Monday, June 29, 2015

Wat Yai Chai Mongkol Thailand

February 2015 - Ayutthaya Thailand

For the recap version of our day click here.

 I posted another temple last week - Wat Pho

Wat Phra Chao Phya-thai, populary known as Wat Yai Chai Mongkol, is situated to the southeast of the city. The large chedi can be seen from a great distance.

Experts believe the stupa was built even before Ayutthaya was founded. King Naresuan the Great had it restored and built some additions to commemorate his great victory in battle over the Burmese. He named it "Chai Mongkol" or "Auspicious Victory".

The main Chedi of the temple is 62.10 meters in height and was built with 28,144 tons of brick. Even though the location was prepared to bear a lot of weight, the pressure from the Chedi was enormous and it pushed away underground water until the ground underneath the Chedi became hollow. As time passed, the Chedi started to sink.

The Ubosatha Hall is the main entrance to the monastery. When Thai Buddhists visit the temple they will normally make an offering. This act is known as wai phra; wai being the traditional greeting with palms pressed together and raised towards the face and phra being the word for a Buddha image, monk or priest.

The usual offering made consists of a candle, some flowers (often a lotus), a small square of gold leaf and three incense sticks. The three incense sticks represent the Buddha, his teachings and the monastic order.

  Sitting in the position of respect with feet tucked behind in order that they face away from the Buddha.  After  the person has offered some prayers they will often make another recital in their mind which could be a wish for good health or even good luck for selecting the lottery numbers! The incense sticks are then planted into a container of sand and the small square of gold leaf is pressed onto the Buddha image.

Visitors will apply gold leaf to the Reclining Buddha's hands and feet.

The chedi is 60 metres tall and allows visitors to climb the weathered steps and take in a magnificent view from above.

John did the climb and captured some great photos along with a selfie or two.

The view is panoramic with rows upon rows of saffron draped Buddhas. do not despair, there will be many close up photos of these!

He spotted Tom and me strolling among those Buddhas.

There's a ladder on the back!

While John had his head in the clouds, Tom and I wandered the peaceful gardens.

After one of my favourites above, I spotted this nun doing some cooking. In Thailand women cannot be monks but nuns. They wear white robes and their head is also shaved. Being a female novice is less valued than being a monk. They are often treated as temple maids doing the cooking and cleaning for monks.

All photography on Junk Boat Travels are under copyright unless stated otherwise.

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  1. Beautiful shots! I am always struck by the beauty of the Buddha statues and the temples in Southeast Asia, we thought Bangkok's were stunning and then were blown away in Yangon by the size of their temples and tributes! Most interesting post.

  2. Wow, this is a huge complex with huge statues and stupas. I love all the yellow color draping, it really adds just the right color pop to these images.

  3. Ayutthaya is incredible. I only explored a small portion of the city when I went to Thailand. Hope I can return one day to see more of this ancient place.

  4. What an awesome place to explore! Love the architectural details.

  5. Thanks for sharing all of the photos. I'm not normally a fan of scrolling through dozens of photos but it had so much to see it was definitely was necessary. I loved the virtual tour and all of the explanations that you added to the photos.

    Sean at His and Her Hobbies

  6. That chedi does indeed look very, very old. I've always wondered what is the significance of draping the buddha statues in the saffron robes. Do you know? Is the gold leaf available for sale at the temple or do people have to bring their own?

    1. I couldn't find the purpose of the saffron robes. But I did find that in India saffron colour is considered auspicious.

  7. Wow, that is so amazing. I really want to travel to Thailand :)

    - Linking over from Saturday Snapshots

  8. I'd love to get to Thailand one day- all your photos are wonderful.

  9. Such a beautiful place! Many thanks for taking me with you, and for the link :)

  10. I'm not sure I would ever be able to get over the immense size of these buddhas!! And all that lovely material draping them - I didn't know that was done.

  11. I once traveled Bangkok. Now I realized that I missed such interesting places in Thailand!

  12. fantastic shots! Thailand is so on my bucket list!

  13. I've explored this a couple of times, and I think it's one of my favorite temple complexes in Thailand. Have not been in a while, and must return the next time I'm back in Thailand. All of your shots are lovely. #TPThursday


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