Sukhothai Things to Do

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Most Recent Things to Do in Sukhothai

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    Wat Si Thon

    by Willettsworld Written Nov 24, 2009

    This temple includes a mandapa and an assembly hall. The square mandapa made of brick with thick walls was designed to support a heavy brick structure forming the top of the building. The temple was where a monk from Sri Lanka, with a knowledge of the Tripitaka, stayed. This monk is believed to have composed a eulogy to Phra Maha Dharmaraja Li Thai in 1361.

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    Wat Tuk

    by Willettsworld Written Nov 24, 2009

    This temple has never been mentioned in any documents. Only old photographs of its stucco relief taken 90 years ago can serve as evidence for these ancient monuments. Decorating the wall of a mandapa, the stucco relief depicts the story of Lord Buddha descending from heaven.

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    Thewalai Mahakaset

    by Willettsworld Written Nov 24, 2009

    This square shrine, in the shape of a manadaapa, was built of brick. Its name, Thewalai Mahakaset, was mentioned in a stone inscription of Wat Pa Mamuang. According to the inscription, made by Phra Maha Dharmaraja Li Thai in 1362, images of Siva and Vishnu were placed in the shrine by Phra Maha Dharmaraja Li Thai in 1349, for Brahmins to worship.
    The Images of Siva and Vishnu are believed to correspond to a group of bronze sculptures of Hindu gods wearing royal attire and adorned with ornaments. Many of these sculptures are currently displayed at the National Museum in Bangkok.

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    Wat Mangkon

    by Willettsworld Written Nov 24, 2009
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    The name of this temple is derived from sculptures of Sangkalok Makara which were found here. Within the temple compound there is an ordination hall and a sizeable bell-shaped chedi. The base of the assembly hall and several subordinate chedis lie inside and outside the temple compound.

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    Wat Saphan Hin

    by Willettsworld Written Nov 24, 2009
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    This temple is located on a 200 metre high hill and is reached by a stone pavement which is how it got its name. The temple is well known for a large 12.5m-high standing Buddha image mentioned in a stone inscription that recalls "...in the heart of the forest Aranyik, there is a beautiful large vihara, a Buddha image called Phra Attharot in standing posture..." Wat Saphan Hin is thought to be the temple to which King Ramkhanhaeng rode on a white elephant named Ruchakhari to worship a Buddha image every Buddhist sabbath.

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    Wat Si Chum

    by Willettsworld Written Nov 24, 2009
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    This is the other famous temple of the northern zone, known for its large sitting Buddha image. The Buddha image with its lap of 11.30 metres wide, occupies the total space of the building. Mentioned on a stone inscription, Phra Achana, the name of this Buddha image, means one who is not frightened. It is believed that Phra Achana was originally carved in the attitude of subduing Mara.

    In a book entitled Phra Ratchaphongsawadan Krung Si Ayutthaya written in the late Ayutthaya period, the temple is referred to as a place where King Naresuan and his troops assembled before the army marched on Sawankhalok and from which the legend of the talking Buddha image (Phra Achana) derives.

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    Wat Sangkhawat

    by Willettsworld Written Nov 24, 2009
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    This temple comprises two groups: the first group is situated in the north, surrounded by a ditch consisting of the assembly hall base which is made from brick and columns which were made of laterite. A large stucco Buddha image on a pedestal was enshrined here. The round-shaped main chedi in Sri Lankan style has a stucco Buddha image in attitude of subduing Mara in 4 directions.

    The second group is situated in the south, surrounded by a ditch, consisting of an ordination hall on a brick base and a subordinate chedi.

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    Wat Phra Phai Luang

    by Willettsworld Written Nov 24, 2009
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    This is one of the main temples in the northern zone. This group was built in the middle of an area which was enclosed with a moat 600 metres long on each side. The oldest ancient monuments in this temple are 3 buildings constructed in prasad form (imitated Hindu Shikhara Vimanas). At present, two of them are still in existence with only their bases remaining. The remaining one in the north is adorned with stucco reliefs depicting the story of Buddha. These stucco reliefs help to confirm the supposition that around the 13th century communities in Sukhothai had cultural contact with the Khmer in the reign of Jayavarman VII and were also associated with Lavo (Lopburi), a Khmer town of importance in the central plain.

