Saturday, 8 March 2008

Wat Ratchaburana, Ayutthaya

Opposite Wat Mahathat in Ayutthaya stands Wat Ratchaburana, built in 1424 and splendidly restored. The towers (both rounded Khmer-style prangs and Sukhothai-style pointed chedis) have even retained some of their original stucco.
In the two crypts, excavators in 1958 found bronze Buddha images and votive tablets, as well as golden objects and jewelry, many of which are displayed in the Chao Sam Phraya Museum.
There are also murals, rows of seated Buddhas, standing disciples, and Jataka (tales from the Buddha's former lives) scenes in the four niches, as well as a frieze of heavenly beings and some Chinese scenes.
You can climb inside the prang for nice views and a little exhibit. The mysterious staircase down, leads to two unrestored rooms with original paintings still visible on the walls.

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