Amphoe Mueang, Sukhothai
Mahathat Temple is one of the oldest and most significant temples in Thailand. According to the historians, they think that the temple was established in the 13th century and was rebuilt in the beginning of the 14th century with the total of 11 vihara including the main one, ubosot, and 200 chedi. The abundance of the temple indicates how significant the temple was to Sukhothai people as a religious center. Also have a look at the restored stucco frieze which is marvelous piece of art.
Mahathat Temple is made of laterite amid the brick wall and long moat. The main chedi is built over the Sukhothai character with the shape of lotus bud and presumably contained the relics of the Buddha. Entering the temple, you will see the two grand Buddha sculptures. There are eight chedi standing inside with four being the Khmer style seen from the cardinal points and the other four is Lanna Art. The niches of these smaller chedi also contain 28 Buddha images and the stucco that depicts the life of Buddha and shows the Singhalese and Burmese styles. On the base of the main chedi, the stucco relief is decorated with the Buddha's disciples.
Situated in front of the chedi, the only remain treasure from King Lithai of Sukhothai period in 1362 is the column in the vihara that consists the remarkable seated bronze Buddha image in Sukhothai style, cast and placed by him. At the end of the 18th century the image was relocated to Suthat Temple in Bangkok according to the order of King Rama I and it was named Phra Si Sakaya Muni since then.
Further on, there are the remaining standing of smaller vihara built in the era of Ayutthaya and inside one of the vihara is the marvelous eight-meter Buddha image.
Opening hours: 6.00 am – 9.00 pm
Admission: 150 baht (entry to Sukhothai Historical park)