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Wat Phra Si Rattana Mahathat วัดพระศรีรัตนมหาธาตุวรมหาวิหาร , Phitsanulok

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Wat Phra Si Rattana Mahathat Woramahawihan, PhitsanulokWat Phra Si Rattana Mahathat Woramahawihan, Phitsanulok (23 December, 2002)


Wat Phra Si Rattana Mahathat (GPS: 16.82382, 100.26204; Thai: วัดพระศรีรัตนมหาธาตุวรมหาวิหาร ) is the Buddhist temple in Phitsanulok. Also called locally as Wat Piai วัดใหญ่ ("big temple"), it houses one of the most reverred Buddha images in Thailand, the Phra Phuttha Chinarat. As such, the temple is often called the Phra Phuttha Chinarat Temple. This Buddha statue was cast in bronze and then later gilded. It is an excellent example of late Sukhothai style of Buddha image. On either side of Phra Phuttha Chinarat are numerous smaller Buddha images.

The viharn or assembly hall that houses the Phra Phuttha Chinarat has a three-tier roof which slopes down to almost head-height on either sides. The gleaming image of Phra Phuttha Chinarat, of which a copy is also made for Bangkok's Wat Benchamabophit, the Marble Temple, sits on the nave at the end of the hall. On either sizes of the Buddha are well-preserved wooden pulpits from the Ayuttha period. The larger pulpit is for monks who chant in Pali, while the smaller one is for a translator monk who interprets the chant into Thai.

Wat Phra Si Rattana Mahathat is also noted for its Khmer-style prang, or spire, which was built during the Ayutthaya period. Outside the temple are stalls selling religious paraphernalia, amulets and souvenirs. I remember having my lunch at a shopping centre close to the temple before paying it a visit. The price in small-town central Thailand was certainly much lower than in Bangkok.

Wat Phra Si Rattana Mahathat Woramahawihan, PhitsanulokEntrance to the viharn of Wat Phra Si Rattana Mahathat Woramahawihan, Phitsanulok (23 December, 2002)


Wat Phra Si Rattana Mahathat Woramahawihan, PhitsanulokThe Khmer-style prang of Wat Phra Si Rattana Mahathat Woramahawihan. (23 December, 2002)


Wat Phra Si Rattana Mahathat Woramahawihan, PhitsanulokDetails of the roof ridge and bargeboard of Wat Phra Si Rattana Mahathat Woramahawihan, Phitsanulok (23 December, 2002)


Phra Phuttha Chirarat, PhitsanulokPhra Phuttha Chirarat, Phitsanulok (23 December, 2002)


Wat Phra Si Rattana Mahathat Woramahawihan, PhitsanulokVarious gilded statues at Wat Phra Si Rattana Mahathat Woramahawihan, Phitsanulok (23 December, 2002)


Wat Phra Si Rattana Mahathat Woramahawihan, PhitsanulokCeiling decoration of Wat Phra Si Rattana Mahathat Woramahawihan, Phitsanulok (23 December, 2002)


Wat Phra Si Rattana Mahathat Woramahawihan, PhitsanulokView from the inside to the front door. Note the murals on the wall. (23 December, 2002)

Getting there

Phitsanulok is fifty kilometers (31 miles) east of Sukhothai. Wat Phra Si Rattana Mahathat is the only sight of interest here. To visit it, I would suggest that you hire a car with driver from Bangkok or Sukhothai, and explore Central Thailand on your own.

Wat Phra Si Rattana Mahathat is on the map of Phitsanulok

List of Wats in Thailand

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