    To the east of the prasad are located a vihara and a chedi in pyramidal shape with every sloping side decorated with superimposed receding porches, which are similar to those of Ku Kut chedi in Lamphun, for enshrining Buddha images.

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    Wat Mae Chon

    by Willettsworld Written Nov 24, 2009
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    This temple is composed of a vihara of five chambers on a base that measures 7.50 m x 11.45 m and 3 chedis behind the vihara. To the northwest of the temple, there is an ancient well lined with slate. The diameter of the well is around one metre.

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    San Luang Gate

    by Willettsworld Written Nov 24, 2009

    This is the northern gate into the old city. It was one of the most important gateways through which the Sukhothai people travelled in and out of the city. An inscription mentions the northern part of Sukhothai as having a dried goods market, a Phra Ajana Buddha image and a palace.

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    Wat Son Khao

    by Willettsworld Written Nov 24, 2009
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    This temple is well known for its lotus bud shaped chedi. Besides this there is an assembly hall, a mandapa housing a Buddha image and 2 subordinate chedis. All these are surrounded by a wall and moat.

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    Wat Sorasak

    by Willettsworld Written Nov 24, 2009
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    According to a stone inscription of Wat Sorasak, Nai Inthara Sorasak was granted by Okya Dharmaraja, a Sukhothai governor, a piece of land where he built a temple dedicated to the governor. After the construction was completed, Venerable Mahathera Dharmmtrailok from Dao Khon, an uncle of the Sukhothai governor, was invited to reside at this temple.

    Later on, in 1416, Somdet Phra Borommarachathirat II, as a young boy, came with his mother and aunt to Sukhothai to perform a religious ceremony. During the visit, his aunt stayed at the palace in the west, close to Wat Sorasak. This part of story mentioned in the stone inscription of Wat Sorasak helps to point out that the palace of the Sukhothai royalty is likely to be located to the west of Wat Sorasak and to the north of Ta Pha Daeng Shrine.

    The distinctive building in this temple is its main chedi which is circular bell shaped on a base surrounded with elephant sculptures. The chedi in this style is another type of Sri Lankan stupa that was prevalent during the Sukhothai period. The concept of elephants guarding the chedi is based on a belief that the elephant, regarded as a beast of burden for the emperor, is a suitable animal to firmly uphold Buddhism throughout the period of 5000 years.

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    Namo Gate

    by Willettsworld Written Nov 24, 2009

    Built in the middle of the southern wall, the southern gate is known as Pratu Namo (Namo Gate) with a defensive tower projecting from the wall. A stone inscription reads "Sukhothai has four gates ... and ... enclosed with a wall of 3400 was (6,800m) long". To defend Sukhothai against enemy attack, two outer earthen ramparts and an inner wall of earthen structure covered with laterite and brick were built and three moats were dug in between. The moats also functioned as channels to carry away water for flood prevention.

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    Wat Kon Laeng

    by Willettsworld Written Nov 24, 2009

    Situated outside the southern city wall, 600 metres from Namo Gate, this small temple consists of the main chedi on an elevated base like the one of a lotus-bud shaped chedi, a vihara and subordinate chedis made of brick.

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    Wat Chetuphon

    by Willettsworld Written Nov 24, 2009

    This temple is famous for its four Buddha images in four different postures (sitting, reclining, standing and walking), enshrined in a mandapa with porches on four sides. The exterior wall of the small mandapa features black floral designs like those on Chinese wares.

    There is no evidence to point out when this temple was constructed. It is believed that the temple was not built during the reign of King Ramkhanhaeng. According to a stone inscription of Wat Sorasak, around the middle of the 15th century, Venerable Phra Maha Thera Dharmatrailok, who was an uncle of a Sukhothai ruler named Phra Maha Dharmaraja, met with monks from Wat Chetuphon to discuss the construction of Chang Rop Chedi and other religious buildings during his stay at Wat Sorasak. Considering the name of Wat Chetuphon as mentioned in the said stone inscription together with its architecture style, it is presumable that Wat Chetuphon was an important and flourishing temple during the late Sukhothai period.

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Sukhothai Things to Do

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