Wat Chetuphon, Sukhothai Province
To the right of Wat Ton Chan, this temple is famous for its four Buddha images of vast size in four different postures (sitting, reclining, standing and walking). Their sheer size is very impressive and can be seen from afar. Enshrined in a mandapa with porches on four sides, these huge Buddha images also served to support the mandapa roof, a functional feature developed from Burmese architecture in Pagan. To the west of this mandapa is another small mandapa with 20 indented corners. Traces of a Buddha image in the posture of subduing Mara were found in the small mandapa. The exterior wall of the small mandapa features black floral designs like those on Chinese wares.
Another striking feature of Wat Chetuphon is the boundary wall enclosing the mandapa with four porches. Made of large slabs of slate thick the wall has a frame and balustrade, imitating woodwork.
To the west of the mandapas is a courtyard, where a tree known as Phra Si Maha Pho was planted. A brick wall 1 metre high enclosed this courtyard.
There is no evidence as to when this temple was constructed. It is believed that the temple was not yet built during the reign of Pho Khun Ramkhamhaeng. According to the stone inscription of Wat Sorasak, around the early of the 15th century, Venerable Phra Maha Thera Dharmatrailok, an uncle of a Sukhothai ruler named Phra Maha Dharmara~ja, met with monks from Wat Chetuphon to discuss the construction of Chang Rop Chedi and other religious buildings. As the name Wat Chetuphon was mentioned in the stone inscription together with a description of the architectural style, it is probable that Wat Chetuphon was an important and flourishing temple during the late Sukhothai period.
A stone inscription was found at Wat Chetuphon. According to this inscription, Chao Thammarangsi, entering the monkhood for 22 years, made a Buddha image in 1514 because out of his strong faith in Buddhism.
A mondop enshrines four Buddha images in different postures: sitting, standing, walking and reclining. The outer walls of the mondop still retains a section in the form of slate pillar-balustraded window. There is an entrance to the mondop on the north. Just behind the mondop is a small sanctuary which contains a Buddha image known locally as Phra Si Ariya (Matireya), the Lord Buddha of the Future.





Wat Chetuphon, Sukhothai Province Click to see in large