Inside the Citywalls, Sukhothai

Wat Mahathat with the real Sukhothai art
  • The Royal Palace and Wat Mahathat
    The royal palace lies in the centre of the town and covers an area of 160,000 square meters. This area is surrounded by a moat and contains two main compounds; the royal building and the sanctuary in the palace. In the royal compound exist the ruins of the royal building called Noen Phrasat, which might be Sala Phramat or Buddha Sala mentioned in a Sukhothai stone inscription.
    Here, the famous stone inscription of King Ramhamhaeng was found by King Mongkut in the 19th century together with a piece of the stone throne called "Managkhasila Asana." King Ramkhamhaeng set up the throne in the midst of a sugarpalm grove where, at his request, a monk preached on Buddhist Subbath days and the King conducted the affairs of state on other days. This throne was later installed in Bangkok's Temple of the Emerald Buddha.

    The Buddha image of Wat Mahathat

    A sanctuary lies to the west behind the Royal Palace compound. It is Sukhothai's largest Wat and a customary main chedi, in lotus-bud shape, and a ruined viharn. At the base of the Chedi stand Buddhist disciples in adoration, and on the pedestal seated Buddha images. In front of this reliquary is large viharn formerly containing a remarkable seated bronze Buddha image of Sukhothai style, which was cast and installed by King Lithai of Sukhothai in 1362. At the end of the 18th century, the image was removed to the Viharn Luang of Wat Suthat in Bangkok by the order of the King Rama I and has since been named Phra Si Sakaya Muni. In front of the large viharn is another smaller viharn which was probably built during the Ayutthaya period. Its main Buddha image (8 m. high) was installed inside a separate building. In front of the southern image a piece of sculpture call "Khom Dam Din" (a Khmer who came by way of walking underground) was found, and is now kept in Phra Mae Ya Shrine near the Sukhothai City Hall.
    On the South stands a pedestal of a large chedi built up in steps, the lowest platform is adorned with beautiful stucco figures of demons, elephants, lions with angels riding on their backs. Mural paintings adorn the crept to this chedi.

    The Buddha image of Wat Mahathat

    Real Sukhothai art is seen at Wat Mahathat, the largest and the principal temple of Sukhothai. Located in the heart of the old town, it is distinguished by a grand pagoda surrounded by eight smaller pagodas on the same base. In all the temple has 209 pagodas, 10 viharas, eight mondops (roofed structure), one ubosot and four reflection ponds.

  • The walls of The Old City
    The citywalls are located in the centre of the historical park in Tambon Muang Kao and surrounded by earthen ramparts. The north and the south walls are each 2,000 meters long, whereas the east and the west walls are each 1,600 meters long. The walls contain four main gates: Sanluang on the north, Namo on the south, Kamphaenghak on the east, and Oar on the west. A stone inscription mentions that King Ramkhamhaeng set up a bell at one of the gates. If his subjects needed help they would ring the bell and the King would come out to settle in disputes and dispense justice.
    In side the town stand 35 monuments including, Buddhist temples and many other structures.Amphoe Si Satchanalai

  • Wat Traphang Ngoen
    Situated to the west of Wat Mahathat is Wat Traphang Ngoen with its square pedestal, main sanctuary, and stucco standing Buddha image in four niches. There is a viharn in front and, in the east of the pond, an island with an ubosot. This edifice has already crumble and only its pedestal and laterite columns still remain. Many monuments and magnificent scenery are visible from this location.

  • Wat Chana Songkhram
    Situated to the north of Wat Mahathat is Wat Chana Songkhram. Its main sanctuary is round Singhalese-style chedi. In front of the chedi exists the base of a viharn and behind the former stands an ubosot. Bases of twelve small chedis are also visible. Near the Charot Withi Thong Road is a strange chedi having three bases, one on top of the other.

  • Wat Sa Si
    Situated near Wat Chanasongkhram is Wat Sa Si. Around a Singhalese-style chedi is the main sanctuary on an island in the middle of Traphang Trakuan pond. A large viharn contains a stucco Buddha image. To the south stand nine chedis of different sizes.

  • Wat Mai
    Situated to the north of Wat Mahathat is Wat Mai. Wat Mai, having a brick viharn as the main sanctuary, is in Ayutthaya style. The columns of the viharn are made of laterite. A bronze image of the Buddha under a Naga, (Lop Buri-style) was found here and is now preserved in the Ramkhamhaeng National Museum.

  • The Ramkhamhaeng National Museum
    The Ramkhamhaeng National Museum was built in 1960 and opened on January 25, 1964. The museum collection include gifts from the ex-abbot of Wat Ratchathani and art objects unearthed in Sukhothai and nearby provinces. It is open daily from 9.00-16.00 hrs. except on Mondays, Tuesdays and official holidays.

  • Wat Traphang Thong
    Situated to the east of Wat Mahathat is Wat Traphang Thong. The monastery is located on an island in the middle of a large pond. A ruined laterite Singhalese-style chedi is on the island. In front of it, a new mondop contains the Lord Buddha's Footprint slab that was created by King Lithai in 1390 on Samanakut or Phra Bat Yai Hill. This Footprint was removed to the new mondop some years ago. An annual fair to worship this sacred Lord Buddha's Footprint takes place at the same time as the Loi Krathong Festival.