Temples in Ayutthaya That You Must Visit in 2021

Religious

Most Beautiful Temples in Ayutthaya

The temples in Ayutthaya stand witness to the city's glorious past. At the peak of Ayutthaya's time as the former capital of the Siam Kingdom, there were known to be over four hundred temples across the city. Many of these temples today are toured and studied as ruins depicting on their walls and surroundings, tales of royalty and religious teachings of the olden Thai society. It wasn't until 1969 when the government of Thailand initiated efforts to restore some of the ruins. Succeeding that, a large part of the city was declared as a historical park in 1976. Finally, in 1991, a portion of the park was declared as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Today, many of the temples are an integral part of the Site and can be visited.

Here is the list of 22 Temples in Ayutthaya That You Must Visit in 2021

1. Wat Phra Si Sanphet

Wat Phra Si Sanphet
4.5 /5

Wat Phra Si Sanphet is a significant historical temple. Considered to be the most important temple for the ancient royal family, Wat Phra Si Sanphet boasts of sculptures brought back from the famed Angkor Wat in Cambodia. One can walk into holy halls where only royals were allowed to enter in the past. It contains three chedis which are known to have the ashes of three kings: King Rama Thibodi II, King Borom Ratchathirat III, and King Trilok.
Timings: 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Entry Fee: THB 50
Location: Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya
Built in: 1350

2. Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon

Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon
4.3 /5

Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon, also referred to as the Mongkhon, is one of the primary temples in Ayutthaya. The highlight of the temple is an enormous statue of Buddha in a reclining position. Measuring about 23 feet in length, it is positioned outside the temple. The temple is divided into 4 sections - the big Budda laying in sleeping position in the ruined chapel, main chapel, main pagoda and the yard at the back of the pagoda.
Timings: 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Entry Fee: THB 20
Location: Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya District, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya 13000, Thailand

3. Wat Chaiwattanaram

Wat Chaiwattanaram
4.5 /5

Wat Chaiwatthanaram is a renowned Buddhist Temple constructed according to the Khmer style. It was predominately a royal temple where the king, along with the rest of the royal family, worshipped in private. It is known for its elaborate detailing conforming to the 17th century Khmer architecture, especially the top tower known as prang. Though most of the temple is in ruins, it is still worth visiting for its architecture. Tourists enjoying a boat trip on the Chao Phraya river can view the impressive Wat Chaiwatthanaram from afar as well. 
Timings: 8:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Entry Fee: THB 50
Location: Ban Pom, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya District, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya 13000, Thailand
Opened in: 1630

4. Wat Mahathat

Wat Mahathat
4.3 /5

Wat Mahathat, also known as the temple of the great relics, is the place where Buddha relics were enshrined. The Supreme Patriarch or the Holy Father sat here and commanded his disciples. The temple is said to have nearly identical structures to those in the Angkor temple complex in Cambodia. Wat Mahathat is famous for its Buddha head embedded into the roots of a tree. It is a great place for Buddhism study and meditation.
Timings: 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Entry Fee: THB 50
Location: Naresuan Rd, Tha Wasukri, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya District, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya 13000, Thailand

5. Wat Ratchaburana

Wat Ratchaburana
4.2 /5

Wat Ratchaburana is one of the most important monasteries in Ayutthaya. Known as the “temple of royal restoration,” the beautiful architecture of the 14th-century sanctuary laid in ruins before being renovated. The main prang or the central tower of Wat Ratchaburana serves as the highlight with numerous artefacts and untold treasures being discovered from within it during the excavation of the ruins. Visitors are permitted to climb about half way up the prang and onto the praying area. The chambers below the ruins were found to hold enormous treasures with the walls being decorated elaborately with beautiful murals.
Timings: 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Entry Fee: THB 50
Location: Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya District, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya 13000, Thailand
Built in: 1424

6. Wat Phanan Choeng

Wat Phanan Choeng
4.3 /5

Wat Phanan Choeng is one of the spectacular Buddhist temples found within the Historical Park of Ayutthaya. It differs from the other temples in the vicinity by being a living monastery that still follows the doctrine of Buddhist faith with people worshipping the statue of the sitting Buddha. Believed to have been constructed in the latter half of the 14th century, the ruins reveal an opulence and deep spirituality. Wat Phanan Choeng is most known for an enormous gilded statue of Lord Buddha in the traditional Mara or sitting posture. Legend has it that the statue shed tears during the rampage by the Burmese army in 1767 just before the temple was ransacked and looted of its possessions. The most scenic view of the temple is apparent from a riverboat on the Pa Sak River flowing along the region. The ancient temple also includes a pier for boats making it convenient to reach it by water.

7. Wat Suwandararam

Wat Suwandararam
3.8 /5

Wat Suwandararam, the 'Temple of the Golden Star', is one of the surviving ancient temples in the UNESCO recognized World Heritage Site, Ayutthaya. Famed for its exquisite mural paintings, magnificent architecture and grandeur, the temple has served as an important symbol of legitimacy for the rulers of the Chakri dynasty. It continues to be revered by generations of Thai nationals, civilians and royals alike.

8. Wat Na Phra Men

Wat Na Phra Men
4.2 /5

Built in the early phase of the Ayutthaya period, Wat Na Phra Men is also famously called the Monastery In Front Of the Funeral Pyre. A stunning place for worship with an extremely important history attached to it, it has one of the few unique images and statues of Buddha, which is a huge crowd puller. The temple is still active and conducts ceremonies as and when required. The architecture of this cultural heritage is no less an aspect of wonder, one that reflects the period it was built in. Wat Na Phra Men was registered as a National Historic Site in 1935.

