Open : 8.00 AM - 6.00 PM
One of the most visited historical site of Ayutthaya, Wat Chaiwattanaram rests on the bank of the Chao Phraya river, to the west of the city island. The temple was ordered to built in 1630 by King Prasat Thong to honor his mother, featuring the architectural style influenced by Angkor temple in Cambodia—its unique feature is a large, central prang (Khmer-style pagoda) surrounded by smaller prangs, symbolizing Mount Sumeru, the gods' mountain according to Hindu belief. The lighting at night makes the temple even more exotic and beautiful.
Wat Chaiwatthanaram is a Buddhist temple located within the ancient city of Ayutthaya, Thailand. Identified by cultural historians as the structure most emblematic of Buddhism’s influence on Thai society, the temple was commissioned in 1630 by King Prasat Thong in the traditional Khmer style. The city of Ayutthaya, located 80 kilometers north of Bangkok, was the capital of Siam from 1350 to 1767. Once a thriving economic center, the city was besieged by the Burmese army in 1767. Wat Chaiwatthanaram was deserted and subject to decay and looting until 1987 when the Thai Department of Fine Arts began conserving the site. In 1991, it was designated a World Heritage Site.
Situated atop a rectangular platform, a 35-meter-high central prang (tower-like spire) is surrounded by four small prangs, which are in turn flanked by eight chedi (stupa)-shaped chapels that sit outside the platform perimeter. Originally, paintings decorated the interior walls of the chedis, and relief scenes depicting the life of the Buddha covered the exteriors. Buddha statues once populated the chedis and the outer walls of the temple, painted vividly in gold and black, but fragments are all that remain of these decorative elements.
The severe flooding that affected Thailand in late 2011 has accelerated conservation problems at Wat Chaiwatthanaram, thus elevating its preservation status to a site in need of immediate attention.