Chedi Phra Sri Suriyothai

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Timings : 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM

Time Required : 30 mins to 1 hour

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Chedi Phra Sri Suriyothai, Ayutthaya Overview

The bell shaped Chedi Phra Sri Suriyothai is said to contain the ashes of the late Queen Suriyothai. Though the public is not allowed access inside, one can admire the gold gilded spire from outside. It was built on the mouth of an old canal which has since been filled and converted to a road. Queen Suriyothai, to this day remains an icon of Thai culture for her famed bravery in battle.

The monument is bright gold in colour with a white base and a well-manicured park surrounding it. The monument and its courtyard is closed to the public, but the park remains open for those who would like to see the park up close. In the afternoons, Chedi Phra Sri Suriyothai is said to twinkle in the sunlight, making for a pretty sight.

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Legend of Queen Suriyothai

Queen Suriyothai is said to have been married to then-ruler King Chakkraphat. When her husband and sons left to fight the Burmese-Siamese War of 1548, she apparently followed them, fearing for their safety. Dressed as a male soldier, she rode an elephant into battle and fought valiantly. When her husband’s elephant stumbled, putting him in the path of danger, she is said to have charged in front of him and sacrificed her own life for his. In honor of her brave sacrifice, King Chakkraphat built this monument on the site of her cremation.

This local legend has been questioned by modern academics who believe that the monument was built after 1765 (much after King Chakkraphat’s rule) and that the elephant story was actually about another princess named Phra Boromdhilok. However, this story about Queen Suriyothai continues to remain popular to this day and she is revered by the public.

Architecture of Chedi Phra Sri Suriyothai

The bell-shaped chedi has a long spire painted golden with a four-sided white base. It is said to be built in the exactly spot where the queen’s cremation took place. On all four sides of the monument, there are gardens, gazebos, and trees. It is situated on the southern side of a canal that has now been dug up.

Chedi Phra Sri Suriyothai has a small entrance on its northern side, but this is closed to the public. There is also a little courtyard around the monument that is cordoned off from visitors. Instead, visitors are encouraged to view the monument from Sri Suriyothai Park.

In 1990, the Fine Arts Department of Ayutthaya was conducting restoration work of the monument when they found important, well-preserved relics inside. These objects included a miniature model of the chedi made from quartz, a golden casket, various gems, and a glass image of Buddha. They are now kept in the Chao Sam Phraya Museum for public viewing and safe-keeping.

How To Reach Chedi Phra Sri Suriyothai

Chedi Sri Suriyothai is located off U-Thong Road in the Hua Laem district on the far western end of the island. It is situated on the confluence of the Chao Phraya River and old Lopbburi River. Close-by landmarks include the Office of Archaeology and National Museum. The most convenient way of reaching here is by hiring a taxi.

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