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Yai Chai Mongkhon Temple

Yai Chai Mongkhon Temple

This is one of the most important temples of Ayutthaya. The highest pagoda of Ayutthaya Temple is the tallest in the province. This is a very popular attraction that both Thai and foreign tourists love to visit especially at weekends. It has been reconstructed as an attraction and behind the temple is the palace of King Naresuan. Around this area, a small park is provided as a place for relaxing.

Yai Chai Mongkhon Temple is located on route no.3059 which is near Phanan Choeng Temple. Legend has it that it was built in 1087 by King Naresuan. King of Hong Sa and the king of Ayutthaya, King Narai had a competition of constructing pagodas around the site of the present temple.

The previous name of this temple was Pha Keaw which was built in 1357 after the deaths from cholera of Chao Keaw and Chao Tai, the sons of King U Thong.

In 1592, Phra Maha Upparacha who was the leader of Myanmar’s army moved his troops to Ayutthaya. King Naresuan and Phra Eka Thotsarot were the leaders of Thai army. In the ensuing battle, the Thai army was not completely victorious because part of the army did not arrive in time. The king was very upset and wanted to execute some of the men. However, Somdej Phra Wannarat (Pa Keaw Temple) asked for the life of those soldiers. Somdej Phra Wannarat also recommended to make the pagoda sixty metres high and gave it the name Chai Mongkhon. Local people always call it Yai Chai Mongkhon Temple because Yai means big.

On the pagoda, there are two molded lime Buddha images at the foot of the stairs and a huge Buddha image in front of the pagoda. The left one is called Chao Kaew and the right one is called Chao Tai.