Wednesday, July 1, 2015

WAT MAHA THAT

February 2015 - Ayutthaya Thailand


For the recap version of our day click here.
Click here for another temple we visited earlier in the day. And another from the same day.

I'll admit, we were getting pretty "templed" out by this time but still took a lot of photos of these astounding works of art.
The average entrance fee to most of these temples is arouond 1 US dollar.

The average temperature on our visit was 91F.



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).

Click on the photo below for a larger view.



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.


A prang is a tall tower-like spire, usually richly carved. They were a common shrine element of Hindu and Buddhist architecture in the Khmer Empire. They were later adapted by Buddhist builders in Thailand, especially during the Ayutthaya Kingdom (1350–1767) and Rattanakosin Kingdom (1782-1932). In Thailand it appears only with the most important Buddhist temples.









The most striking feature of Wat Maha That is the abundance of broken Buddhas on display. The Burmese were ruthless in their destructive efforts.











Many sacred figures were smashed into numerous small pieces. In the aftermath of the invasion the monks attempted to repair the damage.



There is one iconic image that you see crop up time and again on postcards and in guide-books is a photograph of a Buddha head entwined within the roots of a tree. This is the main reason people visit this site.








Definitely time to head back to the hotel and put our feet up with a nice cold beer!


5 comments:

  1. Quite a contrast in shots. The embedded head in the roots is strange to my eyes.

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  2. The intact buddha statue with the pointy head is so serene beautiful. We have a tropical rainforest garden at home and it would be wonderful to have a replica of such an exquisite statue there. Dreaming...

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  3. Hard to believe I didn't visit this awesome area when I went to Ayutthaya. We visited shortly, close to sunset. I have always wanted to go back and pay a decent visit to the city.

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  4. Great shots Jackie. I loved the head in the tree and had not seen it before! We too, were a bit tired of temples by the time we left the Far East for the Middle East - but they certainly are great temptations for us shutterbugs, aren't they?

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  5. Hi Jacky. Wonderful set of shots. I have many from several visits here. I love Buddha's head in the tree. Thanks for linking up. #TPThursday

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