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Wat Mahathat

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Wat Mahathat known for one of the best and largest ruins in Sukhothai which consists of a main chedi, assembly hall, ordination hall, 200 smaller chedis and two eight-meter tall standing Buddhas

 

Wat Mahathat, situated in the heart of the town, is the largest ruins in Sukhothai Historical Park. This temple was previously served as the royal palace and administrative capital for the Sukhothai Kingdom in the 13th century.

 

There are actually more than 200 smaller chedis and two magnificent sitting Buddhas within Wat Mahathat. Two mandapas with massive standing Buddhas, known as theĀ Attharot, remains on both sides of the primary stupa. They display the abhaya (have no fear) mudra. These original Sukhothai period Buddhas are eight-meter tall and made of stucco-covered brick. Both standing Buddhas are placed on raised platforms which makes them look even taller. Sometime the locals might placed some mini Buddha statues beside the Buddha’s feet as an offering while praying.

 

The central stupa has a lotus bud-shaped anda, characterising the art of Sukhothai, surrounded by eight chedis. Among these eight chedis, there are four Thai towers (with bell-shaped stupa) and four Khmer towers (non bell-shaped stupa) surround the central stupa.

 

The base of the main chedi is decorated with reliefs depicting Buddhist disciples with hands clasped in procession. They are portrayed walking clockwise round the stupa, the typical ritual practice; their robes appear to flutter in movement. Stone Inscription No. 1 says “At the centre of Sukhothai there are a vihara, a golden Buddha Image, Phra Attharot Buddha Images, large Buddha Images, medium Buddha Images”. The golden Buddha image refers to the magnificent bronze sitting Buddha Image in the posture of subduing Mara to be enshrined in the royal vihara of Wat Mahathat. And the Phra Attharot refers to both eight-metres standing tall on the adjacent sides of the main chedi.

 

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