Sunday, 2 September 2012

Ayuthaya - Thailand's ancient capital

Capital of Siam (modern-day Thailand) from 1350 until its destruction by the invading Burmese army in 1767, Ayuthaya is now a UNESCO world heritage-listed site.

Sadly, there are few intact Buddha statues and only a handful of what was once 400 temples have been restored. However, it is still possible to get a real sense of how magnificent Ayuthaya must have been in its prime.

This Buddha head in the tight embrace of a banyan tree is one of the most enduring icons of Ayuthaya.

The corncob-shaped structure in the background is a Khymer-style prasat (residence of a king or god).  Earlier in the day I saw one at Bang Pa-In Palace that had been built by King Chulalongkorn in 1880 and dedicated to King Prasart Thong of  Ayuthaya.

Many of the buildings are on quite a strong lean and would definitely not survive volcanic and seismic activity, such  as Indonesia experiences in Jogya, near the temples of Pranbaran and Borobudur. 

Some of the smaller statues at Wat Na Phra, one of the few temples to survive, because the Burmese army used it as their base.

This green sandstone Buddha in a shrine adjoiing Wat Na Phra Meru is Sri Lankan and 1500 years old.

Making offerings at the entrance of the temple housing the Sri Lankan Buddha.

In the same entry as above, a trio of adenium.

Detail of a niche on the exterior of the main building Wat Na Phra Meru

The reclining Buddha (Budhasaiyart) at Wat Lokayasutha

Lotus offerings to the reclining Buddha

A nearby vegetable patch

More lotus for sale as offerings at the adjoining stalls.


  1. Marisa, I thoroughly enjoyed this post. I learned so much, and I felt as if I were right there with you. Such a beautiful place with its rich cultural history.
    Thanks for posting.

  2. Thanks, Virginia. It was a wonderful spot to visit. I have been a very lucky girl with my travels this year.



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