Ayutthaya Thailand - Cycling over the Pasak River to see remote Temples and Wats.
Wat Khudeedao, Wat Maheyong, Wat Dusitdaram and Wat Yai Chai Monkgoi are situated a little outside Ayutthaya and great to visit on a bike ride.
The above Wats are reached by crossing over the Pasak River via Naresuan Bridge - the (dual carriageway) main road is fairly busy but does have a cycle lane. Go as far as the roundabout (which actually has a Chedi in it's middle) -
turning right will bring you to Wat Yai Chai Monkgoi and turning left at the roundabout will take you to Wat Khudeedao and Wat Maheyong. The way the main road is laid out and because of how busy it is it's easiest and safest to go left and visit those last two Wats first. Then when you return to the roundabout to go to the other side you have traffic lights stopping the fast main road traffic and
therefore can go across much more safely.
Wat Khudeedao (Wat Kudidao) - Ayutthaya, Thailand.
Wat Khudeedao consists of a Ubosot (ordination hall) with the principal pagoda on it's west - the Vihara (hall of image) is situated behind the principal pagoda and surrounded with a wall.
Outside of the wall there is another building with two floors called the Tumnak Kummalaen. The temple was believed to have been built in pre-Ayutthaya period i.e. before 1350 - a major renovation occurred in 1711 under King Tai Sra's rule (by the then Viceroy King Boromakot) but the monastery was abandoned in 1767 following the Burmese invasion. The Principal Pagoda is bell shaped and sits on a square foundation on
which sits 8 stupas. The Ubot is rectangular shaped - 15.4 metres wide and 27.8 metres long with it's main entrance facing east. It has front and back porches with 3 gates at the front and 2 gates at the rear. The sides have 8 rectangular gaps - 4 are windows and 4 are false windows.
Typical of late Ayutthaya construction, the building sits on a foundation which slight curves in the middle similar to a junk - the impression when you look at it is that the walls seem to be collapsing inwards. The Vihara is parallelogram shaped, 14 metres wide and 27 meters long. It has 2 gates at the front and 2 gates at the back. The long sides of the building curve in towards the middle - again this is a typical design of late Ayutthaya
construction. The surrounding wall is 102 meters wide and 142 metres long, has 2 curved arches on each side and is decorated with lotus pedestal shapes on it's top. Tumnak Kummalaen is a parallelogram building with two floors, width of 14.6 metres and 30 metres long - the walls have arched curves similar to lotus petals. It is believed that the building was King Boromagot's residence during his period as Viceroy.
Opposite the Wat across a moat take a look at Wat Chakkrawaddee (photo left).
Wat Maheyong - Ayutthaya, Thailand.
Wat Maheyong was built in the 1430s during King Borom Ratchathirat II's reign. Wat Maheyong's Principal Pagoda is bell shaped and sits on 2 level square foundations with the upper foundation
constructed with 20 niches inside each of which sits an image of Buddha. The lower foundation also has 20 niches with sculptures of elephants on each side (80 elephants in all). The small Pagoda (Chedi Rai) is bell shaped and sits on a square foundation - the Chedi has many levels all the way up to the top of it's
spire. The Ubot is parallelogram shaped - 17 metres wide and 35.2 metres long and the side walls are slightly curved inwards from half way similar to a junk-style design.
Wat Dusitdaram (or Wat Dusitaram) - Ayutthaya, Thailand.
If you continue a little further along the road from Wat Khudeedao you reach Wat Dusitaram. This is a modern Wat in full use - there are several
interesting buildings which have been renovated, behind the Wat there are quite a few gold Buddha images and also a cemetery which contains small shrines.
Then just a little bit further along the road you reach the very colourful and modern temple of
. There are other old buildings etc. to see along the road but as far as this guide is concerned this ends the descriptions on this side of the main road. The following Wat is reached by returning to the large roundabout as mentioned earlier.
Wat Yai Chai Monkgoi - Ayutthaya, Thailand.
In 1357 Ramathibodi I founded the complex as a meditation site for the monks returning from Sri Lanka and it's still in regular use. Inside the entrance gate are the ruins of the Wihan (Assembly Hall) which contains a large reclining Buddha draped in a saffron coloured robe. The whole complex is surrounded by gardens and lakes and extremely pleasant
to wander around. The huge Chedi was constructed by King Naresuan to celebrate his victory over the Burmese in 1593 and sits on a base surrounded by small Buddha's which are draped in saffron robes. It is possible to climb up into the Chedi, from where you get very good views
of the countryside. If you walk round to the back of the Chedi there are some small gardens which contain yet another impressive Buddha statue.
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