When approaching the temple’s vicinity, the remarkable landmark of Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon or known as “Chedi Chai Mongkhon” was built in a bell-shaped principal pagoda standing tall and high on an elevated octagonal base. According to the Royal Chronicles, this pagoda was built during the reign of King Naresuan the Great to honour his victory against the Minyekyawswa of Burma. The name of the temple was changed to Wat Chai Mongkhon and the locals called it Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon instead due to the enormous size of the pagoda. Some historical experts opposed giving the reason that the brick lining technique was similar to that used by Persian architects during King Narai the Great’s era.
After the 2nd defeat of Ayutthaya to the Burmese invasion, Wat Pa Kaeo or Wat Chao Thai was abandoned. King Suriyamarin (Ekathat) appointed as a naval fleet to station at Wat Pa Kaeo to confront the Burmese outside the capital. But his fleet defeated the enemy and the Burmese troops took Wat Pa Kaeo as their fighting base. In 1767, the temple was sacked by the Burmese and the premises were deserted.
The temple’s main focus point is the large reclining Buddha facing east. According to the ancient Thai folklore, the sleeping direction is for the head to the south and the facing side is to the east. In the courtyard outside the main balcony is lined with a set of identical Buddha statues. If you have visited many Thai temples around Bangkok and other big cities, you will be familiar with this style of setting.
With respect to the legend, there are several stories related to Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon. For example, there was a story about Phra Thianracha gathering in the preaching hall to burn candles to consult an oracle before becoming King Maha Chakkraphat. Moreover, the Chaopho Sitthichai Shrine is the place where Thai people believe that the spirit of the unborn son of King Rama V the Great and his drowned queen is housed. These beliefs and stories make the visit at Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon more colourful and interesting.
(source : Brochure >> The dawn of the Ayutthaya kingdom ,Tourism Authority of Thailand)
Location : Wat Yai Chaimongkhon
Go to destination : Wat Yai Chaimongkhon
(Date taken : Oct 23,2013 ,Dec 8,2015)
This is one place you should not miss to visit.Enjoy your trip.
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