08 December, 2007

Sukhothai, Thailand Postcards

The Sukhothai Historical Park covers the ruins of Sukhothai, capital of the Sukhothai kingdom in the 13th and 14th centuries, in what is now the north of Thailand. Sukhothai which literally means "Dawn of Happiness" with an area of 6,596 square kilometres, is about 427 kilometres north of Bangkok, and was founded in 1238. Sukhothai was the capital of Thailand for approximately 120 years. On December 12, 1991, it was declared a World Heritage site, together with the associated historic parks in Kamphaengphet and Si Satchanalai.

Wat Chang-Rob Postcard

Wat Chang-Rob is situated in the Aranyik area. The pedestal of the chedi in the Wat Chang Rob is supported by 24 elephants. In the foreground - apart from some rubble - the laterite columns of a former wiharn still stand.

Wat Mahathat Postcard

A sanctuary lying to the west behind the Royal Palace compound is Wat Mahathat. It is Sukhothai's largest temple with a customary main Chedi in lotus-bud shape and a ruined Wihan. Its main Buddha image (8 metres high) was installed inside a separate building. On the South stands a pedestal of a large Chedi built up in steps, the lowest platform is adorned with beautiful stucco figures of demons, elephants and lions with angles riding on their backs. Mural painting adorn this Chedi.

Wat Sapan Hin Postcard

The Wat Sapan Hin lies on a hill at the edge of the Yom plain and offers a fine view of the mountains and Si Satchanalai. A paved path leads to the monastery giving it the name "temple of the stone bridge". In this wat King Ramkhamhaeng celebrated the Thot-Kathin festival annually in October, the end of the Buddhist fasting period. There is an impressive 12.5-m (41-ft) high statue of a standing Buddha in Sukhothai style leaning against a brick wall in the open, the right hand raised in a protective gesture.

Wat Si-Chum Postcard

Wat Si-Chum contains a monumental stucco-over-brick Buddha image in the attitude of Subduing Mara called ''Phra Achana''. This Buddha measures 11.30 metres from knee to knee. The mondop is 32 metres square and 15 metres high, and the walls are 3 metres thick. On the ceiling of the passageway are more than fifty engraved slate slabs illustrating Jataka scenes. In the interior of the mondhop is the colossal statue (14.70 m (48 ft) high) of a seated Buddha, which was formerly gilded. It is probably the Phra Achana mentioned in an inscription by King Ramkhamhaeng in 1292. In front of the mondhop is a bot with an area of 21 3 12 m (69 3 40 ft), its 13 limonite columns covered in stucco work still standing. To the north of the mondhop are the ruins of a small wiharn and a brick building which contains a seated Buddha.

Sukhothai Historical Park Wikipedia Entry
Wat Chang-Rob, Sukhothai
Thailand Guidebook: Sukhothai
Wat Sapan Hin, Sukhothai

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