Wat Yai Chiamonokhon, Ayutthaya

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May 12th 2008
Published: June 21st 2017
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Geo: 14.344, 100.561

Before visiting the ancient ruins of Ayutthaya we stopped at this Temple just to the south. It is from the same period as the rest of the ancient city, but this temple is still in use and has the many layers of previous buildings to prove it. I've added comments with the pictures. The sitting Buddhas in the main courtyard were really cool to walk amongst. They lined all four walls of the courtyard and it took me the better part of an hour to walk past them all. Relaxing way to spend the morning before the heat of the afternoon kicked in.

I've learned these since I've been here in Indochina and I thought they might be helpful for this entry to put here.
Monastery - A community of persons, especially monks, bound by vows to a religious life and often living in partial or complete seclusion. Also, the dwelling place of such a community. (Not specific to Buddhism.)
Wat - (Thai วัด😉 (from Sanskrit avasatha) is a Buddhist monastery temple, but it literally means "school." Strictly speaking to be called a wat there must be monks' quarters, a temple, an edifice housing a large image of Buddha, and a structure
for lessons. Although in everyday language Thai's use wat to refer to any place of worship except a mosque, even old ruins of ancient temples.
Stupa - (from Sanskrit and Pāli, literally meaning "heap"😉 is a mound-like structure containing Buddhist relics--typically, the remains of a Buddha. Roman Catholic's use the term "reliquary".
Chedi - (from Sanskrit: Chaitya - Temple) เจดีย์ The Thai version of a stupa. Usually conical or bell-shaped buildings, often containing relics of Buddha.

Additional photos below
Photos: 29, Displayed: 23


Ordination Hall Buddhas 1Ordination Hall Buddhas 1
Ordination Hall Buddhas 1

A new ubosot has been built just inside the walls of the old one, although its not actually complete, as you can tell by looking at the bare concrete of the roof gables.
Ordination Hall Buddhas 2Ordination Hall Buddhas 2
Ordination Hall Buddhas 2

This hall is still used today to ordain new monks.
It's an active TempleIt's an active Temple
It's an active Temple

I stayed for a bit and mooched off the good karma these ladies were generating. Then I felt like I wanted to give some back, so I donated a few bhat to the donation box and got a yellow candle, 3 incense, a lotus, and some gold leaf and prayed myself.
Local women adding their gold-leafLocal women adding their gold-leaf
Local women adding their gold-leaf

The candle and the incense are probably self-explanatory even to non-Buddhists as they are used in lots of different religions. The use for the little squares of gold leaf that came bundled with the candle and incense sticks wasn't readily apparent to me. You can see nicely in this pic that they are used by patrons to decorate the statues within the temple. Most temples I visited had a few statues that were in various states of covering from the little gold-leaf squares.
Sitting Buddhas 2Sitting Buddhas 2
Sitting Buddhas 2

The gold chedi is surrounded by sitting Buddhas.
Central Pagoda 2Central Pagoda 2
Central Pagoda 2

The massive pagoda celebrates the defeat of the Burmese at Suphanburi in 1592 and King Naresuan's defeat of the crown prince of Burma in an elephant joust.
Sara Din signageSara Din signage
Sara Din signage

There is a lot in this part of the world that I'll just never understand, even with a sign. This sign was adjacent to the large central Buddhas below the central pagoda in the main courtyard. Often times when I stray away from my tour guide, or more often just visit a sight alone, I take photos of the signs so I can Google them later and find out more about what I'm looking at. This time I came up with nada. It was hard enough to find info on this temple, I couldn't find a thing on the Sara Din statues. Ahh well, there needs to be some mystery left in the world.

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