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Wat Saphan Hin (West of old city center)

Wat Saphan Hin known for a temple at the top of a hill housing a giant standing Buddha


Wat Saphan Hin is a small temple situated at the top of a hill facing the old Sukhothai town. It is known for its 12-meter-high standing Buddha image overlooking the plains as well as a great spot for viewing stunning sunrise.

Upon arriving at the foot of the hill, one has to climb up the 300m ling pathway paved with stones to arrive at Wat Saphan Hin. Along the way up, a small brick lotus-bud stupa can be found on the left of the pathway.Taking this stone path is not difficult, but rather kind of fun and interesting.

After climbing to the top of the hill, you can see a magnificent 12 meter standing tall Buddha.

While it sure takes certain effort to make way to the top, great views of the plains and sunrise are definitely worth the effort. However, that morning sky was filled with haze and clouds. Hence this photo is definitely not the best shot possible.

This temple is well known for a large standing Buddha image mentioned in the stone inscription No.1, “…In the heart of the forest Aranyik, there is a beautiful large vihãra, a Buddha image called Phra Attharot in standing posture…” Wat Saphan Hin is thought to be the temple to which King Ramkhamkaeng the Great rode on a white elephant named Ruchakhari to worship a Buddha image every Buddhist sabbath.

This 12-meter-high Buddha stands with the posture of ‘dispelling fear’ (right hand is held upright with palm facing outwards).

Construction behind the 12-meter-high Buddha is supported by traditional wooden planks.

The posture of Subduing Mara is also known as Calling the Earth to Witness. Buddha will have left hand lies in the lap with palm upward and right hand bends over the right knee, with fingers pointing down. This gesture is common in Thai temples as it symbolises enlightenment and steadfastness.

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Foot of the hill at Wat Saphan Hin
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Stone paved pathway leading up to Wat Saphan Hin
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Halfway up to Wat Saphan Hin
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Wat Saphan Hin, Sukhothai Historical Park
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Sunrise at Wat Saphan Hin
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Wat Saphan Hin Temple
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12 meter standing tall buddha of Wat Saphan Hin
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Standing Buddha with the posture of 'dispelling fear'
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Smaller sitting Buddha with the posture of subduing mara
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Sitting Buddha image in front the tall standing Buddha Image
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Board showing the map of the Sukhothai Historical Park
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