Sunday, October 12, 2008

Ayuthaya, The Ancient Capital

We visited the ancient capital of Thailand, Ayuthaya. The tour guide first took us to the Bang Pa-In Palace, which is the royal summer palace. Over centuries it has gone thru building, rebuilding, renovations, desolations... the works. It was at last restored by the Rama IV. Today the Royal family uses the place as a reception hall for banquets and sometimes for important guests to stay. There are a few interesting buildings on the property, as seen below.

This is the Aisawan-Dhipaya-Asana Pavillion, built in 1876, also known as the divine seat of personal freedom. It houses a statue of King Rama V.

The Phra Thinang Varobhas Bimarn Residential Hall, built by King Chulalongkorn in 1876. By this time he was having international visitors, like the English, which influenced the style of this building.

Garden Art

The Lotus Flower again...

Ho Withun Thasana, The Sages look out. An observatory built by King Chulalongkorn in 1881 to view the country side

Views of Phra Thinang Wehart Chamrun from the Sages Tower. Phra Thinang Wehart Chamrun was build by the Chinese in 1889 and Presented to the King of Thailand as his royal residence.

Our next stop was an old monestary called Wat Yai Chaimongkhon. It was built because the king of Ayuthaya at the time ordered his generals to be put to death as they could not keep up with him in battle. They fought against an army that tried to overtake the country, and he fought the head of that army on an elephant's back and killed him. However he had to retreat as his army was too far behind him. So he was furious when he returned to Ayuthaya. The head monk convinced him to build the monestary instead to celebrate victory despite the retreat, and spare the generals. lucky bastards. I would most definitely wipe them out.

We visited a few more places after lunch, old monasteries and temples, and the head of the Buddha in the tree. One The Wat Maha That temple was the most glorious in its hay-day, and Buddha's relics were enshrined there. The principal pagoda collapse though soon after and a later king restored it.

It seemed to be doomed from the start, as it was destroyed in the war with Burma when they marched on the Ayuthaya city in 1767. It was never restored.

1 comment:

D.Go said...

Thanks for the tour. Now thanks to your pics, I won't have to visit because you have managed to capture everything so creatively. Especially love the colour effect on the b&w picture of the monastery statues.