Photographer's Note

Architectural photos are not my forte but when you are in a place like Ayutthaya, steeped in its rich history, a photographer's job is made all the more easier. The kingdom of Ayutthaya was a Thai kingdom that existed from 1350 to 1767. King Ramathibodi I founded Ayutthaya as the capital of his kingdom in 1350. It used to be one of the richest cities in Asia exporting rice, animal skins, ivory, etc. In 1767, Burma invaded Siam, totally destroying Ayutthaya and ending the era of the proud nation of Siam.
This is from Wat Mahathat, constructed by the Siam Kings in the 14th Century, Today, the central prang (tower) of the temple is a ruined mass of bricks. It first collapsed during the reign of King Song Tham (1610-1628) and was repaired during the reign of the following ruler, King Prasat Thong (1629-1656). The reconstruction raised the prang to 44 meters and then to 50 meters when a 6 meter metal spire was added. The temple weathered arson attacks during the Burmese invasion of 1767. As late as the early 20th century the prang was in fairly good condition, but it collapsed suddenly during the reign of King Rama VI and looters seized the opportunity to dig for treasure. The relics of the Buddha were found in the stupa within a seven layer reliquary. Its a pity that most Buddha images have had their heads cut off by ancient souvenir hunters. You will find the heads in museums and private homes in Europe and America. Even though the temple is in ruins, the Buddha images are still respected.

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Additional Photos by Sabyasachi Talukdar (sabyasachi1212) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3140 W: 281 N: 5210] (19779)
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