweyk, Bangkok. Contact : gv@ayutthaya2020.com
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