Wat Mahathat Worawihan

Wat Mahathat Worawihan (วัดมหาธาตุวรวิหาร) or formerly called Wat Na Phrathat or Wat Phra Si Rattana Mahathat, was assumed to have been built in the Dvaravati period almost at the same time as that of old Ratchaburi town and built over by a Khmer or Lop Buri art sanctuary in about the 13th century to be a centre of the City, according to the belief of the Khmer’s cosmology. Later, the sanctuary probably collapsed and was replaced by a new prang in the early Ayutthaya period to be an overlapping architectural pattern as it appears today. The Temple features some interesting objects; such as, Wihan Luang enshrining Phra Mongkhon Buri, a stucco Buddha image in the attitude of subduing Mara built with the art of the early Ayutthaya period with the Sukhothai period face, long body, short knees and face turning towards the East. Behind this is another Buddha image turning its back against each other called, Phra Si Nat, his face turning towards the West. This kind of Buddha image’s construction symbolises asking the Buddha images for protection from harm at the front and the back direction that is called Phra Raksa Mueang, according to the Ayutthaya people’s belief.

        Prang: The 24-metre-high prang towers comprise the principal prang and satellite prangs situated on the south, West and North lying on the same base. On the East, there is a porch with steps meanwhile the Ruean That (important part of prang) base and the top are adorned with stucco designs. Inside the principal prang is a connecting chamber. On the upper part of the wall is the mural depicting the Buddha’s life in a row under the arched frame. The terrace base is encircled with a walkway, and the cloister around the prang’s terrace are installed many stone Buddha images in the Dvaravati, Lop Buri and Ayutthaya periods. In front of the prang is a building housing a stucco reclining Buddha image constructed in the Ayutthaya period as well as a museum displaying variety of jars.  

        Location: Khao Ngu Road, Tambon Na Mueang, Amphoe Mueang Ratchaburi, Ratchaburi province.

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