BY The Bear Travelers

Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon in Ayutthaya

Ayutthaya is a peaceful and comfortable city, and its temples are nothing short of a spectacle. One of its most significant temples, Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon, has a long and prominent history, unlike many other historical sites there, making it well worth visiting. 

Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon in Ayutthaya

Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon (วัดใหญ่ชัยมงคล), “The Monastery of Auspicious Victory,” is located East of the ancient island of Ayutthaya. The highlight of the monastery is its very large assessing prang overlooking the area. Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon is still an active temple; monks live in Kuti on the grounds. Thai people visit not only to pay honor to Buddha but similarly to pay homage to one of the most honorable kings in Thai history, King Naresuan the Great. 

Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon in Ayutthaya

So prepare to be amazed as we take you on an unforgettable cultural visit to Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon in Ayutthaya.

Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon in Ayutthaya

The Bear Travel  Fun Fact!

Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon is famous for its later constructions, including Chedi or Pagoda, built by King Naresuan The Great. The large Chedi in the monastery was built for distinctive architecture, and later on, it came to be known as "Wat Yai Chiamongkhon."

 

History of Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon

Before Ayutthaya was built, historians believe the original site of Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon may have been a significant Khmer temple complex. Numerous temples were later built here, which bear many different names. History of Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon in Ayutthaya

When Ayutthaya was designated as the capital of Siam in 1350, King U-Thong openly declared the site as the royal temple, and it was inferred as Wat Chao Phraya Thai. After King Naresuan withstood a Burmese invasion in 1593, improvement work was achieved at the temple, and historians conclude it was at this time that the main chedi was widened.

Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon in Ayutthaya

Subsequently, the temple became known as Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon, which may define as the 'Great Monastery of Auspicious Victory.' When Ayutthaya ultimately fell to the Burmese in 1767, the temple was ravaged and left evacuated after that.

Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon in Ayutthaya

It wasn't until the 1950s that a monastery was re-established on the site. Since then, there has been significant improvement work, and most of the stone Buddha images that can be seen today are relatively modern.

 

Highlights of Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon 

The Architecture of Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon

Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon in Ayutthaya

The temple's primary structures, the head chedi, the main vihara, and the ubosot, are lined up on an East-West axis. Enclosing them stands several assistant chedis in several styles and states of repair and the Kuti, the monks' living quarters. In the North-East corner are the continues of a viharn enshrining a huge Reclining Buddha image.

 

Buddha Images Lining the Gallery

The center of the temple takes a lifted setting holding the enormous central prang (chedi) and two mondops. At each of the platform’s four corners stands a small arrangement of the prang.

Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon in AyutthayaA stairway on the East side leads up to the 60-meter tall bell-shaped chedi entrance. Travelers can climb up to its core. Inside a small chamber are various images of the Buddha covered with gold leaf pertained by followers.

Visitors can have a view into the excavated chamber where monuments were enshrined. Two mondops, square brick buildings enshrine a large image of the seated Buddha flanking the chedi on the East.

 

Surrounding Gallery

Buddhas in Yellow Cloth_Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon in Ayutthaya

Surrounding the platform is a gallery connecting in the West to the head vihara. Stripping the gallery walls are hundreds of Buddha images enclosed in yellow cloth seated on pedestals in restraining Mara mudra. The gallery’s wooden roof is long gone.

 

Main Vihara

Main Vihara_Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon in Ayutthaya

West of the central prang attached to the galleries stands the main vihara, the assembly hall, of which only its basis remains.

Buddha flanked by Sariputta and Moggallana_Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon in Ayutthaya

Seated on a pedestal facing West, to the back of the hall is an image of the Buddha flanked by Sariputta and Moggallana, the Buddha’s nearest followers.

 

The Ordination Hall

To the East of the temple stands the ubosot, the ordination hall. Since Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon is a strong temple, the hall is still used by monks and devotees.

Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon in Ayutthaya

The hall’s base and sections of its original walls still exist while nothing remains of the old roof. New walls have been assembled inside the old walls endorsing a newly designed roof. The hall enshrines an image of the Buddha on a pedestal. Sema stones around the ubosot mark the ordination hall’s sacred area.

