If you have been to Thailand, you will probably have heard of ancient tranquil capital Ayuttaya, or the peaceful capital of Lamphang, and these are the oldest capital cities in the country. But most of the tourists who come to Thailand are all around BangKok with palaces, temples, shopping malls, or immersed in Pattaya’s sun-drenched beach and forget about further destinations, where historical values of bold and traditional Thai.
In this article, we will take you to the ancient capital of Sukhothai in Northern Thailand where the weather is mild and cool all year round. The capital city of Sukhothai and the old capital of Lampang are in the North, but one thing you should know is that Sukhothai is the first capital of Siam in the past, the source of Thai culture that Phokhun Si Intharathit King first founded over 120 years, and also here, the great emperor Ramkhamhaeng created the Thai alphabet now.
Sukhothai in the sense of the Thai people is the “source of pleasure.” With the vast area of the ancient imperial compound, this is like other imperial capitals, Buddhist temples, ancient towers and especially the extremely huge sitting and standing Buddha statues. Experiencing the time and weather, Sukhothai still preserves its ancient architectural details, though it is mossy, but it only makes Sukhothai more ancient. The capital was also honored as the World Cultural Heritage in 1991 by UNESSCO.
The architecture of Sukhothai
The architecture of Sukhothai is a rectangular wall with numerous rows of stone pillars around. Inside there are temples, palaces, pogadas, Buddha statues and the largest of which is the Wat Mahathat. At the foot of the tower also meticulous sculpture details, animals and people which are very separate. Surrounding the ancient capital outside the temples, the palace is also an extremely green nature, a large lake and surrounding trees make you relax when sitting in the foot of a thousand year old tree.
Sukhothai is an ancient capital that hasn’t been not affected by urbanizationand sustained over the years. Besides the name “source of pleasure”, it is also referred to more poetic name, that is “dawn of happiness“. When coming to Sukhothai in the early morning with the quiet atmosphere will bring you the feeling of peace filled with each step walking around the ancient city.
Today, the royal palace and Mahathat are must-come destination in Thailand. The royal palace is located in the heart of the old town, with an area of 160,000m2 surrounded by walls. Meanwhile, the whole palace is surrounded by moat and consists of two main parts, the royal residence, the palace and the Mahathat temple.
Wat Mahathat is the largest Buddhist temple, with an area of over 160,000 square meters, which is considered to be the heart of Thai Buddhism. There are still stone pillars standing in front of the 10 meters high Buddha statue. It is said that the ancient capital of the Buddha was a Buddhist wooden roof. Over time, it has been devastated with only the pillars. The temple is famous for its stone inscriptions on King Ramkhamhaeng’s stone, and many statues of Buddha statues which are staggered on stone walls.
In 1767, Myanmar invaded Ayutthaya and completely destroyed the old capital Ayutthaya, so the temple was destroyed by the war. The devastation and heavy losses of the war completely destroyed the temple. And from there the capital of Ayutthaya has been forgotten over time.
It was not until 1956 that the Department of Thai Art restored them. They found many important treasures of gold, crystal, gemstones and rubies. Especially, they discovered the Buddha statue in the 7-storey tower and the Buddha statue in the great tree trunk.
Buddha statue lying in the tree not only unearthed unexpectedly, the expression of the statue also makes anyone look to feel peace and holy. The face of the Buddha has remained and become an important part of this sacred historical relic until now.
Next to Mahathat, you can visit Si Sawai Temple in the southwest. The temple is surrounded by walls with the western tower separated from the main tower built in the style of Lopburi. This area was originally a Hindu temple but was later converted into a Buddhist monastery. The landscape of the two largest reflecting towers in the lake looks spectacular and impressive.
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