9. Wat Lokayasutharam

Wat Lokayasutharam
4.2 /5

Located near the old Royal Palace and Wat Phra Si Sanphet in Ayutthaya, Wat Lokayasutharam is the site of the largest reclining Buddha statue in Ayutthaya. It is 8 metres tall, 37 metres across and built entirely out of brick giving the temple the epithet of the "Temple of the Reclining Buddha". The statue is placed among several ruins which gives it a touch of extra beauty as the only complete structure in the whole area.

10. Wihan Phra Mongkhon Bophit

Wihan Phra Mongkhon Bophit
4.1 /5

Wihan Phra Mongkhon Bophit is a temple which houses a 17 metre tall bronze gilded statue, said to be carved by the King Chairachathirat himself, after the death of his son. Legend has it that once the statue was moved from its original location to its current place, a bolt of lightning struck it and its head once fell off.

11. Wat Phu Khao Thong

Wat Phu Khao Thong
4.0 /5

A one-of-a-kind temple, the Wat Phu Khao Thong or 'Monastery of the Golden Mount' located in Ayutthaya is unique for the diversity it offers to its viewers! Take the stairs to the top, and bask in the environs of the temple, with views of surrounding mosques, paddy fields, kampongs and the dynamic diasporic diversity that Ayutthaya has to offer. The temple is attached to a small monastery. Therefore, one can partake in and see the monks going about their daily business.

12. Wat Thammikarat

Wat Thammikarat
4.0 /5

A versatile and unique temple complex, the Wat Thammikarat in Ayutthaya is certainly a maze runner waiting to be discovered and explored. It is an active monastery, so one can also experience the working of the traditional monastic order and Thai rituals and traditions. The reclining Buddha image at the temple has been revered and worshipped by generations of Thai people. The holy bathwater is believed to have previously cured several people of illnesses and ill luck.

13. Wat Kudi Dao

Wat Kudi Dao
3.8 /5

The Wat Kudi Dao temple was the residence of the Phra Then Muni, an important priest who was the chief advisor of the Crown Prince at the time. It was abandoned after the Burmese invasion of 1767 but has been partially restored in recent times. In true Ayutthayan architechtural style, there is a central "main" stupa surrounded by 8 smaller ones.

14. Wat Tha Ka Rong

Wat Tha Ka Rong
3.9 /5

Wat Tha Ka Rong is a temple complex that has escaped written mention in almost all found records, except twice when it was used as a base for invading armies. Inside, there are beautiful wooden works and impressive architectural styles. There is a must-see floating market very close to the temple where one can find a variety of food and othe products on the Chao Phraya river.

15. Wat Chang

Wat Chang
3.8 /5

The semi-ruined temple is mainly popular for its biggest chedi, surrounded by a ring of elephant statues. That is why its name literally translates to "A Temple Surrounded by Elephants". It is said that a king had once discovered Buddha relics buried in the ground here, so he dug them up, paid homage to them, and buried them back right in. He then ordered the construction of a chedi over it which is the Wat Chang you see today.

16. Wat Phutthaisawan

Wat Phutthaisawan
4.2 /5

Wat Phutthaisawan was a monastery built to commemorate the founding of the first capital city of Ayutthaya, and was sanctioned by the first king of the Ayutthaya kingdom, King Somdet Phra Ramathibodhi I. As per his orders, it was built on the location where his ministers and he used to stay before the city was established.

17. Wat Borom Puttharam

Wat Borom Puttharam
2.9 /5

Wat Borom Puttharam is located on campus of the Rajabhat University and was built by the King Phetracha in teh 1600s. A unique feature of the entire temple complex is that the King had specifically requested that all the roofs be made from yellow glazed tiles.

18. Wat Phanom Yong

Wat Phanom Yong
3.0 /5

Wat Phanom Yong officially translates to "The Temple of the Wet Nurse Yong". The still active monastery was built on a garden owned by a King's wet nurse and when she died, he built the temple in her honour. The temple was abandoned after the fall of the Ayutthayan empire, but till then it was maintained by the Yong family.

19. Wat Yanasen

Wat Yanasen
3.0 /5

Another very active monastery along the U-Thong road, Wat Yanasen is located east of the Royal Palace. It contains all the major buildings required for a monastery such as a prayer room, sermon hall, monk's quarters, etc but the special thing about this place is its unique chedi, designed with arched porticos, indented terraces and coloured mirrorred tiles.

20. Wat Maheyong

Wat Maheyong

Wat Maheyong is a Buddhist monastery located just outside and on the Eastern end of the ancient city of Ayutthaya. The monastery lies in ruins although it had been restored several times in history. Believed to have been constructed as a meditation center in the 15th century, the red brick walls remain visible from afar. It has been declared as a national historical site by the “Fine Arts Department” of Thailand with the Buddhist monks being encouraged to preside over religious ceremonies held at the ordination hall (ubosot) during auspicious periods.

21. Wat Pichai Songkram

Wat Pichai Songkram
3.2 /5

Dating back to the 14th century, the Wat Pichai Songkram temple was constructed in the heydays of glory of the city of Ayutthaya, when it was the capital of Thailand. With intricate interiors, the buddha temple holds a special place in the history and heart of its peoples - they had prayed in the sanctity of this temple for their victory agains the Burmese. Hence the name Wat Pichai Songkram or 'the temple of war victory'.

22. Wat Samana Kottharam

Wat Samana Kottharam
3.2 /5

The Wat Samana Kottharam is a still active monastery, with a large portion of its structures still intact. There is a now defunct major canal system that passed along the front of the temple. The monastery features a statue of Buddha in a very rare 'Halting of Evil' pose, one that is not typically used.

Now that you know which temples in Ayutthaya are the ones to go to, get your fill of ancient temples that will take you back in time!

This post was published by Joysurjya Hagjer

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