Wat Si Sawai is one of the oldest temples in Sukhothai. It is believed to have been founded towards the end of the 12th century or early 13th century before the founding of the Sukhothai Kingdom.
it was founded as a Hindu sanctuary dedicated to Shiva.
As ever, I love the plants growing out of it, giving it a sort of Tomb Raiders look
Initially the temple consisted of three prangs, constructed by the Khmer as a Hindu sanctuary dedicated to Shiva. An image of the Hindu God was discovered in the viharn during the early 20th century by Vajiravudh (Rama VI) before he was King. Later on during the Sukhothai period, the Wat Si Sawai was converted into a Buddhist temple and two viharns were added.
The intricate carving is amazing and really the point of the blog post. The other temples in Sukothai are quite similar, with columns left that used to support a roof, Buddhas in various states of disrepair and different sizes and so on.
A year ago we bobbled up to Ayutthia for a couple days on our way up to Chang Mai. This used to be the capital of Thailand until it got sacked by those naughty Cambodians. Now, don't get me wrong, Ayutthai is great but Sukhothai is really amazing.
In Thai, Sukhothai means 'dawn of happiness' and the whole thing is a UNESCO world heritage site. . The ruins are spread across 70 sq KM and there are more than 190 separate ruins. This makes a bike an excellent way to see many of the ruins. All the hotels hire them out for about 50 baht (a quid) per day. The main site is the walled area that used to be the Royal palace.
Somewhat bizarrely, but obviously correctly, Wikipedia starts its introduction to the History of Sukhotahi as being before Ice Cream! I'm not making this up!. Historians now believe that this important trading town started its secession form the Khymer empire about 900 years ago. Traditional Thai historians considered the founding of the Sukhothai Kingdom as the beginning of the Thai nation because little was known about the kingdoms prior to Sukhothai. Modern historical studies demonstrate that Thai history began before Sukhothai. Yet the foundation of Sukhothai is still a celebrated event.
There is a small admission charge but its valid all day so you can have a cycle round, nip off for a refreshing coffee und kuchin and then todal back, wander, go home for a swim, and come back again. System works well.
Whilst the ruins are spectacular... particularly at night when, if you go at the right time they are floodlight (see next post), it is the quality of the carving that I really liked. For example, please see exhibit 1, below:
This is one of my favourite structures on the planet. I love the elegance of the engineering of it and the difficulty that they must have building it without modern lifting machinery in a fairly inhospitable stretch of water. I could have spent a long time at South Queensferry taking photies and still come back the day after for more.
This will be a blog about my latest shots and what I liked or was trying to do with them
I am a teacher of Economics and have worked in various schools in Europe & Asia. One of the things I love doing is getting out and about with my camera.