 

Reclining Buddha

In the North-East corner of the grounds are the remains of the Viharn Phra Phuttha Saiyat, the Viharn of the Reclining Buddha image. The hall was built during the reign of King Naresuan. A yellow cloth is wrapped around the large image that faces East towards the rising sun. The image’s feet are covered with gold leaf correlated by supporters. The Buddha image was restored in 1965.

 

Main Chedi

Main Chedi_Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon in Ayutthaya

The main bell-shaped chedi at Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon is one of the unique milestones of Ayutthaya. Visitors can climb the steps that lead up to a platform for views over the temple complex. A rectangular gallery encloses the chedi and is lined with dozens of stone Buddha images. 

 The originals would have been covered in gold, but saffron-colored straps are used today. Although these aren’t the original statues, visitors should still care for them with respect. 

 

King Naresuan Monument

The area all around the King Naresuan monument is packed with thousands of statues of roosters and battling cocks. King Naresuan was said to have possessed fighting cocks famed for their strength and courage. The statues left in King Naresuan’s honor represent the king’s fighting spirit and bravery.

 

Other Structures

Other Structures_Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon in Ayutthaya

Next to the platform towards the Reclining Buddha vihara takes a very large and well-preserved chedi. Around the complex are many assistant chedis and the Kuti, the monks' private living quarters.

 

The Bear Travel   Trivia!

Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon is open everyday from 8 am-5 pm. Entry for non-Thais is 20 Baht (free for Thai people). In addition to being a critical historical site, this is still an enthusiastic temple, and tourists are expected to dress well and act respectfully.

 

Why Visit the Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon in Ayutthaya? 

Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon in Ayutthaya

In terms of tourism, Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon is supposedly a temple with stunning architecture, including a large chedi in the ancient Ayutthaya style that still exists in its majesty to this day.

Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon in Ayutthaya

Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon is a place for those who would like to come to pay respect to monks, make merit, and take photos in a chill way with elegant ancient sites from the past; this place is deemed the most adequate for all. The temple's highlight is a large chedi that is believed to have been restored in the reign of King Naresuan the Great.

Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon in Ayutthaya

Inside the temple, there has been a discovery of promising incantations, and Phra Phuttha Chai Mongkol is enshrined Inside the ubosot. The principal Buddha image is the spiritual object of the temple. In addition, within the temple is also the shrine of King Naresuan the Great. 

Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon in Ayutthaya

It is advised to visit there in the morning as the weather is very nice. You can take a walk and see the ancient monuments without the temple being too crowded. Taking pictures from any angle is wonderful. You can spend a day for the relaxation of mind and take beautiful pictures to go back with.

 

How to Visit the Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon in Ayutthaya? 

You can get to Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon by renting a bicycle from one of the many rental shops in Ayutthaya city center, your hotel, or your guesthouse. You can hire a tuk-tuk ideally for a whole city tour for around 200 THB per hour.

How to Visit Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon in Ayutthaya

If traveling by bicycle, try to have a map of the boats crossing the arms of the river (around 10 THB per passenger with a bike); it will save you detours and retaining to take the main road. Of course, you can also rent a motorbike.

 

The Bear Travel  Did You Know?

The monastery got its current name after the construction of the Chedi Chai Mongkhon in the late 16th century.

 

 

 

Map & More Information

 

 

Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon (วัดใหญ่ชัยมงคล) is the ancient temple in Ayutthaya, which was initially built in the 14th century by the creator of the Ayutthaya Dynasty to celebrate the great victory and remember the great strength of the Thai people. Famous for its large numbers of Buddha statues and the Great Pagoda, the temple is an enchanting place to touch the glorious ancient Thai culture.

 

Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon in Ayutthaya

 

Fees

Thai Citizens: FREE  |  Foreigners: 20 Thai Baht

Business Hours

8:00 AM - 5:00 PM  |  Monday - Sunday

Business Address

40 Khlong Suan Phlu, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya District, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya 13000

Contact Number

+66 (0) 35 242 640

Facebook Page

Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon (วัดใหญ่ชัยมงคล)

Instagram

Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon (วัดใหญ่ชัยมงคล)

GPS

14.3455168, 100.5902621

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Written by
The Bear Travelers

Hi, we are The Bear Travelers. We enjoy traveling around Thailand. Come and join us on our spectacular journey as we dive together into the mystic of Asia. 

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