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Photographer's Note

The very impressive Sri Lankan style chedi from the vicinity of Wat Phra Sri Sanphet at Ayutthaya. Two of the chedi were built in 1492 by Borommatrailokanatís son Ramathibodi II to hold the ashes of his father and brother, while the third was added in 1540 by Ramathibodiís son to hold the ashes of his late father. Today, the three perfectly symmetrical restored spires have become the symbolic landmark of Ayutthaya.

From its establishment in 1350 by King U Thong (Ramathibodi I) until its fall to the Burmese in 1767, Ayutthaya was Thailand's capital, home to 33 kings and numerous dynasties. At its zenith and until the mid-18th century, Ayutthaya was a majestic city with three palaces and 400 temples on an island threaded by canals. The former capital rivaled European cities in splendor and was a source of marvel for foreigners.

Then, in 1767, after a 15-month siege, the town was destroyed by the Burmese. Today there is little left but ruins and rows of headless Buddhas where once an empire thrived. The temple compounds are still awe-inspiring even in disrepair, and a visit here is memorable and a good starting point for those drawn to the relics of history.

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Additional Photos by Chris Chafer (sandpiper) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 775 W: 89 N: 1195] (6762)
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