Ayutthaya Temples

Over a period of roughly five centuries, kings and nobles were building temples all over the city of Ayutthaya in order to prove their power, celebrate victories, gain respect and admiration from their people or commemorate relatives. As a result of that more than 400 temples were found in the city, with some of them not fully excavated or not even discovered yet.

In 1991 the Ayutthaya Historical Park was pronounced a UNESCO World Heritage site. But Ayutthaya temples are not limited to the historical park and many other temples and ruin can be found outside the island.

Even if there’s no official dress code for visiting the ruins, the Historical Park is considered a sacred destination for the Buddhists, and to show the appropriate respect visitors should have shoulders and knee covered (and everything that there’s in the middle). This is a strict rule, especially for women, visiting active temples.

To visit the most impressive ruins within the historical park or a couple of the most sacred contemporary temples outside the island you will need to pay the entrance fee of about THB50, and there’s the possibility to buy a ticket that will cover six of the most popular temples for THB230.

Temples on the island

Wat Mahathat

Wat Mahathat was the residence of the Patriarch of Thai Buddhist monks. Built in the 14th century in Khmer style, it’s one of the oldest and largest temples in Ayutthaya but it was almost totally destroyed by the Burmese. It is here where you can find the famous head of Buddha almost totally covered with trees roots. A sinister row of headless Buddha statues will definitely capture your attention, too.

Wat Ratchaburana

Built in the 15th century, like Wat Mahathat, Wat Ratburana also features Khmer style. Its impressive main prang (the characteristic Khmer tower) is still intact and open to public. In the crypt under the prang you’ll find a series of Jataka murals with scenes from Buddha’s lifes.

Wat Phra Si Sanphet

The largest temple in the Historic Park, it is easy to recognize by its three big chedis (Buddhist stupas), built to commemorate three kings and keep their ashes. Situated within the royal palace boundaries, it was considered the holiest and more beautiful temple in Ayutthaya. It was the private temple of the royal family and was used only for special ceremonies. The three chedis are the main attraction, since everything else has been destroyed during the Burmese war.

Wat Phra Ram

Built in Khmer style as a cremation site for the death of king Uthong in the 14th century, Wat Phra Ram is a restored temple that has an almost intact big prang with some smaller chedis around it. For a Instagrammable picture of the main prang, just walk around the pond that you’ll find in front of the temple. From the other side the view is spectacular.

Temples outside the island

Wat Chai Wattanaram

Going southwest from the island you will find the impressive Wat Chai Wattanaram, which architecture is very similar to Angkor Wat. Built in 17th century to commemorate King Prasat Thong’s mother, it was a royal temple used for religious ceremonies by the king and his family. It features a central platform with a big prang and four smaller ones at the four corners. All around the platform, eight chedis are connected by a gallery where a lot of Buddha images and statues can be found.

Wat Choeng Tha

Located north of the island, Wat Choeng Tha is a mordern active temple with the remaining ruins of the original temple. A medium-sized prang is surrounded by several chedis. You’ll find also an ordination hall with lion statues – feel free to check inside. The temple is super quiet compared to many others and with a bit of luck you might be the only visitor on the ground.

Wat Yai Chai Mongkol

Located few km southeast of the island, it is one of the more well-know temple of Ayutthaya featuring a massive chedi and a long staircase climbing all way up to it. A row of Buddha statues surrounds the big stupa and, to our taste, are more impressive than the reclining Buddga in the yard.

Wat Phanan Choeng Worawihan

A huge modern temple, Wat Phanan Choeng Worawihan is easily our favourite among the active Ayutthaya temples. The 14th century statue of a big seated Buddha becomes even more impressive if you are lucky to see the ceremony of vesting it into orange-coloured cloth. Two smaller wihans have nice wooden panelling and worth checking, too.

News

Ayutthaya Festival 2019 Is On

The Ayutthaya Festival 2019, an even dedicated to the city's glorious past, started yesterday and will last till May, 26. The five-day celebration takes place within Ayutthaya Historical Park.

23 May 2019

12Go Transport Launches VIP Vans to Ayutthaya, Pattaya

12Go Transport, our new company, has launched VIP vans from our own bus station in Bangkok, Makkasan, to Pattaya and Ayutthaya. Hope to see you among our passengers soon!

02 April 2019

Growing Number of Tourists Might Cause Damage to the Chai Wattanaram Temple in Ayutthaya

The catastrophic increase of tourist visits to the Chai Wattanaram temple of Ayutthaya Historical Park in Thailand from 1,000 to more than 10,000 followed the Thai comedy soap opera Buppae Sanniwas broadcast on Channel 3.

01 April 2018