Another stopover during my Ayutthaya tour was the Wat Mahathat or The Temple of the Great Relic. The Wat Mahathat (Thai วัดมหาธาตุ พระนครศรีอยุธยา) is a Buddhist temple in Ayutthaya, central Thailand. This is one of the highlights of my Ayutthaya tour. Again, I love everything in this place. I just can’t get over seeing real temples and ruins.
While I was there, I could still remember how I felt. I didn’t know where to go and what to shoot first. I always love taking pictures and I think I took photos of every corner of Wat Mahathat. The good thing about joining tours in Thailand is that they have decent and english speaking tour guides. I joined two tours when I was there and both tours had been great because of the tour guides. They always make sure that history of every stopover is being explained to the tourists.
Wat Mahathat has been registered as a national historic site by the Fine Arts Department on 8 March 1935 and is part of the Ayutthaya World Heritage Historical Park. Wat Mahathat was one of Ayutthaya’s most important temples. It enshrined Buddha relics and was the seat of the Supreme Patriarch of Buddhism and thus the center of Buddhism in the Ayutthaya Kingdom. Wat Mahathat was a Royal monastery located close to the palace. The King performed important ceremonies here, such as the Royal Kathin ceremony.
One of the highlights in this area is the head of a stone Buddha image entwined in the roots of a tree. I think this is also the most photographed part of the temple. When I was there I waited for a while before I had the chance to have a photo taken. It is also prohibited to have a photo and you’re standing. As a sign of respect to Buddha you should be on the same level. Don’t ever stand and have your photo taken.
If you are familiar of the Khmer mountain temples of Angkor in Cambodia, then you’d noticed that the design of Wat Mahathat follws that concept. The central prang and surrounding galleries were built to symbolize the Hindu and Buddhist view of the universe. The central prang which is situated at the centre of the temple represents Mount Meru. It is believed that this is the centre of the universe surrounded by oceans. Currently, only the large base remains and the upper part of the prang has collapsed.
There are also a lot of broken Buddhas line in the gallery. The people of Thailand’s belief in their Buddha amazes me. Building temples full of Buddhas proves that their Faith is very strong.
“In the end, only three things matter: How much you loved, how gently you lived, and how gracefully you let go of things not meant for you. – Buddha”
Opening Hours: 8:00AM to 5:00PM (Daily)
Entrance Fee: 50 Baht (if you joined a tour, then fees should be included; no need to pay extra)