Wat Chai Mongkol – A Temple With a View
Inscribed as UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1991, Ayuthaya is home to many temple ruins, dating back to the 14th Century AD. Many of the temples can be found on the “island” area of the city, formed by the Chao Praya and Pasak Rivers.
However, outside this island not to be missed is the formidable Wat Yai Chai Mongkol, across from the Pasak River, on the way to Wat Phananchoeng (itself famous for its enormous sitting Buddha statue).
Wat Yai features rows of Buddha statues surrounding the towering Chedi (constructed in 1592 to celebrate the victory of King Naresuan over his Burmese adversary), and is a photographers’ paradise. Climb the steep stairs of the Chedi and you will be rewarded with a great view of the temple grounds and Ayuthaya beyond.
Unusual is that one can enter the Chedi at the top, which houses a number Buddha statues. Visitors are invited to put gold leaves on the statues, while making a wish.A large outdoor statue of a Reclining Buddha can be found on the temple grounds. Buddhists pay homage by covering it with large swaths of saffron-colored robes. Ring the gong, or shake joss sticks to find out your fortune. There is a lot going on at Wat Chai Yai Mongkol, and a visit will definitely not disappoint.