Timings : 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM
Time Required : 1-2 hours
Entry Fee : THB 50
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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.
Wat Thammikarat is a temple older than the ancient city of Ayutthaya itself. The temple features many Buddha statues, the most notable of which are the bust of Buddha's head, a 16 metre long reclining Buddha (with gold leaf and mirrors on his toes) and a pure white image of the Buddha in the inner sanctum of the temple. The complex is strategically located for you to plan an itinerary that lets you explore and discover the best of Ayutthaya city. Located close to the Grand Palace, it is revered even by members of the royal family, who are believed to have visited the site extensively.
Make sure you are appropriately dressed, don't bike around the complex and maintain silence.
If you are travelling with children, don't forget to try your hand at the horse carriage rides.
If you wish to get a deeper understanding of the history of the site, a guide is recommended. Most online guide bookings are based in Bangkok, so be prepared beforehand.
The prominent structures in the Wat Thammikarat complex are the chedi, ubosot or ordination or sermon hall, vihara, portico and several other smaller structures. The chedi has an octagonal foundation and is bell-shaped. The structure is surrounded by fifty-two lion statues, made of brick, mortar and stucco, on all ends. This is distinct from other complexes, where elephants are the prominent figures. Furthermore, small spires surround the central chedi.
Another interesting feature is the multi-headed Naga figure. Columns in the vihara or wihan are still intact. The most attractive feature of the wihan is the reclining Buddha within it. The Buddha figure is exquisitely made, with equal sized toes, covered in gold leaf and mirror. According to legend, the figure was constructed on the orders of the Queen of King Baromatrai Lokkanart, to wish for her daughter's (the princess’) recovery. New additions to the complex are the Bangkok-period ubosot, shrines, memorial monuments and a replica of the bronze Buddha head (discovered here, dating to the U-Thong period). The ubosot houses an image of the Buddha defeating Mara. It was also probably constructed during the Rattanakosin period.
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