Wat Phu Khao Thong / Bayintnaung repaired pagoda at Ayutthia

On the morning after a night at Tony’s place, we went to visit the remaining places of interest at and around Ayutthia. We first went to the furthest places outside Ayutthia. Ayutthia is entirely surrounded by water, not a moat, but by the confluence of the Mae Nam Chao Phraya, Mae Nam Lopburi and Mae Nam Pa Sak. It is a flowing river encircling Ayutthia and a very good barrier against enemies. Hence, Myanmars found it very difficult to take Ayutthia. Mae means river and Nam is water in Thai. (The towns Mae Sot, Mae Sai, Mae Hong Son all lay besides rivers.)

We went around by hired motorcycle, a map and a compass. However, we had to ask for directions and make sure we did not take a wrong turn. We went along a highway for several kms and saw the sign board of the King Narusean monument and knew we were not lost. Beyond the monument of King Narusean lies the Wat Phu Khao Thong.

Wat Phu Khao Thong means “Golden Mountain monastery” .  It is a chedi / stupa of mixed Myanmar and Thai design. Originally, the monastery was built in 1387 AD by king Ramesuan. In AD 1569 when king Hongsawadee Burengnong of Burma / Bayintnaung MintayarGyi of Hantharwaddy rebuilt it to celebrate his victory after defeating the Ayutthia army, it was in Burmese – Mon style. In the reign of king Prasat Thong, it was restored and changed to the rabbeted 12 angles pagoda seen at present but the foundation was left in Burmese style. In the reign of king Boromakot the pagoda and all in this monastery was restored again.

We did not go up the stupa as there was not much time. We should have stayed for 2 days in Ayutthia to be able to go around leisurely and it would take at least 2 weeks for the trip we made in 8 days.

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