February 2015 - Ayutthaya Thailand
For the recap version of our day click here.
Click here for another temple we visited later in the day.
Wat Phanan Choeng is another Buddhist temple we visited in Ayutthaya.
Built in 1324, some 26 years before the city of Ayutthaya was officially founded, the temple must have been partly connected to early settlements in the area. These notably allegedly included a 200-strong refugee community from Song Dynasty China. The large wihan, the highest building within the temple complex, houses an immense gilded 19 meter high seated Buddha from 1334 CE. This highly revered Buddha statue is called Luang Pho Tho (Thai: หลวงพ่อโต) by Thais, and Sam Pao Kong (Thai: ซำเปากง) by Thai-Chinese. The statue is regarded as a guardian for mariners. Allegedly, prior to the destruction of Ayutthaya by the Burmese in 1767 CE, "tears flowed from the sacred eyes to the sacred navel".The statue has been restored several times in history. King Mongkut named the statue Phra Puttha Thrai Ratana Nayok after its restoration in 1854 CE.
After our stop at the Bang which was quiet and leisurely this temple was the total opposite. Since we had removed our shoes, as per standard protocol, I was terrified of getting my toes stepped upon!
One nice thing about private tours is that you get dropped right at the door/gate and then driver picks you up in the same spot.
Look at all those cables!!
I've posted this sign before but it makes me laugh. I wonder what happens if someone takes your shoes???
This temple provided a shopping area for worshippers to purchase their offerings.
This enormous golden buddha, the oldest, largest and most beautiful Buddha image of all, the Phra Chao Phananchoeng. It is 14.25 metres wide and 19 metres high, made of mortar, primed with black lacquer and covered with gold leaf.
When we entered this chamber which was packed, the monks were dressing the Buddha by passing the cloth over the heads of the worshippers. Luckily John was tall enough to get some photos.
Certain events in the Life of the Buddha are thought to have occurred on certain days. The Buddha images representing these events, are thus also associated with the days on which they occurred. People who are born on a certain day of the week, may be most interested in a Buddha image corresponding to that day.
Click on this link to find your birth day Buddha image.
Mine is a Thursday and John's is a Sunday.
A very satisfied Buddha.
Placing their offerings of gold leaf on the Buddhas, I wrote about the significance of this in another post.Click here.
The crowds have died down and John is able to get a better photo of this magnificent statue. Look how tiny the monks are at the base.
As we exit there is an altar.
This worshipper has the other two requirements for an offering, a lotus flower and three sticks of incense.