Wat Na Phramane where King AhLaung PhaYarr Aung Zeya was fatally injured

history of Wat Na Phramane

While touring Thailand, I read a book about Ayutthia in which it was mentioned under the topic of Wat Na Phra Mehn / Phramane / Phra Meru that it was from this monastery that Ayutthia was bombed during the seige of Ayutthia by King AhLaung PhaYarr Aung Zeya. Although it is not in the top recommended places to visit, I went there because of its historical association with Myanmar.

It is mentioned that this temple / Wat escaped destruction during the Burmese attack in 1767 because it was used as the invading army’s headquarters. It was also the site where the Burmese king was fatally injured after firing a defective cannon.

In 1760, when King Alongphaya of Burma came to attack Ayutthaya, the Burmese soldiers installed cannon at Wat Na Phramane and Wat Hassadawad (Wat Chang). King Alongphaya commanded the troop and fired the cannon by himself. Unfortunately the cannon exploded and the king was seriously injured. So the troops had to be withdrawn to the northern direction. No sooner had the troops left Tak then the king passed away.

The Myanmar army withdrew with the wounded king who died on the way back. The death was kept secret until the withdrawal reached a safe place.

Restoration of the temple, which was originally built in 1546, took place during the reign of King Rama III of the Bangkok era. The main bot contains an amazing carved wooden ceiling depicting the Buddhist heavens, with Mt. Sumeru in the centre.

the amazing carved wooden ceiling depicting the Buddhist heavens, with Mt. Sumeru in the centre

Ayuthaya – era Buddha image depicting Buddha as a king

There is also a splendid Ayuthaya – era Buddha image sitting 6 m high. The unique characteristics of the Ayuthaya artistic style was to depict Buddha as a king; also note how detailed and human – like the facial features are another departure from traditional Buddha images.

Phra Buddhanimitwichitmara Molee Srisanphet Borom Trilokanat: the main Buddha image cast in bronze then lacquered and covered with gold plate is in the style of subduing Mara clad in kingly decorations. It is 9 soks (arm-length measure) wide from one end to the other end of its lap and 6 metres high. It is one of the biggest decorated Buddha image built in the early period of Ayutthia. Its shape is so splendid with the explicit name of holiness and sacredness to respect for those of the 3 worlds.

Phra Khandararat, Dvaravati period, is the biggest stone Buddha image aged around 1500 years old

Phra Khandararat, Dvaravati period, is the biggest stone Buddha image aged around 1500 years old with 1.70 metres wide in lap and 5.20 m high. This image was curved out of green sandstone in sitting position on the seat of first preaching style. It was recorded that it was removed from Sri Lanka when Phra Ubalee and Buddha delegates of Siamese sect went to establish Buddhism in Sri Lanka. Phra Chaiwichit removed it here from Wat Mahathat in the Isle of Ayutthia.

Alaungpaya (, ; ; August 1714 – 11 May 1760) was the Burmese king who founded the Konbaung Dynasty (Heaven’s platform) and the Third Burmese Empire in the early 18th century which lasted until the final annexation of Burma by the British on 1 January 1886. He died of his wounds while invading the Ayutthaya kingdom thus ending the invasion.

Against the Siamese, who were also suspected of having aided and abetted the Peguan rebels, he proceeded more openly and severely. Entering their territory, he laid siege to the capital Ayutthaya but he was badly injured when a cannon he was watching being loaded burst, prompting a hasty retreat of the Burmese. Alaungpaya died of his wounds before they reached the River Salween. He was not yet 46 and his meteoric rise and energetic reign lasted just 8 years.

Alaungpaya’s last campaign was an invasion of Siam (Thailand). He led an army through the town of Dawei southward to Tanintharyi and then northward to Ayutthaya (Ayuthia), the Siamese capital, which he surrounded in April 1760. During the siege he was wounded, and he died while his army was in retreat to Myanmar.

Siam (1759–1760)

Main article: Burmese-Siamese War (1759–1760)

After the rainy season of 1759, Alaungpaya and his armies returned to the south to deal with the still-unstable Lower Burma. One year back, a major Mon rebellion broke out, temporarily driving out the Konbaung governor of Pegu. Although the rebellion was put down, Mon resistance was still operating in the upper Tenasserim coast (present-day Mon State), where Konbaung control was still largely nominal.[23] The Siamese provided shelter to the rebel leaders and their resistance troops. Alaungpaya sought assurances from the Siamese king that they not intervene in the Burmese affairs, and to surrender the rebel leaders. But the Siamese refused Burmese demands, and prepared for war.[24]

In December 1759, Alaungpaya’s 40,000-strong Burmese army left Martaban to invade Siam via Tennasserim. His second son, Hsinbyushin was his deputy. The Burmese occupied the town of Tenasserim, moved eastward over the Tenasserim Hills to the shore of the Gulf of Siam, turned north and captured the coastal towns, Kuwi, Pranburi and Phetchaburi. The Siamese resistance stiffened as the Burmese approached the Siamese capital of Ayutthaya but nonetheless were driven back, with heavy losses in men, guns and ammunition.[12][23] The Burmese armies reached Ayutthaya in April 1760. Only five days into the siege, however, the Burmese king suddenly fell ill.[23] (The Siamese sources say he was wounded by a cannon shell explosion while he was inspecting the cannon corps at the front.)[25] But Burmese sources state clearly that he fell ill. There was no reason for the Burmese chronicles to hide the truth since it is more glorious for a Burmese king to die of wounds received on the battlefield than to die of a common ailment.[26] His ailment has been stated as “dysentery” or “scrofula[27]

[However, one must understand that getting injured by own material failure is not glorious. Myanmar history books I’ve read mention that King Alaungphaya became Nar / ill, but not the nature of illness and the word Nar / ill can mean both injury and non-injury illnesses. Ko Ko Naing, a friend, mentioned that he was taught in history class that King Alaungphaya was injured, although is teacher did not mention about the cause. This is not in the History text books, just the teaching of his teacher.]

The Burmese forces retreated. Only Gen. Minkhaung Nawrahta‘s 6000 men and 500 Cassay Horsemen remained as the rearguard, and successfully fended off Siamese attacks along the route of retreat.[12]

Although the Burmese did not achieve the ultimate objective of toppling Ayutthaya, they formally annexed the upper Tenasserim coast, and shifted the border down the coast at least to the TavoyMergui corridor. (The Siamese retook the lower coast up to Mergui in 1761.)[28]

Death

Alaungpaya died on Sunday, 11 May 1760 at the dawn, at Kinywa, near Martaban, after being rushed back from the Siamese front by the advance guard. He had longed for the sights and sounds of home, Shwebo for one last time but it was not to be. His death was made public at Yangon, and his body was taken up stream on a state barge. At Kyaukmyaung landing stage near Shwebo, the whole court came out to meet it, and bore it solemnly through the Hlaingtha Gate of Shwebo. He was buried with the ritual of the kings in the palace city, which once had been his lowly village, amid the mourning of an entire people. He had reigned only eight years, and was not yet 46 when he died. Historian Harvey writes that “men are remembered by the years they use, not by the years they last”.[12]

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One Response to “Wat Na Phramane where King AhLaung PhaYarr Aung Zeya was fatally injured”

  1. shwe myint Says:

    Thank you very much for your time and volunteer work which is invaluable to burmese like me. Keep strong to
    serve the country and peace.

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