Wat Thraphang Thong Lang, Sukhothai Historical Park, Sukhothai Province
Situated on Charot Withi Thong road, this middle-sized temple is still functioning and has a porch-like entrance decorated with glass.
Ancient monuments in this temple include a mandapa, a vihara, subordinate chedis enclosed by a ditch and an ordination hall. Without a main chedi, the mandapa functioned as the principle chedi of the temple -a typical characteristic of a temple in the Sukhothai period.
The square mandapa made of brick enshrined a Buddha image of vast size, occupying the entire mandapa. The Buddha image is now in ruins. A porch on the eastern wall of the mandapa has stucco reliefs depicting the story of Lord Buddha on the three other walls. The stuccoed reliefs are currently in bad condition. However, there are old photographs of these carvings depicting the following:-
Reliefs on the northern wall depict Lord Buddha torturing an elephant named Nalakhiri. The stuccoed carving depicts Lord Buddha standing by Phra Anon (Ananda), his disciple. At his feet is an elephant going down on its knees as a sign of defeat.
Reliefs on the southern wall illustrate Lord Buddha descending from heaven after preaching to his mother. The carving depicts Lord Buddha in walking posture, followed by Indra, Brahma and other gods, each coming to bid farewell to the departing Buddha. A reproduction is on display at the Ramkhamhaeng National Museum.
Reliefs on the western wall depict Lord Buddha preaching to the Shakyavamsa clan in Kabinlapat. The carving depicts Lord Buddha performing a miracle by surrounding himself, with flames,with the Shakyavamsa clan outside.
These stuccoed reliefs are regarded as masterpieces from the golden age of Sukhothai art, around the 15th century.
A square mondop is the main sanctuary. In front of the mondop to the east, is the viharn and beyond the viharn stands an ubosot. The outer wall of the mondop is beautifully decorated by stucco figures in niches. The southern side portrays the Lord Buddha flanked by angels decending from Tavatimsa Heaven. On the west the Lord Buddha preached to his father and relatives. The northern side depicts the episode when the Lord Buddha returned to preach to his wife. These stucco figures, especially those on the south, are masterpieces of Sukhothai art.





Sukhothai Historical Park Click to see in large