Temples of Thailand: Wat Chaiwatthanaram, Ayutthaya

Wat Chaiwatthanaram was the last of the ruins that I explored in the ancient Siam capitol of Ayutthaya, Thailand, but it was definitely the most impressive. It is actually located outside of the main island that Ayutthaya is built on, and it’s towers stand tall and surprisingly well preserved on the west bank of the Chao Phraya River.

Wat Chaiwatthanaram in Ayutthaya, Thailand

Wat Chaiwatthanaram

The temple dates back to 1630AD, when King Prasatthong had it built in memory of his mother. Built in the typical Khmer style, the temple has many similarities to Angkor Wat, and it is thought that it was perhaps also built to commemorate the king’s victory over Cambodia.

Wat Chaiwatthanaram in Ayutthaya, Thailand

Outside wall and towers

Wat Chaiwattanaram is rectangular in shape, with one main 35m high central prang (tower) and eight lesser prangs surrounding it, making it beautifully symmetrical.

Central prang Wat Chaiwatthanaram in Ayutthaya, Thailand

The central prang (tower)

Inside the walls of the temple is a gallery of Buddha images, with many statues lining the walls and murals and stucco artwork in the interior of the towers. After the sacking of Ayutthaya by the Burmese in 1767, the temple was used as an army camp before being left to ruin, and many of the Buddha statues and artwork have been damaged.

Buddha statues at Wat Chaiwatthanaram in Ayutthaya, Thailand

Buddha statues line the walls of the temple

Buddha Statue at Wat Chaiwatthanaram in Ayutthaya, Thailand

A Buddha Statue inside one of the smaller prangs

Headless buddha statues at Wat Chaiwatthanaram in Ayutthaya, Thailand

Headless Buddha Statues

Wat Chaiwatthanaram in Ayutthaya, Thailand

A pathway connects the towers

Stone carving at Wat Chaiwatthanaram in Ayutthaya, Thailand

Beautiful stone carvings line the wall around the central prang

There are also several chedis (stupas) in the temple grounds, and there was a lot of the temple to explore. Although much of the temple is damaged like all the ruins in Ayutthaya, I found Wat Chaiwattanaram to be really well preserved considering it’s history, and it has a beautiful location on the river.

Ayutthaya is always included in the best holidays in Thailand, and Wat Chaiwatthanaram is a must see in the city.

Towers and chedis at Wat Chaiwatthanaram in Ayutthaya, Thailand

Looking at some chedis behind one of the smaller towers

Wat Chaiwatthanaram in Ayutthaya, Thailand

Check out this video of my exploration of Wat Chaiwattanaram:


Video not working? Click here.

Have you been to Ayutthaya? What was your favourite ruin?

 

 

You might also like:

22 comments… add one

Leave a Comment

CommentLuv badge

Inline
Inline