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Wat Phra Sri Sanphet is located in Pratu Chai subdistrict, Phra Nakorn Si Ayutthaya district, Ayutthaya province. The temple is not only a significant historical site, but also considered as the spiritual center of Thais for a long time. Situated within the royal palace grounds, Wat Phra Sri Sanphet is the royal monastery and therefore no monk is allowed to reside at. However, the temple served to conduct ceremonies within the royal court, such as the ritual to drink an oath of allegiance. It is also regarded as an equivalence of Wat Mahathat in Sukhothai and a model for Wat Phra Sri Ratana Sasadaram (the royal temple of the Emerald Buddha) or Wat Phra Kaew in Bangkok.
Somdet Phra Ramathibodi I or King U-thong commanded the construction of his royal house in this area, but when Somdet Phra Borom Tilokkanat succeeded the throne, the king considered moving the royal palace further north and converting the piece of land into a sacred ground which later became this temple. During the reign of Ramathibodi II, an enormous Buddha image was cast. The Buddha image of “Phra Sri Sanphetdayan” is 16 meters high and its surface is coated with 143 kilograms of gold. It had been enshrined inside the assembly hall until the fall of Ayutthaya in 1767 when the Burmese invaded and melted the gilded gold away. The Buddha image was seriously damaged, so in the Rattanakosin period Phra Bat Somdet Phra Buddha Yodfa Chulaloke installed the broken core of Phra Sri Sanphetdayan in a pagoda inside Wat Phra Chetupon Vimolmangkalararm Rajvoramahaviharn in Bangkok and named the pagoda “Chedi Sri Sanphetdayan”.
Somdet Phrachaoyuhua Borommakot was the first to command the temple restoration. During the reign of Phrabat Somdet Phra Chulachomklao Chao Yuhua (King Rama V), Phraya Boran Rachathanin the regional intendant found a considerably large collection of artifacts in the underground chamber of the pagoda, for example Buddha images and gold ornaments. Later Field Marshal P. Piboonsongkram assigned a committee to renovate the ruins until the temple regained its current condition.
This royal monastery plays an important role in history of art and archeology. The remaining debris still evidently portrays how glorious the country was. At the heart of the temple, there are three adjacent Ceylonese (or bell-shaped) pagodas situated on rectangular platforms. It is believed that these platforms were the base of royal houses in the Ayutthaya period. Currently, the temple is regarded as the symbol of Ayutthaya province.
This is another ruin easily accessible by bicycle and Tuk-Tuk for a fare of around 30 Baht from the centre of the town.